Web Worker Daily editor Simon Mackie tells us about what blogging and social media trends are making waves, how companies and workers are contending with an array of blogging, social media, and online media publishing decisions, and what the future of blog networks looks like.
As an editor for Web Worker Daily, you oversee a blog that tracks workplace and technology trends that affect web workers from around the globe. What have blogging trends really caught your eye this year?
There seems to be a lot of single-topic niche tumble blogs (like http://www.latfh.com/) around at the moment. Perhaps they are just a fad, but they can spring up very quickly around a hot topic.
With regular blogs, I’m seeing more crossover with posts, social media and microblogging — discussing posts on Twitter, for example, and pulling those tweets back into the comments for the post, or taking discussion threads on Twitter and turning that into a post.
It’s only been relatively recently that companies have started adopting “social media strategies.” What are some of the hot tools that you’re seeing companies use to help market themselves these days?
I don’t think most companies are using social media in a very effective way, yet. A lot of promotion is based on quantity over quality (promotions designed to increase numbers of Twitter followers, etc.) rather than actually engaging the audience. It’s not really a question of using a tool — it’s figuring out an effective strategy and implementing it.
Social networking, social media, and microblogging platforms offer a huge array of choices for online publishers and casual web enthusiasts. How will the role of the “traditional” blog fare going forward?
I think blog posts remain useful — they’re not going away as they’re useful bite-size pieces of information/social objects that we can share on Twitter or on social networks. But publishers will need to be aware that blog posts should only be part of an overall portfolio strategy that takes in social media, blogging, and microblogging.
For personal use, I think that some people who might have once maintained a blog might not bother now that they have Facebook or Twitter to tell the world what they’ve been up to.
Who are some of the sharpest bloggers out there that maybe don’t get quite the attention that they should?
Maybe not exactly lacking attention, but I like reading gHacks for tech tips and Unclutterer for advice on getting organized.
What advice would you give to workers who also enjoy personal blogging and other social media activities?
We’ve discussed that question on WWD a few times recently. It really depends on personal circumstances and goals.
What are some of the best tools to help bloggers get started and to improve their craft?
I don’t think tools really help you improve your craft; you just need to write, write and write some more! That said, I do like both WordPress and TypePad for their easy-to-use interfaces — both services are good starting points if you’re a beginner.
Web Worker Daily is part of the GigaOM Network. What’s your take on the future of blog networks?
While huge blog networks don’t seem to be as popular as they once were, networks are still a useful way of increasing scale, directing traffic between related sites, and for negotiating better terms with advertisers. I think we’ll continue to see successful blog networks, both informal and formal, in the future.