Okay, we were talking about what is going to succeed social media and blogging. And it may be something that already exists.
Let’s look into what’s potentially happening for Blogs first.
1- Widespread Business Adoption of Lifestreaming?
Possibly. To us it may seem like everyone already “gets” blogging, but I meet people every day who either ask me “What is a blog?” or “Why should businesses blog?”
The vast majority of people offline are not as plugged into the web as we are. It’s a fact – if you’re reading this, the vast majority of the population is less web savvy than you are. Much less if you’ve written something like this.
That means if we progress to business streaming, we’ll have to present a compelling reason why consumers should wade in our stream as opposed to, say, Facebook’s.
Or meet them there.
That means that to capture the minds of that set, lifestream for business will have to be something more than aggregation. A one-stop shop for everything “your company/product/service”? That’s not big enough, or exciting, or enough of a benefit yet to people who aren’t fans already.
But make it incorporate and organize everything that happens in a mirco-niche of your industry, making you the authority?
Perhaps. But then what? And why can’t that be accomplished from a blogging platform like WordPress anyway?
Aggregation isn’t a progression. It’s just… aggregation. It’s the “spare” part of heir and the spare. Nothing near useless, but not a replacement either.
There’s some part of your business that can be made into an application for the web, the phone or the desktop. Which is it, or is it all of the above? And are you doing it for marketing or for the sake of the app itself? And isn’t your site more than what it can do? What about the conversation?
Is it the internal or external conversation that converts browsers to buyers?
Plus that’s not a successor to blogging and social media, it’s a companion.
3- Moblogs- Special Blogs Created for Mobile marketing.
You’ve got to give folks phone content, which crosses with apps. But how much does that cost and how does the average small or local business make this option cost-effective? What if the audience wants more than the mobile version of your blog -suppose they want to go from subscription to content to purchase without putting down their Blackberry?
We’ll have to come back to that. Because this is a great complement, but it’s not evolution.
An evolved progression would have to provide a Web-based answer, not just a mobile-based one.
4- Audio Blogging (Also known as podcasting)
Seems like the next natural step, at least as far as text blogging is concerned.
And it’s already here, sort of. If iTunes, Pandora, last.fm, the old Napster and the new Rhapsody haven’t convinced you of that, grab some food to take back to your bomb shelter while you’re topside.
The thing about audio though, is that it’s not a replacement for text blogging, necessarily. You’ll still have people who prefer to consume by reading – it’s hard to “skim” an audio.
Yet, the more mainstream your audience, the less this is a problem.
But it’s an idea. Try blogging via audio all next week and measure the results. It might surprise you how easy it is to do and how much your audience likes it.
Will it replace blogging by text completely? No. It’s not skimmable, it’s harder to share snippets of, which makes it more challenging as a marketing tool.
Seems to be much more addictive though – and you get more focused, undivided attention. Not to mention that if you make them downloadable, they can travel into other parts of your audience’s lives via iPod and the like.
Of course, there’s then the fact that you can’t link from within one part of an audio to within, say, another part of a video. Blogs can be configured to “know” me. Audio on a blogging platform can – audio AS the blog? There’s the hole.
5- Video blogging.
Some folks are doing video on some level – screencasting, slidecasting that becomes video, actual video. But we’re nowhere near saturation, despite what YouTube looks like. If you looked at Steve’s MindMap, you’ll see that some are speculating that blogs will become TV channels, or at least shows, and video blogging would plug right into this idea.
Video blogging is easier to adopt, even if you’ve got a camera shy face – screencasting and slidecasting may make more sense for you. It’s shareable via embed, but not in a way that ties the content permanently to its creator, and yet is still freely floating on the web.
Which I’m working on. But if I told you more about it, I’d have to kill you.
Ahem. Maybe we’ll talk about that another day.
For now, let’s move on to why social media and blogging even NEEDS an evolutionary next step. And one problem with blogs merging into social networks.
I’ve got a meeting this afternoon but I may be back after, or it may be tomorrow morning. Best way to get the next post is to subscribe, or follow me on Twitter, where I’ll post the next link. 🙂 See you then.