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A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter

November 6th, 2009
Filed under: Social Media — joel @ 8:09 pm

If you’re relying on Twitter as your social media hub, you’re limiting your potential for impact and influence. Twitter is excellent for distribution, but if you’re going to communicate original ideas, you’ll need a blog (or something similar).

The most influential people on Twitter are either already celebrities, create their own content, or both. Who do you see most often retweeted? Major news outlets like CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Mashable. Guy Kawasaki. Robert Scoble. Of course there are many reasons these people are influential, but a very basic reason is that they are creating original content somewhere other than Twitter. They are most often using Twitter as a super-news-feed, and as a way to drive people back to their blog, web site, etc. (Scoble is an exception. He converses everywhere.)

Here are a handful of the many reasons a blog gives you more control and more power:

  • With a blog, you control the agenda, whether you’re communicating on behalf of a company, or for personal reasons.
  • Your blog can cater to a sub-group of your Twitter friends or a different audience altogether.
  • A blog is less dominated by spam than Twitter.
  • You can embed images, audio and video on your blog.
  • Blog posts can be of unlimited length. You can express yourself in more than 140 characters.
  • With some environments, you have almost unlimited control over the appearance, functionality and arrangement of your blog.
  • Many blogs include the ability to offer contact forms, polls, chat and other functionality. You can even embed your Twitter stream into your blog.

There are many popular blogging applications. My blog is on WordPress, which is very popular for its rich feature set, wide variety of (generally free) third-party plug-ins and themes, and ability to use widgets. There are two basic ways to set up a blog, depending on how technical you are:

  • A developer-hosted blog, such as a WordPress.com blog, takes just a few minutes to set up and is free for basic use with optional paid enhancements. This is the easiest and least technical route to establishing a blog, but lacks some of the control and customizability of other approaches. With this approach there is no software to download or install. Everything is managed from the WordPress Web site. WordPress even has a cool iPhone app.
  • A third-party hosted blog (like the Socialized blog) requires a hosting plan and installation on a third-party server. I currently use Cyberwurx. With this version of WordPress I can easily change themes, install and remove plug-ins and customize my blog. WordPress.org is open source, and free.

A great application that offers nearly all of the functionality of a blog is Tumblr. I have a Tumblr page, often referred to as a tumble log, called Social Kapital, that I use for posting things I want to share but which are not related to the subjects I cover in my regular blog. Tumblr is also free, and extremely easy to use.

Movable Type, which is also popular, offers a free, non-commercial Blogger’s License and several paid, “professional” upgrade options.

There are many other ways to launch a blog, but if you’re serious about reaching the most people with your message and maintaining control over your communications agenda, I suggest you decide which approach makes the most sense, and get started. (If you’re new to blogging, get a Tumblr account and have fun!)

Another advantage of having a blog is that it will let you go on the offensive with your communications strategy. You’ll be able to communicate whatever you want, on your schedule.

And in quick response situations, it’s a good idea to have a blog. I have often been called in when a company (that doesn’t already have a blog) is struggling to cope with a challenging communications situation, and realizes they need a blog in order to respond. When there’s a buzz out in the blogosphere that your company has shipped a defective product, is closing its doors, or is under investigation for example, a press release on the wire is no longer the fastest or most effective way to to respond. And hopefully, you can also use your blog to post good news, like quarterly earnings (if you’re publicly held), an award, or positive coverage.

This post is intended to highlight why a blog is a superior social media hub to a Twitter account. Please share your experiences launching your blog, or ask a question, by leaving a comment below. Thanks!

     

17 Comments »

  1. [...] A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter [...]

    Pingback by Recent Links at Fast Wonder: Online Community Consulting — November 8, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

  2. Joel, agree that a blog is better as a hub than any of the social networks. What’s interesting at the moment is the evolution of blogging platforms with new ones like Tumblr & Posterous making it even more easy for non geeks to blog. The barriers to entry are dropping faster every day.

    Comment by Kate Carruthers — November 8, 2009 @ 7:03 pm

  3. I couldn’t agree more, a blog is the best place to share your opinion in more detail. 140 characters is a great way to snippet information but a blog is much more of a central hub which can contain all of your social channels and integrate them. Blogs may feel like the older brother of social media but they should still be the focus of engagement as most content stems from them,

    Comment by Chris Norton — November 9, 2009 @ 3:33 am

  4. Nice post, Joel. Twitter can’t compete, clearly, when it comes to content. It’s a headline scroll to a blog’s feature, it’s a water cooler comment to a blog’s conference call.

    But, Twitter’s immediacy and quick-strike potential are tempting. If you’re stretched for time or just want to keep the stream flowing, a Tweet’s your man! But, when you need the real substance, agree wholeheartedly that it’s always better to have a blog to call on.

    Which reminds me, I’d better post again soon or folks will start thinking I may have nothing of substance to relate!

    Comment by Michael Tangeman — November 9, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  5. A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter…

    “Twitter is excellent for distribution, but if you’re going to communicate original ideas, you’ll need a blog.”

    Trackback by associationjam.org — November 10, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

  6. I agree completely, Joel. It hit me at Blogworld when I realized I was just tweeting the same things as everyone else. I decided at that point to liveblog the events I was most interested in, to create some lasting content with some depth. I got a lot more notice, traffic and retweets of links to my blog that way, and I have something useful to share with people.

