Do blogs still have a crucial role to play in online community building?
My short answer: Yes.
But I’m wondering, what do you think?
I’ve seen some great free-floating discussion of late about whether blogs are still important, and how important. And I’ve noticed that some of my favorite folks in social media aren’t necessarily bloggers.
My thoughts: blogs now share the landscape with many more forms of “new” media, but they are more powerful than they were a few years ago.
Blogs today, if used with a clear strategy and focus, serve as the cornerstone of community building or personal media branding. They are a place to expand on conversations, to pin them down, and to get responses.
Blogs slow things down. They allow you and your readers to take a breath and think a bit. Done right, they are discussions. And not a week goes by where a commenter doesn’t expand my thinking, or do a better job explaining an idea than the original post.
New tools like Twitter and aggregating social networks (FriendFeed, Facebook) make it easier to steer traffic to blogs as well. They serve as a town square for coalescing broader social media efforts, or maybe like a comfy den.
I’ve also advocated tools like Ning networks for community building. They include blogs, which pin down the efforts of individuals within the networks.
Agree, disagree? What’s your take on blogs and their role in social media?