The dilemma of where to post creative content on the interwebs

A cultural communication crisis

Our country is in the communication crisis. No one knows how to communicate with one another anymore. It’s not just speaking to another person face-to-face. It’s that we all have our own communication preferences.

Some people prefer email; others prefer Twitter; others are always on Facebook, and the list goes on.

Organizations and businesses are being stretched in ways they never imagined as they attempt to communicate with not only regular customers or members of their organization, but how do they reach new customers or new people?

It’s a cultural communication crisis.

The problem is that when everyone has their own preferred communication stream, the communicate – whether an individual or an organization – has to use multiple mediums to communicate with people. Even then, you’re not assured of your message being received.

Facebook is dying with the younger generation while email is often ignored as junk boxes grow like Godzilla and spam inundates and anesthetizes our attention spans.

Anecdotally, I don’t use Facebook much for “email” or “messaging,” but there are many who do, and when I’m sent a message on FB, it is usually several days before I check or notice it. (I do not have email notifications from FB enabled simply because I don’t want FB as my central place for communication.)

In short, everyone is trying to understand and solve the issue of “how to be heard.”

Where to post content

In addition to simple communication with each other, those of use that like to write and create content are struggling mightily to discern the best path or forum for our posts. For example, when I read a pithy quote or find a great paragraph in a book that I would like to share, I have a digital hesitation about where will be the most effective stream to post it in. Should I share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Path, Tumblr, or my blog?

The experiment

To that end, I’m going to try a social experiment for 90 days. I will stop posting extended thoughts on any other social media except for my blog. After all, they are my thoughts, why would give them to Mark Zuckerberg to help his little site when my little blog needs more traffic? If people want to know what I think, they can just go to one central spot. At least, that’s the plan for the experiment.

I’ll use Twitter to drive my traffic to the blog and for occasional posts that are 140 character nuggets. However, all other content will be blog-based. To my FB and Google+ friends… I know the extra click to my blog is an inconvenience. The good news is that my posts in those digital arenas will be significantly reduced, allowing you to read along without my interruptions.

Maybe by reducing the amount of my chatter on other sites, I’ll discover a more tightly knit form of digital community and relationships.

I’m pulling the trigger on August 1. I hope you’ll bookmark journeyguy.com, create an email subscription, or add it to your Feedly account (or other RSS reader; feed link here). Leave a comment about what you think of the experiment and the reflections above; I’d love to know your thoughts.

On this day...

12 comments

    1. Jeff says:
      Thanks! Always looking for new blog design ideas and have been wanting to change mine for a few months. Don’t knew if the design of a blog matters as much anymore with so many reading the entries via email or RSS though?

      What do you think?

  1. whimzie says:
    I’ll be interested to see what conclusions you draw from your experiment.

    I’ve been thinking along similar lines. Besides that I needed a place to put my words, one of the main benefits of blogging for me USED TO BE the interaction and dialogue that took place there. I know I did a lot to kill my blog by not posting as consistently as I used to and I’m trying (really trying) to work back up to posting three times a week. But my real life with my people has to take precedence over my social media life and some big life events have taken me away for stretches of time. Couldn’t be helped and I don’t apologize for my absence.

    Between Pinterest and Twitter and Facebook and Vine and Instagram and whatever the kids are doing now, people are dividing their attention a dozen different ways. Maybe they’re reading what I write, maybe they don’t even have time for that, but I definitely think they’re engaging with me less on my blog. Or maybe my writing has changed and they don’t like it anymore. I don’t really know and I’d be afraid to ask. 😉

    When I post a blog, I have it set up to automatically make an announcement on my Twitter and on my FB page. I don’t have time to do much more than that and since I don’t really have any plans for my blog beyond my next post, I’ve figured that’s enough.

    But then I’ve wondered why I keep blogging and why do I set goals for often I post or if any of it matters. But I’ve decided it matters to me. I could keep a journal, but I like to blog. I like the discipline of it. And when it comes, I enjoy the feedback and the interaction.

    Those are my thoughts about it in a pretty raw form.

    I’ll be watching your experiment with interest.

    1. Jeff says:
      , Thanks for the raw reply. I think your gut observations are spot on, for the most part. My blogging fell off with the volcanic eruption of social media and the race to “be there” – wherever “there” was, as far as the best online social media site.

