Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blogging v. Facebook

Here's the tradeoff, as I see it, between blogging and Facebook:

Blogging advantages:
  • No significant restrictions on length of entries or comments.
  • Postings and comments older than a day remain easily accessible, unlike Facebook postings that are quickly buried and forgotten within a few hours under an avalanche of new submissions. 
  • A more sustained and focused dialog is possible, and in much greater depth.
  • Can serve as a journal, a place where compulsive writers (like me) can process what interests them, or seems important, on any given day. Audience size matters little from this perspective.
Blogging disadvantages:
  • Minuscule audiences (if any), with rare exceptions. Quality and audience size don't necessarily correlate, as some of my favorite blogs demonstrate.
  • Regular entries, ideally every day, are needed to encourage visits. But the incentive to make regular submissions declines as the number of readers stagnates: a demoralizing feedback loop.
  • Difficult to promote, even with RSS feeds and other devices, due to the overwhelming number of blogs on every conceivable subject.
  • Standard blog formats are often boring, and many of us lack the HTML skills needed to create our own.
Facebook advantages:  
  • In theory, a chance to enter into an instant dialog with Friends (just 87 in my case, a very modest total compared to most users);
  • Little effort required to submit original postings or repost articles, videos and photos;
  • Constant, and often very lively, interactions promote a sense of community.
Facebook disadvantages:
  • Entries limited in length, unless you use the message function -- essentially the equivalent of private email.
  • Exchanges tend to be in snippets, with an emphasis on witty but often superficial comments.
  • Difficult to sustain any focus in conversations due to the distracting onslaught of information from all directions.
Of course the two options aren't mutually exclusive, so my preference for now is to return to regular blogging while continuing to regularly check Facebook and submit posts. I'll approach this blog an online journal and if others want to participate, I'll be very pleased to welcome them. 

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