Why I’m treating my blog like a social timeline


Lately I’ve been using my blog almost in the same way that many people use social, such as Twitter or LinkedIn, just to share links to things that catch my attention and write a little one- or two-line comment.

And perhaps this is a good idea, and perhaps it’s not. But I thought I’d just mention a few reasons why I’m doing this as opposed to sharing on Twitter or other social networks.

The first is that I want this to be a record (almost permanently) of my life. In next 10 years I can look back and still see some of the things that I shared. For example, the other day I was looking at this article I wrote about Microsoft back in 2009. That’s 10 years ago. And if it wasn’t on my blog, I don’t know where it would be. So it’s a record of what I’ve written that I can always refer back to and search through.

Which leads on to a related reason: 10 years from now, the social networks we are using today – whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn – they probably won’t be around or anywhere near as dominant. Something will have replaced them. So if I just share things there, chances are I won’t even be able to find them in the future. They’ll no longer exist. Whereas here on my blog, they’re always going to be here.

My second reason, is that I like to give a link to sites that I get value from.

If you understand SEO, you’ll know that Google looks at links to sites as an indicator of their value, almost like a thumbs-up or a vote of confidence. On social, those links or shares don’t really carry much weight. I mean, you could say that social shares and engagement does provide a signal to Google, but it’s nowhere near the signal that a link would provide.

So I just want to be doing my part in adding links from the blog here, linking to resources I find useful – and give them a little bit of a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes.

The third reason is around time management – because I try to avoid social. When I go on social and share things, I write my little post and I share it.

But then I get distracted and I’m sucked into the vortex that is the timeline – whether that’s on LinkedIn or Twitter – which is a big distraction and time suck.

And so, by writing it here on my blog, it’s a way of making sure I avoid the newsfeed. I actually avoid a lot of social interaction. It’s just a time suck. It provides no real value to me. As a habit to avoid it, writing here protects me from that.

And then that brings me to the last thing, which is just about feedback.

There’s no Likes. I mean, there are comments on here but there’s no likes or thumbs-up or anything like that. When I share something on Twitter or LinkedIn, I find myself not only caught by the distraction of the newsfeed, but also the going back to check if it got any likes or comments. The dopamine hit. Which isn’t a particularly healthy thing.

Some of the social networks are removing likes from being visibly public, but that’s still available to the person who posted it.

If I just write here on the blog and put it out there, I don’t know who’s really liked or engaged with it. It protects me from craving those vanity feedback mechanisms.

Anyway, that’s a quick overview of why I am blogging, even if it’s just tiny little link-sharing pieces here and there.

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By Craig Bailey