Twit­ter, face­book steal­ing the show

The Smart Manager - - Iblog -

When The Smart Man­ager con­tacted me to write a piece on blog­ging, I coun­tered them with my own pro­posal—would they be in­ter­ested in a piece on why I stopped blog­ging? They said ‘yes,’ and so here I am.

I started blog­ging in 2006 after I left In­fosys where I was Global Head of Sales and Mar­ket­ing. I had al­ways liked writ­ing and had writ­ten a few pieces for some pub­li­ca­tions while at In­fosys. But it’s dif­fi­cult to write freely when you are in a se­nior po­si­tion at a big company. You could un­in­ten­tion­ally hurt your company’s in­ter­ests in so many dif­fer­ent ways even if you didn’t in­tend to be. If you some­how man­age to cross this mine­field by get­ting mar­ket­ing, cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions and le­gal [depart­ment] to clear your blog post, what’s re­main­ing of it is likely to be as dull as ditch­wa­ter.

So I started blog­ging after I left In­fosys (this was when I left In­fosys the first time. I left it a sec­ond time in 2012). A per­sonal blog gives you the free­dom to write about what­ever you want; it gave me the op­por­tu­nity to en­gage with my read­ers. The com­ments came thick and fast. I used to write ran­dom (I have a cat­e­gory on my blog—‘hu­mor’) pieces, which would rou­tinely get 20 to 30 com­ments. I loved it. I be­came pen pals with a few reg­u­lar com­menters.

Blog­ging gets you no­ticed too. I’m not talk­ing about SEO and its likes, though that too hap­pens. I’m talk­ing about writ­ing some­thing good and

The read­ers too don’t have the time or pa­tience to read long blog posts.

get­ting no­ticed by an Om Ma­lik who links to your post and sends a gazil­lion of his read­ers to your blog. Some­times, you get no­ticed and hauled over hot coals by a blog­ger. And some­times you just pick a fight. But it is al­ways en­er­giz­ing.

I kept blog­ging for many years. On an av­er­age, once in two weeks or so. But then the rate of com­ments came down. And the spikes in Google An­a­lyt­ics charts weren’t as sharp as they used to be right after I posted. It wasn’t just me or my writ­ing. Blog­ging was no longer what it used to be. With that be­gan the de­cline of my blog­ging.

So­cial me­dia should take most of the blame for the slow death of blog­ging. From the blog­ger, Twit­ter and Face­book have taken pre­cious min­utes (hours?) that could have been spent writ­ing long-form blog posts; it’s now be­ing spent on short tweets and up­dates with a link to some­thing some­one else has writ­ten. The read­ers too don’t have the time or pa­tience to read long blog posts; en­gage­ment has moved out of com­ments on the blog into Face­book and Twit­ter. Even on blog posts, nowa­days I get most of my com­ments on Face­book.

Given all this, isn’t it eas­ier for both writer and reader to just take their en­gage­ment to Twit­ter or Face­book? In my case, that has in­deed be­come the case. I don’t write for the sake of writ­ing. I write to be read. If there aren’t the read­ers then I won’t be writ­ing. Sadly, the best days of blog­ging are gone.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.