Solis argues that new micromedia platforms like Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook are eroding the authority — and value? — of the traditional blog. (Seems odd to call blogging a “traditional” communication form, but traditions seem to come and go quickly in Internet time. Oh, well.)
We are learning to publish and react to content in “Twitter time” and I’d argue that many of us are spending less time blogging, commenting directly on blogs, or writing blogs in response to blog sources because of our active participation in micro communities.
With the popularity and pervasiveness of microblogging (a.k.a. micromedia) and activity streams and timelines, Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and the like are competing for your attention and building a community around the statusphere – the state of publishing, reading, responding to, and sharing micro-sized updates.
Fair enough assessment. Now that many of my offline social networks (friends, family, work associates, high school and college classmates) have migrated to online sites like Facebook and Twitter, I find myself passing little electronic notes back and forth in the form of tweets and wall posts, rather than comments on blogs.
This new genre of rapid-fire interaction is further distributing the proverbial conversation and is evolving online interaction beyond the host site through syndication to other relevant networks and communities.
In most cases attention for commenters at the source post are competing against the commenters within other communities. Those who might typically respond with a formal blog post may now choose to respond with a tweet or a status update.
True again. But what about the source material so many Twitter users fall back on? They pull from blogs and retweet the links, in much the same way old-school bloggers would quote and link back to a news source. Just as I was about to lodge a protest along these lines against Solis’ argument, he turned the tables on me.
Authority within the blogosphere demands a new foundation to measure rank and relevancy that is reflective of the real world behavior and interaction of those who are compelled to link back to the post and extend its visibility in new, engaging, and prominent communities.
Ah, the old devil’s advocate post. It gets me every time. Solis is a blogger, so I should have known he didn’t really buy his own argument.
But what about measuring authority?
Solis goes on to philosophize about a new sort of Technorati-ish measurement for Twitter links, and so on. (Read the post if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare and are interested in that kind of thing.) But as this-here post shows — a blog post that links to a blog that was discovered via a tweet from someone I follow on Twitter — the social media sphere is far too interconnected. The various strands of the social media sphere are far too entangled to tease out and separate into disparate, measurable units. What’s really needed is an index that connects blog authority to Twitter authority to Facebook authority to FriendFeed authority to …
Or maybe Solis and I just need to get out more.
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