Steve Rubel of Edelman Digital has taken a shot at describing possible evolutionary futures of blogging in the following mind map. His prognostication, expanded in his Mashable post: “One possibility is that blogs remain the primary social hub for many of us on the web but turn into lifestream sites that syndicate our content to and/or aggregate it from anywhere.”
Now, to be honest, that was a bit of a “huh?” for me. Especially “lifestream sites.” (I betcha Edelman has service marked that one already.) But let me ‘splain what I think he means with this example. Right now, I have several tools that I use to support my relationships in various spheres of my life including Facebook for friends and family, and LinkedIn for professional relationships. LinkedIn is my professional hub. I installed their wordpress tool so that this blog shows up in snippet form on my public LinkedIn profile. I joined a couple of LinkedIn groups, such as the Social Media Caffe. Highlights from that group show up on my LinkedIn page, as do publications and recommendations that are posted by people in my network. I’ve found some of these updates and recommendations to be useful, although there’s a bunch that I consider to be SPAM.
I’d love it if there was a way to see all of my social media at once. Thus far, I haven’t seen anything that, in one screen, gives me windows into the various social media places I hang out. I’ve seen people experimenting with their own RSS feeds/displays (kind of like Mashable, but personalized). Tools like TweetDeck are nibbling around the edges by allowing you to see real-time status updates from Facebook (it shows up in an added column), but you can’t feed LinkedIn updates that way. And, of course, TweetDeck wants you to love Twitter best and just bring other social media as second fiddle. Amplify and Friend Feed let you share stuff you’ve read and liked across social media platforms, but they don’t work in reverse. I guess what I need is a social media vacuum, but something called “Friend Suck” just doesn’t sound right.
In foreseeing the possible demise of blogs, Steve ignores the important role they play in Search Engine Optimization. Blogs keep website content fresh, and have a big effect on natural search results, at least the way that the Google algorithm works right now. Blogs as we know and love them aren’t going away any time soon. But I can hardly wait for “Friend Suck” to deliver my favorite blogs and social media status updates in one place.