An old trend has revived. Every social site used to have its own blogging platform but mostly it was just a failure. Just think back to MySpace, who used that crap? Or even Facebook, its notes quickly died.
Well, the trend is back. With Forrst supporting full-length posts with multiple images and other media, to Quora opening up its blogging platform, and the new Tech.Pro website being driven by blogs, we're faced with a dilemma. Actually, scratch that, we're faced with a plethora of dilemmas.
Before we discuss the "why", let's discuss the "why not". So why not?
- If your writing is worth anything, you should have it on your own blog especially if you're programmer, designer, or a developer
- Social media and similar sites are for SHARING, not direct content creation. If you're posting on Forrst, post it on your blog first, post a link on Forrst with a quick summary. Same with others.
- Having a 3rd party host your blog and hold your content is a bad idea. What if that 3rd party host fails or you want to move to another platform?
- rights issues.
- extra content if you have your own blog. If you write for both, you're kind of screwed on time, not only do you have to update your own blog, you have to update your blogs across the 'net as well.
All valid points, especially the first one. Why don't you just use your own blog? It has so many advantages:
- you have complete control over the content you post, including the kind of language you use, and you won't be breaking anyone's rules.
- you have complete control over the look of your site. If a 3rd party redesigns and it's not to your liking, you can't do anything about it. If it's your own site, you can do A LOT
- advertisement, promotions and otherwise. If you run ads, or sell products, you don't have to worry about having your links reaffiliated by the host site, or having the issue of ads taken down.
Well, those are well and good but then, why are these blogs even an option? Is it for the less tech fortunate?
No, definitely not. Snipt and Forrst are definitely for the tech kind of people that KNOW how to make their own blog yet they offer their services anyways (Forrst is indirectly a blogging platform but it might as well be). So why do they offer this when you can just as easily make your own blog?
Well, the two are not mutually exclusive. You CAN have your own blog AND write on these platforms so why would you do that?
- 3rd Party blogging platforms, especially on social media sites, offer exposure. Your post on Forrst will be flashed in front of a few thousand people, if it gets traction, even more.
- Exposure often leads to traffic through the links you place in your articles. In my case, I like to link back to my blog. My blogs on social sites then promote exposure to my own blog and the links often allow a few visitors trickle through to my site and discover the rest of my writing
- Comments. See, on regular blogs, out there somewhere, it's hardly ever the case that a good engaging discussion takes place but Forrst? That's another question. Because of the notification system and the fact that users go to the site for other reasons than just to read your writing (basically to read the writing of others and discuss), you'll actually get feedback and a discussion. Services like Disqus try to mimic such interaction by linking the commenting system of many different blogs together but it's not yet perfect. Forrst, and Tech.Pro and Snipt, that's another case.
- On top of having your own blog exposed, YOU get exposure. Guess what? Unique usernames with exposure on different platforms stick in people's heads. My username gets recognized all the time because of how active I am on Reddit, Forrst, and Twitter. People remember it and that helps me out during discussions.
- You'll be giving back. That social network you love? You're helping it survive. I led many long discussions on Forrst when it first started and I feel like that helped contribute to the livelihood of the community. And guess what? I like supporting that which I want to survive.
I sincerely suggest all bloggers to try it out, contribute and help out the communities you love. You'll get some exposure in return and traffic as well!
Dzone does a pick of the day, and a pick of the week. Forrst promotes certain posts as well. So it's well worth your try to write something amazing!