Blogs are out of beta, but bloggers should always be in beta


Steve Rubel on how social networking sites and lifestreams are the next indicated thing.

The image above is one of the most important graphics I have ever seen. In fact I stare at it every day on my desktop to remind me that a) there will always be shifts in media and b) one format never supersedes another.

The blog is at a critical stage in its evolution. Blogs are out of beta. Blogs are the new normal. Everything is a blog. So what’s next? Well, the format will indeed evolve into something new. I believe it will be the stream. Yet lots of folks this week are defending the blog like it’s sacrosanct and untouchable.

The protests after the Iran elections shows how powerful social networking sites can be. The real news came from Twitter and Facebook, with every other media source lagging far behind. Not only is it easy to post to social networking sites from cell phones, they can reach far more people way faster than can blogs and websites.

Blogs are out of beta but bloggers, as pioneers, should always in beta seeking to grow and advance our beloved format, rather than be complacent. I am surprised that more of us aren’t asking what’s next for the almighty blog – and I am interested in your thoughts on this subject.

Just like traditional news media and websites got blindsided by blogs (as witness them howling now about how Obama asked HuffPo a question at a press conference, imagine, a blog invaded their turf. Oh the indignity), blogs in turn may not see the next wave, that of social networking, coming.

The image is from, who has a must-read post about it. Highlights include:

2009 – Everything is Social

The new internet is completely dominating our world. The newspapers are dead in the water, and people are watching less TV than ever. The new king of information is everyone, using social networking tools to connect and communicate.

Even the traditional website is dying from the relentless force of the constant stream of rich information from the social networks.

The Future

The first and most dramatic change is the concept of Social News. Social news is quickly taking over our need for staying up-to-date with what goes on in the world. News is no longer being reported by journalists, now it comes from everyone. And it is being reported directly from the source to you – bypassing the traditional media channels.

But social news is much more than that. It is increasingly about getting news directly from the people who makes it.

2020 – Traditional is dead

In the next 5-10 years, the world of information will change quite a bit. All the traditional forms of information are essentially dead. The traditional printed newspapers no longer exists, television in the form of preset channels is replaced by single shows that you can watch whenever you like. Radio shows is replaced podcasts and vodcasts.

That this process will destroy existing industries and businesses while creating new ones is a given. Those who are nimble and able to morph and change will thrive. Those who insist on making a stand where they are may find the ground eroding out from under them.

The websites have a much lesser role, as their primary function will be to serve as a hub for all the activities that you do elsewhere. It is the place where people get the raw material for use in other places. And the websites and social networks will merge into one. Your website and blog is your social profile.

This isn’t just for the privileged few in wealthier parts of the world either. There is currently an explosion of smart cell phone usage all over the planet. They may not have a PC at home. But with smart cell phones, they can blog, post to social networking sites, create lifestreams – and report news as it happens from where they are.