      I was on so many for a while, eager to be an early adopter and have a presence established. Now that things are settling down and folks are finding that much of social media is just noise, I’m wondering if people will go back to looking for truly good content or if they’ve now been conditioned to 140-character announcements about people’s meals, gerbils and reality show micro-blogging.

  2. Good luck with the experiment! Hopefully explaining your motivation/reasoning behind it to those interested in keeping up with you will lead to increased interaction on the site.

    I’ve never really been too involved in the blogosphere, but I would like to try to start keeping up with your blog and those of a few friends. If more people were willing to take the time to write and read longer posts (longer than a Facebook status, and obviously longer than 140 characters), it would sure make digital interactions much more meaningful.
    Michael Morrison´s last blog post ..Sex Trafficking in Europe: Final research paper

    1. Jeff says:
      I encourage folks to sign up for a WordPress.com blog. Nice features, ease of use and easy ways to connect with others and share with social media.
      1. I created my website when I studied abroad (blogging was a requirement) and I blogged about twice the following summer on my own. I believe writing those two posts was important in processing what I had learned in the four months before. Since then, however, the motivation has waned; I don’t feel like I have anything specific to write about (or at least that I’d have an audience for.)

        It’s funny though – I have gotten short bursts of inspiration and started several blog posts, but then life gets busy and they all sit on my computer as unfinished drafts, and I never get around to finishing them up to the point where they’re publishable.
        Michael Morrison´s last blog post ..Sex Trafficking in Europe: Final research paper

        1. Jeff says:
          Michael, I’ve been blogging a long time. I still feel the inertia after having not written for a while. One thing I’ve always loved about blogging is the self-discipline required to nurture the creative process.

          Keep at it. Exercise your skill. I really hope that the current communication crisis becomes a revolution that turns us from content trivia in social media to creative beauty in communication again.

          I wonder if Facebook, Twitter and other social media conditioned us for pathetic sound-bytes that we mistook for real dialogue.

          1. There certainly is a lot of self-discipline required; I guess it just hasn’t been enough of a priority to apply that discipline. Also, I just tend to doubt that I have an audience or “new” thoughts worth sharing. Nothing that I have to say is going to be particularly novel. But who knows, maybe that perspective will change and it will become a priority.

            I do think there’s some truth in that. While social media’s bridging the gap between nearly anyone is an amazing accomplishment, the constant connectivity and over-convenience of it leads deluge of posts without any significant value. Communication has largely been traded for “likes,” “shares,” “+1’s,” “retweets,” “favorites,” and the occasional comment reply.

            If there is a “revolution” of sorts, I think the driving force will be twofold. First, there would have to be a widespread recognition of a communication crises (which I wonder about happening, since my generation is used to managing at least 4 modes of communication, and trying new ones all the time – but I suppose that topic is a different animal altogether). Second, people would have to start worrying about the ownership and use of user-generated content.

            People are willing to trade personal information for the use of social media, and the only significant backlashes I have seen have occurred when those services assume ownership (Instagram) or usage rights in advertising (Facebook). Those companies always bounce back, though, because no one is willing to give them up. I think it will be interesting to see how well Pressgram (a blog-based Instagram competitor based on these very concerns) catches on. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but if you’re interested in moving toward a blog-based social life, check it out. http://blog.pressgr.am/ruined/ (That link explains some of the creator’s frustration with Facebook.)

          2. Jeff says:
            Thanks again for your great comments, Michael. You’ve provoked my interest in Pressgram. I’ll check it out. I think one thing that may help the revival of blogging is networks and consistent linking to blogs that we enjoy. I think I’ll look into ways of displaying links and categorizing them so that they can serve as regular referrals for those who want to read more.
          3. Good call! I’m sure having an audience is crucial for many people (including myself) to find motivation to blog. So, in an effort to do my part in encouraging others to blog, I just created a Feedly account and am adding everyone I know who blogs. I’m hoping to follow them more closely and comment whenever I have something relevant to say.

            I’m actually writing a post right now about my potential “return to the blogosphere,” so thanks for helping me start to think about it more seriously! Time will tell if I find/make the time to keep it up once classes start, though.

          4. Jeff says:
            , I think as people stumble back to blogging, they’ll continue to discover more conversation. This post has been a case in point, I believe. I’ve added your blog to my Feedly as well, by the way, and look forward to keeping up with you!

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