Why your blog is your front porch or home base
This year I've been in process of rewiring my brain and its use of technology. I used a dumb phone for two months to jumpstart that process digitally. I have also been attempting a content revolution in the way I interact with social media. This entry elaborates on the latter experiment.
You can check out the origins of the experiment at these entries:
I stumbled across Darren Rowse's entry about Home Bases and Outposts which explains how he uses his blog as his principle platform for content. He calls it home base. He sends material from home base to social media, which he calls outposts - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. He asks:
What’s my strategy? Why invest so much time into sites that I don’t actually own?
(You'll notice from the graphic at the right that Rowse wrote back in 2008 when Plurk and Friendfeed were still kicking.)
Neil Matthews of wpdude.com also follows the home base and outpost concept for digital content. He commented:
The outposts I use are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I don’t own the content I create on twitter et al and I could be thrown off the site if I contravene any of their rules or regulations, so the activity I do there and the content I create, whilst still important, is expendable if I choose not to continue tweeting or stumbling.
What I hope to accomplish at the outposts is to meet other people build relationships and if they care,for them to visit my home base site.
The problem is social media is that it can be a huge time suck. I want to concentrate on my home base and update my outposts as easily as possible.
Tanya Dennis captures the same thought with different images. She says her blog is her front porch, and that microblogging has been hard on digital community by keeping former neighbors off their front porches. I'm going to quote her at length because she's explains it so well:
Blogs were once casual front porches where people could meet and visit and share pieces of their lives. They’re now formal stages with lights, sound systems and intricate algorhythms for marketing and sales. Simple anecdotes used to make perfect blog posts. No more. Now blog posts need to be polished articles with calls to action, numbered lists and at least three SEO-optimized headings. Oh, and don’t forget the perfectly edited, texted, tagged and themed images to accompany each post. Having an old-fashioned “blog” is no longer enough. Writers now need full-blown, self-published online magazines. Updated at least thrice weekly, please.
I miss the way blogs used to be.
...And so I Facebook. And I tweet. And I create text images for Pinterest. I share glimpses of my thoughts, small indicators of what God is teaching me … but I don’t blog.
Microblogging has crippled my blog.
Anyone else feel this way? Use to be an aspiring blogger? Did you use to enjoy a close-knit community - even if it was rather large - of interaction and discussion? Then along came social media. Honest thoughts and dialogue was strangled by the need to gain followers and create a viral 140-character update.
I'd encourage you to read Tanya's entry in its entirety. She concludes her observations about her blog with:
This may not be a perfect place, but it’s safe. It’s warm and unpretentious. It’s where we can connect and grow and laugh and learn together. Grab a cup of something and join me.
I agree. I'd like my blog to be a lot like the front of Cracker Barrell. Hop in a rocking chair or grab a checker board, and let's talk. If this entry has encouraged you, dust off your home base.