Is Blogging Evolving Into Life Streams?

Top Bloggers Spend Less Time Blogging
I’ve noticed a gradual change in what we know as blogs when Scoble and Shel wrote the book on Naked Conversations. Both of them are now focused on micromedia: Shel has an upcoming book on Twitterville, and Scoble spends more time promoting Friendfeed than his own blog. Secondly, I just learned that Edelman’s top blogger Steve Rubel has retired his traditional blog, and it’s now a life stream, which aggregates content from any source. Of course, I don’t need to mention that many of the top 100 blogs all look like mainstream media, with a team of writers, photographers, and editors.

It seems as if blogging is becoming old hat, or at least evolving into something smaller, faster, and more portable. I’m with Louis Gray, (who has finally blogged his stance –great graphics) I’m not going to give up my blog, instead, I think of it as the hub of content, and the rest of the information I aggregate (notice the Twitter bar up top and the Friendfeed integration below). To me, joining the conversation is certainly important, but it doesn’t mean the hub (or corporate website) goes away.

More Lifestreams Mean More Noise
As more and more people create content on microchannels, we experience more ambient intimacy, but also a lot more data. For example, Scoble pointed out on our panel last night with Mark Silva and Kevin Marks that the iPhone has resulted in 400% increase in uploads to YouTube. I assure you, we have no time to consume all the content created just from our immediate friends and family –the hours in the day stay fixed.

Steve Rubel’s switch to using Posterous (the tool that fuels his lifestreaming) makes sense for him. Why? he’s slowed down on blogging and increased his activity in Twitter and Friendfeed. But what’s going to work for him may be a detriment for others, this  increased volume of smaller content the need for analysis and journalism matters even more. When you look at Steve’s new stream, it’s actually heavily on target with the same content as he’s had on his blog, it’s just published faster and quicker.

Opportunity For Those That Can Distill Noise to Signal
Yes, you should certainly socially pollinate your corporate or blog content to other communities, using tools like sharethis, however these should also be hooks for people to find your content.  For me, I’m going to respect the needs of my community, and keep on blogging to distill what I think is important.

Key Takeaways

  • The trend for people to create more content is afoot, as a result aggregation tools like lifestreams, activity streams, and newsfeeds (and a new form of a social/email inbox) will take center stage.
  • You should certainly join the conversations where they exist, but this doesn’t mean your base of quality content should erode, there are long term branding and search benefits.
  • As a result, we’ll start to see new tools emerge that help to find the signal –not noise. Those who can filter out what’s important will matter more:, by using a: blog, delicious, or tweets to let your community  know what’s important.
  • Expect the same heavy pieces on this blog, but feel free to spiral with me on Twitter and Friendfeed and whatever tool comes next.  I’m going to leave the choice to you.  I want to keep the signal high for my business minded community. Needles –not hay.

Update: I gave Scoble crap last night in person over beers for not keeping his blog up. He takes my challenge and rebuts me in Friendfeed. This proves my point he’s losing his thought leadership, his voice is lost in the noise –what do you think? Update (A few days later): Scoble has come to his senses, and is putting focus on his blog now.

Steve has responded from his blog –in paragraph form, so really, he’s actually still blogging, although aggregating other interesting info in his “journal notepad”, I prefer his method over Scoble’s –he’s also retaining his brand from his own domain/URL –although he made his readers re-subscribe to RSS.

To be clear, I admire and respect both of these guys for leading the next movement.

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