Are blogs obsolete?

Several people commented on the previous post about the statement I made that I had to beg and cajole people to submit names for this blog after the first post. One questioned, are blogs now obsolete? Are there just too many of them to be able to get any attention?

I don’t think blogs are obsolete, any more than I think websites are obsolete. Yes, there are newer tools, and yes, there are a million of them (both websites AND blogs). There are also millions and millions (and millions) of Facebook pages for worthy causes, things to like, businesses, and very silly things.

My Facebook “likes” list contains (among many others) the following:

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • One Book-One Community Green Bay
  • The Onion
  • I’m with Coco
  • Journey Jewels
  • Wisconsin Public Radio
  • Green Bay Wisconsin
  • Electric Car
  • the ARTgarage
  • The Amazing Race
  • 75% Of the Earth Is Covered in Water, the Rest is Covered by Charles Woodson
  • Can this poodle with a tinfoil hat get more fans than Glenn Beck?

That may just show you what an strange personality I have, but I suspect that most of you reading this have a similarly eclectic list. But here’s an interesting fact: when I went on Facebook to compile a list of “likes” for this post, there were at least 25 things that I didn’t remember were on my list. I liked them, but they apparently didn’t like me back, because I never see their posts in my newsfeed or get messages from them.

If you are using a Facebook page, or a blog, or even a website, to help market an arts organization, that can’t be the end of the story. If you don’t tell people about them, encourage people to come, and provide some reason for them to do so, they will just sit there among the piles of other forgotten social media. These tools (especially websites and blogs) are “pull media,” meaning that people need to come to them, as opposed to “push media” which goes to your customers. Most pull media needs to be paired with at least a little push in order to (as they say in the biz) drive traffic to your site.

In lay terms, this means that you can’t just have a website, you have to let people know that the website is there. You can’t just have a blog — that is, if you want people to actually read it. If you don’t market social media, it becomes broadcast media — a one way conversation into the void.

So, I will continue to bribe, beg, cajole, post on Facebook, announce in classes, and otherwise promote the blog. It’s working pretty well so far.

Oh…and for my students, the answer is “Target Dog.”


About Ellen Rosewall

I am Professor and Chair of Arts Management and author of Arts Management: Uniting Arts and Audiences in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 2013). I believe that arts and culture are undergoing a profound change in the 21st century, and I love talking with people about how we continue to bring arts to our communities and individuals give the brave new world of social media, technology and economic changes. Join the conversation!
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7 Responses to Are blogs obsolete?

  1. Sherri says:

    Llama llama.

  2. Margaret Burton says:

    For the Target Market? Ruff ruff.

  3. Mark Zirbel says:

    As a writer who is plugging away on his first novel, the push-pull model you described makes sense. A fledgling artist like me, who lacks an agent and publisher, can generate interest through a Facebook page – the “push” side. A conventional website (“pull” media), with “teaser” book excerpts, can also publicize the novel, though it requires efforts such as linking to social media or slipping the URL to interested parties in order to attract people. In mid-project, I am having a degree of success with a mixed push-pull approach, with a number of readers and publishers finding me…and being found by me!

  4. Anni says:

    Blogs are just another tool in the clever manager’s toolbox. I think a blog should be treated like a press release……. send out a message when there’s something interesting to say. Like every other way of getting info out, blogging has a valid place. I know there are a lot of people out there who spend hours and hours on Facebook and elsewhere offering up their opinions and schedules, lunch menus and details of their morning run. I don’t have that kind of time and, forgive me, don’t really care, so have been trained to blow by the info those folks send out. Am I missing interesting stuff from them? Probably. Bottom line = don’t send out posts just because. Send posts when something interesting is going on, or about to, or demands instant response.

  5. gerrigribi says:

    I hope blogs aren’t obsolete…I finally got myself signed up for YOURS!


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