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Blogging En Masse

Posted on 11.01.2007
Collaborative Blogging Evolves

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A newbie blogger who wants to break through the clutter of more than 70 million blogs tracked by Technorati and about 120,000 new blogs created worldwide every day better have a unique eye-catching design, host several widgets, badges and blogrolls, provide at least a few social bookmarking options, be able to craft Photoshop collages, know all about search engine optimization tricks and most importantly be an excellent viral marketer of his or her own.

And then there are the multitude of ways to monetize the craft you’ve spent so much time learning. Here, the possibilities are overwhelming. From Glam network and AdSense, Vibrant Media to LinkShare — taking a good blog to the profitable level will also require some online ad sales knowledge.

One thing we can learn from blogging and marketing experts and just about anyone you talk to who manages a successful blog — you need a whole lot of time and, more importantly, skills to write and promote your blog.

Perhaps this pragmatism of modern blogging is the reason many people give up and leave behind thousands of dead blogs every year. Of all blogs tracked by Technorati, they estimate that just over half are active — updated at least once every three months. Though dead blogs are here to stay, bloggers may also be simply venturing out beyond their own personal link to popular community posting sites. And while many predict that blogging has peaked, it could be that a new style of blogging is set to arrive.


Collaborative Blogs

Collaborative blogs or blogazines are the next popular format, where the pressure for constant updates and promotion is shared by multiple bloggers, expanding the potential reach of the blog while lessening the burden of the individual blogger. Several individuals contributing and promoting one single blogazine create richer, more diverse content which results in better traffic. Readers get a more diversified experience and bloggers benefit by receiving repeat visitors from a frequently updated blog, obtaining a new branding avenue and ultimately driving more traffic to their own sites.

The next evolution of collaborative blogging is user-generated content platforms in forms of magazines and portals. Sites like Newsvine combine professional journalist contributions with user-generated content, while others like AssociatedContent, TrendHunter, and MyItThings are based solely on user contributions. By using these platforms, bloggers are freed from the hassles of design, development and marketing — even ad sales. Most of these providers offer advertising revenue share models to compensate their contributors. In this new position, bloggers get an opportunity to express their opinions and truly define these publications. In return, user-generated magazines provide much desired exposure, based partially on editorial review and mostly on the true extension of internet democracy — reader ratings. Categorized by niche subjects, these platforms manage to create communities of bloggers and citizen journalists passionate about similar things. This new form of productive social networking transforms and redefines the media, by giving a stage to the mass voices in a more powerful, collaborative way.

With the evolution of blogging continuously moving away from the online journal format to the semi-professional content contribution, there are two questions that need to be addressed:

1. Why would someone who doesn’t have all the necessary knowledge and skills open a personal blog today, and what are his chances to become a successful blogger on his own?

Obviously the journal format will never die; personal ramblings and individual observations will exist in cyberspace forever. However, semi-professional blogging will continue to evolve. It is clear today that eventually the advantages of collaborative production will win over individual effort.

2.Why don’t existing blogging platforms provide the necessary tools and exposure that most bloggers are seeking today?

Since the beginning of blogging, platforms did provide the basic tools, but did not look as far as becoming citizen journalism portals. Mostly started as technology centered ventures, they lack the editorial resources and knowledge necessary to becoming a content provider. If these platforms don’t re-evaluate their business model to accommodate the fast-paced evolution of the blogging world, they will become blog cemeteries in the long run.

 

About the Author: Yuli Ziv is a Co-founder & Editor-In-Chief of MyItThings.com — an online magazine featuring user-generated content in a variety of pop culture subjects and providing multi-channel publishing solutions for online content producers.
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