Magazines? What are those? We are living in a time when digital media reigns supreme. If you’re like me, you likely subscribe or follow several blogs to get your daily fill of news and information. If you want to know the news before it is on television, you no doubt follow blogs.
The way we get our news has dramatically changed. I was struck by a comment Google CEO Eric Schmidt made recently when he said that every two days more content is created on the Internet than was created from the early days of civilization until 2003. Blogs are great because they give any John or Jane Doe the ability to voice their opinion, share their experiences or break exclusive news. The blogging platform continues to flourish and has been strengthened by the release of the iPad, e-Readers, and the yet to be released generation of Internet tablets. These devices will help blogs continue to gain popularity and triumph over traditional news outlets and print sources.
There are many blogs that I trust more than a reputable television network. The best blogs contain news and information from people with first-hand experience; the content created by these blogs flows from the passion and interests the authors have in the subject matter. However, because there are so many voices, blogs are now forced to become better or fade away. According to a 2006 CNET News article, a post from four years ago, a new blog is born every half second. New methods of enjoying digital content are making it even easier for any person with an opinion to have a voice and reach an audience.
Recently, Flipboard introduced an iPad application that puts your Twitter, Facebook, or other feeds into a print-like format. It literally takes you friend’s tweets and turns them into a beautiful, digital magazine. Another popular app is Pulse from Alphonso Labs. Their recent teaming with posterous, the simplest blog publication site on the Internet, allows readers to create their own “pulse” of news and information. The Pulse app, like Flipboard, subscribes to the sources you desire, but it also allows you to reshare your favorite stories in a “pulse” or blog-like format. The Pulse app makes it so easy to share news and information that you don’t even need to create and author your own blog posts.
It’s no secret that many blogs exist simply as a hub of redirected news. Take a look at Engadget, one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet. Yes, they do have quite a bit of their own original content, but the majority of the stories they feature are simply re-posts, articles that were originally published elsewhere. Engadget is successful because of their original content, but mostly because they are very good at finding and re-posting stories which their readers will find interesting. The same is true of Gizmodo and other popular blogs.
I’m finding these days that I’m actually following more people rather than blogs. I find an author whose style and opinion I agree with, follow them on Twitter, and read their posts through my favorite app. These apps enable me, the reader, to find the information I care the most about. No longer do I need a site to filter my content. I can do it myself.
Apps such as Flipboard and and Pulse are forcing these sites, blogs that simply re-post information, onto death row. Rather than rehash and link to stories published elswhere, the changes brought forth by these apps require that blogs have heart, passion and offer first-hand experiences in order to survive. Blogs that will endure must have original content if they expect to compete with the slowly growing but now audible heartbeat developing from the many pulses that exist. Twitter, Flipboard, and Pulse are currently the greatest threat blogs face.
You can view my very young pulse by visiting http://dilloff.pulsememe.com/ and see how the Pulse app and posterous format my news stories of interest.
Here is an example of what a customized Flipboard looks like:
What are your thoughts on these new, creative ways to get your news? Are blogs really on death row? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo credit: Kate Rhodes (masukomi, Flickr CC).