Although Tom doesn’t agree with him, I’m prepared to pay some credence to Paul Boudin’s argument that blogging is now dead. He says that if you’re thinking of starting your blog you shouldn’t bother, and if you’ve already got one you should take it down. Boutin argues that it’s now more difficult to make yourself heard in today’s bloated and commercialized blogosphere, and besides, text-based web sites are so passé. Well, I reckon he’s got a point (in a way) and have decided to take his advice and ditch my blog (my personal one, not OnSoftware) in favour of a micro-blogging solution. Micro-blogging, characterised by services such as Twitter, relies much less on text-intensive posts and allows you to easily collate content from all your various social networks, as well as embedding content from other sites.
First up I created a tumblog using Tumblr. A tumblog is a kind-of digital scrapbook to which you can stick loads of random content for all to see. It’s incredibly quick to post to, and you can add text, photos, quotes, links, chat, audio or video, simply by clicking on the appropriate button. As with blogging platforms like WordPress or Blogger, there is a choice of different page layout templates, or you can create your own using HTML or by embedding CSS. One of the things I liked most about tumblogs, is the concept of ‘reblogging’, which allows you to instantly add a tumblog post onto your tumblog.
Twine offers another interesting alternative to boring old-fashioned blogging, which places even more emphasis on collecting content from other areas of the Internet and packaging it in a personalized way. Once you’ve registered with the site (for free) you can start your own twine, entering a subject then posting content from around the Web into it. You can insert an ‘Add to Twine’ button in your browser bar, then every time you find some content relevant to a particular twine just click this button. Twines can be shared with friends, family, colleagues or others online to really build up communities of the same interest.
If these don’t appeal to you then you could try getting on the Beta testing program for Jaiku, a Twitter-style service that allows you to shout out to the community from wherever you are. The Google-owned works is centred around the creation of ‘activity streams’, to which let you add details of what you do as you do it, inserting text, photos and Web feeds to enlighten your followers. Jaiku is heavily integrated with mobile devices, allowing you to keep posting even when you’re away from your computer.