With the blogging/web design niche still in it’s infacy, words come & go, phrases enter consciousness, and then leave. Some stay, but many meet a sad end in the eye of the general public. So with a tear in our eyes, let us remember those words that we lost from the collective conscious of bloggers & the social web in 2009.
3 Words That Died in 2009
Plurk really had promise. Dare I say this? I will. It was better than twitter. It was a social chat website that adheared to the 140 characters, but unlike twitter, replies were handled in separate chat windows. Plurkers were encouraged to interact with each other, rather than simply have two way conversations (lets be honest, it’s ugly to have @person1, @person2 & @person3 in the same lines). But in all wars, the stories are told by the winners, and Plurk isn’t one of those winners.
Why did it become a lame duck? Well, ironically, the same reason that Twitter suffered last year. Late last year, it underwent huge growth, and the Plurk HQ (who by the looks of it, were crapper at monetization than Twitter) really couldn’t handle it. Instead of investing in more servers, it’s architecture was prone to downtime, and it eventually keeled over. It’s still going today, but not in the same level as Twitter. Shame.
A word that died early on this year, and for a good reason. Metablogging was defined as a blog about blogging. Why it died? Blogging evolved.
You see, in the early days of computers, you were either good with computers, or not. Now, you are one of several things, each with a speciality. You can be a networker, or a blogger, or a web designer, or a systems analyst. Each had their own skills. It’s like medicine, it’s vast, with areas of specialities, and if you want right answers, you are referred to people who’d know right answers. You wouldn’t go to a gynacologist with a toothache, would you?
Blogging’s become the same. Metablogging (& metabloggers) is still around, however whilst metabloggers used to write about SEO, affiliate marketing, engaging readers & social marketing, they have specialised quite quickly, focussing on one specific topic they excelled in. Now you can have bloggers, experienced bloggers, who are terrible at maintaining blogs. It keeps me in a job, so it suits me fine!
RSS was the phrase du jour in 2008. It was the the new email, where blogs would come to you to, rather than the other way around. Bloggers embraced it immensely, so much so that a lot of them were wondering what the next step was – monetizing RSS.
It was then they discovered that, quite simply, you couldn’t. RSS users wanted content, and they wanted only content. RSS link sales services came & went in 2009, and the new form of marketing made it’s rise in it’s place – permission based email marketing.
Yes, only really technologically adept people knew what RSS was, and whilst it was inherantly better than reading blogs the way that the blogger intended, most people wanted emails of their blogs, and thus the email marketing list was born, and everybody does it now.
3 Words that were Born in 2009
2008 was a bad year for Twitter. It underwent phenomenal growth in the early part of 2008, but the fail whale reared it’s ugly head, allowing Plurk to gain a march. However, the problems were sorted, and having famous evangelists such as Stephen Fry & Ashton Kutcher, it was impossible not to grow, but could it sustain it?
Arguably the biggest rise in Twitter was during the crash in the Hudson River, and that photo. Even so, with twitter’s servers being hammered like no other time in it’s history, Twitter coped (Twitpic wasn’t so lucky mind you). As such, it proved that the web’s favourite 140 characters wasn’t a fad in the pan, but a new form of blogging.
Yes, Twitter has seen the rise of a new form of blogging, a more socially concious blogging (incidents such as the Iranian Election, The Trafigura Scandal & the widespread condemnation of Jan Moir’s gay bashing of Stephen Gatley) all have had huge popularity surges, largely with the strength of the community as a whole. Hashtags have seen the rise of people connecting based on interests, even organising whole campaigns through them. Whether Rupert Murdoch couldn’t afford his latest ivory back scratcher thanks to the #dontbuythesun campaign (a campaign I fully supported myself), I don’t know. However, the sheer power of certain individuals on Twitter means that they can change public opinion.
In truth, Twitter allows anybody to be revolutionary. That’s a good thing.
Whenever I go on holiday, and I’m sitting on the street, drinking a beer in Bangkok or having a coffee on the Champs-Alysses in Paris, my brother used to chastise me by saying “You’re doing sod all!”. I replied – “I’m not doing nothing, I’m people watching.”. A great phrase to use to justify doing sod all.
A few years ago, Personal Blogging became a dirty word. Writing about your life was seen as vain, egotistical and not profitable. Until Tim Ferriss coined the phrase “Lifestyle Design”. Now it’s cool again! Everybody’s doing it now, from Darren Rowse’s blog to the rather brilliantly named Stop Having a Boring Life, lifestyle design is the new black.
So if you feel like you want to blog about the shape, colour or consistancy of your defacation, what you ate for breakfast, or the fact you’re sitting in a pub in Manchester enjoying half an ale (like yours truly is right now whilst writing this), don’t say you’re “personal blogging”, just say your “documenting your lifestyle design”. Congratulations, you’ve now justified blogging about your dog.
Is it me, or has this new way of monetization grown recently? It appears that some people have figured out what a lot of reality TV stars have known for years – people paying you to do sod all is a great thing. And thus, the memebership site has been born.
It makes it sound like I hate them, I don’t. I’m a member of a couple, and they are really great (I will sing the praises of the Problogger.com forums from rooftops), but I can’t really see how some are successful. They are simply 2 or 3 tools behind a paywall, requiring access for a small monthly fee. It’s great in one respect – software developers can now make money, but a lot of them (and I’ve been asked to review a lot of them on this here blog) are simply average blog posts that you need to pay to read.
Then again, I’ve a day job, and a lot of them are living jet set lifestyles, so who am I to judge?
This phrase will enter greater promenance in 2010 when Mr Murdoch puts his nipple covered newspapers behind a paywall. Whether anybody will pay to see a pair of boobs or news (both of which are freely available on the internet mind), remains to be seen.
Your Thoughts – This Year & Next Year?
As with most things on this blog, these are simply my thoughts. What about you? What phrases do you think we lost this year, and what blogging phrases do you think will rise in 2010? And what will finally die? Leave your thoughts below!