    Comment by David B. Thomas — November 12, 2009 @ 6:36 am

  7. Fully agree.

    One additional point. Twitter and Facebook can be blocked in enterprises , it’s very hard to discriminate a blog from a site.

    So blogs are also better hubs than FB pages.

    Talking about blogs, here is our top 150 Social Media Marketing blogs: http://blog.ecairn.com/?p=1664&preview=true

    Best

    Comment by dominiq — November 12, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  8. ,..] http://www.socializedpr.com is one another nice source of information on this subject,..]

    Comment by Trackback - Free Internation Call >> How to make free international call — November 19, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

  9. Thanks for the tips :)

    Comment by Movieswiki — December 4, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  10. OMG i’m sooo drunk lkiieke serously the website is upsite down

    Comment by TopGear — December 6, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  11. [...] Nous venons donc de voir que la mécanique de Darwin s’applique à la blogosphère : seuls les plus motivés subsistent, les autres évoluent. Cette évolution n’est pourtant pas synonyme d’un changement du rapport de force : les blogueurs sont en minorité, mais ils restent au centre des attentions. D’une part, car les conversations rapides ne naissent pas spontanément, elles se nourrissent forcément d’une matière première (les billets). D’autre part, car les volumes d’audience des plateformes conversationnelles (Facebook, Twitter) renforcent encore la visibilité des écrits. En d’autres termes : moins il y a de blogueurs et plus ils bénéficient d’une visibilité élevée car ils ne sont pas mis en « compétition » sur leur plateforme : A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter. [...]

    Pingback by Non, les blogs ne sont pas morts, bien au contraire ! | — October 13, 2010 @ 3:34 am

  12. [...] Wir haben also gesehen, dass die Prinzipien des Darwinismus auch in der Blogosphäre zur Anwendung kommen: Nur die Motiviertesten überleben, die anderen entwickeln sich weiter. Diese Evolution ist aber nicht gleichbedeutend mit einer Veränderung der Kräfteverhätnisses: Die Blogger sind in der Minderheit, aber sie bleiben im Mittelpunkt des Interesses. Einerseits, weil die schnellen Konversationen nicht spontan entstehen, sie beruhen immer auf einer Quelle (den Blogposts). Andererseits, weil die zahlreichen Nutzer der Konversations-Plattformen (Facebook, Twitter) die Sichtbarkeit der Texte weiter verstärken. Anders ausgedrückt: Je weniger Blogger es gibt, desto sichtbarer werden sie, denn sie werden auf ihrer Plattform nicht der Konkurrenz ausgesetzt (A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter). [...]

    Pingback by Blogs sind die Quelle von Konversationen — October 28, 2010 @ 12:02 am

  13. [...] We have just seen that Darwin’s mechanism can be applied to the blogosphere: only the highly motivated subsist, the others evolve. However, this evolution is not synonymous with a change in the balance of power: bloggers are in the minority, but they are still in the limelight. On the one hand, because quick conversations don’t arise spontaneously, they necessarily are nourished by raw material of some kind (posts). On the other hand, because the audience volumes of conversational platforms (e.g. Facebook or Twitter) reinforce the visibility of written material. In other words: the fewer bloggers there are, the more they benefit from increased visibility as they are not having to ‘compete’ on their platform: a blog is a better social media hub than Twitter. [...]

    Pingback by Blogs are the source of conversations — October 28, 2010 @ 12:25 am

  14. [...] Acabamos de ver que la mecánica de Darwin se aplica a la blogosfera: sólo los más motivados subsisten, los otros evolucionan. Esta evolución no es por lo tanto sinónimo de un cambio en la relación de fuerzas: los blogueros están en minoría, pero siguen siendo el centro de atención. Por una parte, porque las conversaciones rápidas no nacen espontáneamente, se alimentan forzosamente de una materia prima (los posts). Y por otra parte, porque el volumen de audiencia de las plataformas conversacionales (Facebook, Twitter) refuerzan más la visibilidad de los escritos. En otras palabras: hay menos blogueros pero se benefician de una visibilidad elevada porque no tienen “competencia” en su plataforma: A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter. [...]

    Pingback by Los blogs son la fuente de las conversaciones — October 28, 2010 @ 12:31 am

  15. [...] Abbiamo dunque appena visto come la meccanica di Darwin si applichi alla blogosfera: solo i più motivati rimangono, gli altri evolvono. Questa evoluzione non è però sinonimo di un cambiamento del rapporto di forza: i blogger sono in minoranza, ma rimangono al centro dell’attenzione. Da una parte, perché le conversazioni rapide non nascono spontaneamente, si nutrono per forza di una materia prima (i post). Dall’altra, perché i volumi di audience delle piatteforme di conversazione (Facebook, Twitter) rinforzano ancora la visibilità degli scritti. In altri termini: meno blogger ci sono e più beneficiano di una visibilità elevata perché non sono messi “in competizione” sulla loro piattaforma: A Blog is a Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter. [...]

    Pingback by I blog sono fonte di conversazioni | E-blogs Italia — October 28, 2010 @ 12:32 am

  16. [...] A Blog Is A Better Social Media Hub Than Twitter by Socialized [...]

    Pingback by Our Bookmarks: Nov 7 - Nov 15, 2009 — October 20, 2011 @ 4:29 am

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