Businesses are quickly beginning to incorporate blogs as a marketing methodology alongside the likes of email, search engine marketing and other such online strategies. It took a few years to get here, but “here” is where we are, and it’s exciting to see.
While blogs will retain their distinctiveness as a platform which allows for a first-person, informal, shoot-from-the-hip means of self-expression, their appeal will broaden beyond that particular application of the technology. Blogs are becoming what they have always been, an easy to use content management system.
In other words, in the near future the practical use of blogs will have more to do with the technology itself than with a particular application of it.
I had the privilege of spending some time the other day with Robin Hopper, CEO of iUpload.com, a content management system software provider. While iUpload existed in the pre-blog boom days, it became clear to Robin that the future lay in making use of blog platform technology for CMS purposes. To that end, they transitioned the software into a very robust, scalable community-blog platform now being used by non-profits, newspapers and corporations for both Internet and intranet applications.
This is “made in the shade” for small businesses who don’t have the budget to hire IT people or build expensive websites. Instead, they can use a blog platform to build a “blogsite.” And who cares if they don’t even know what blogs are or what they’ve been used for historically! For them, it becomes an easy way to update their website with current news and information of value to consumers.
Sure, their blog posts can still have personality and reflect the views and opinions of the author. They can still have that direct connect, one-on-one conversation with the customer feel. But, they aren’t limited to that. Again, it’s the benefits provided by the platform itself and not a particular application of that platform that will give blogs longevity in the marketplace.
Let me make an even further prediction. Blog platform technology will become so melded into the warf and woof of the Internet people may not even associate the technology with the term “blog.”
While I know members of the hard-line “bloggerati” will disagree with me, and some vehemently, they might as well accept the inevitable. It’s the brilliance of the technology itself as an easy to use publishing format that will survive over the long-haul.
Blog historians like myself will look back to blogging’s good old days and cherish fondly the nascency of the medium as a catalyst for the much-heralded grassroots journalism revolution. But, the businessperson in me is excited about the future of blogging, as a means for small business to have an effective Internet presence that doesn’t cost and arm and a leg nor requires a degree in computer science to generate.
Suffice it to say the blog “revolution” is over, and the blog “evolution” has begun!