It is easy to get caught up in the new Web bling and declare old media obsolete. To an extent we have seen that with the “newspapers are dead” debate (I believe that paper based newspapers are on their way out but the professional newspaper will still be around for a while longer if publishers can make successful transitions to digital options – preferrably RSS, even if this is a paid subscription option). The real shift from blog centric communities a year or so ago to where we are (or where we are heading) is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to establish new communal centres focussed on our blogs as the background noise increases. Instead the answer is to consider shifting to a distributed community model and send your content in its various forms out into the social Web using a variety of distribution channels, whether those be lifestreaming services, social platforms or individual services at a time. This is at least the model I have adopted because my friends (real-life and online contacts) are all over the place. Some of them use FriendFeed, some prefer Jaiku. Others use Flickr as their primary photo service and many use Facebook for their social interactions. The point is that it makes more sense for me to send my stuff out to my friends rather than trying to persuade them to subscribe to and follow yet another service or content stream. This is about finite attention and how not to divide your friends’ attention even further unnecessarily.
Coming back to my thoughts about blogs, the format of a blog may vary, as may its platform but there is a place for longer format content pieces and that is something blogs are great tools for. I sometimes forget this in my rush to try out the new stuff and then I remember the value of a blog when I read some of the better written posts in my NetNewsWire subscriptions.