A few years ago, I blogged about the death of the blog (click here to read that post; opens in new window). It was spurred by a comment made by Jason Calcanis, an authority some would say on this kind of thing. At the time, I disagreed vehemently with the opinion of Messr. Calcanis. A blog is nothing more than a website after all. Sure, it may not be designed by an actual web designer and the content may not be award-winning but it’s nonetheless a website. As such, to declare the death of the blog was to declare the death of the website. And as you can tell, websites are still pretty popular.
This blog post is not to recant my previous view but rather to discuss the possibility of the evolution of the blog. Actually, that’s not right either. It’s more of a mutation. And it’s in the form of Google Plus.
I’ve been kicking around the idea of blogging full time on Google Plus. As it is there are few restrictions and quite a few advantages to that kind of mid-range blogging.
First, the advantages. The biggest one is definitely that it’s free. No cost to you to set up.
Then there’s the post length. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, there doesn’t seem to be a really punitive maximum on the amount of characters you can use in a post. In fact, this entire post was copy/pasted in G+ to test that theory. No issues, there.
Google Plus also allows you to use one account to speak to multiple audiences. So you could blog about your thoughts on astrophysics and reach out to people like Stephen Hawking AND blog about talking to your plants, while reaching out to people like HRH Prince Charles…without crossing the streams or boring people to death. Sounds a little like magic, right? Targeted content aimed at targeted audiences. And because it’s on YOUR G+ page, they connect with you on the levels you decide they should.
Got images? Videos? Audio? Google Plus supports ’em all. And Google owns YouTube, so run your content out of your own channel.
Google Plus supports sharing, +1’s and comments, so if your content is any good it’s going to grow wings. And of course, there’s the little issue of SEO and Plus being Google’s baby. It’s a slight advantage, no?
What’s G+ got going against it? In line media is not supported yet (as far as I can see), but that could be because I’m linking media and not embedding it. The pages aren’t customizable. I suppose the closed circle thing could also be an issue for discoverability but good content always wins out, right? Well, sometimes. And there’s the issue of privacy. Sure, G+ lets you control who sees your information but you can’t be 100% anonymous unless you hide behind a company name. And that means THE MAN can find you if you decide to step out of line.
Essentially what I’m saying is that we could be looking at a change in the way people blog in the future. I think that Google Plus in its current form is the taster, the teaser if you will for a bigger plan. Maybe in future, customization will be based on a paying model. And why not? It works in online gaming. And Google may develop in-line media support later on, along with a whole bunch of bells and whistles to rival the major blogging platforms available now.
And if that’s the case, is this the first visible step to Google owning the web? More importantly, would you buy it?