Saturday, January 2, 2016

Blogs as websites - a cautionary tale

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
I know this is a bad time to say this, especially when so many bloggers are turning their blogs into websites, but - sadly - as someone who is involved in both blogging and communication at large, I truly see no point in such an endeavor.
Let me explain: The purpose of a proper website is to be a vessel for a product, whatever that product is. This, at base, does not fit with the whole notion of a blog supposed to bring in constant updates from a specific person. Now, please do not confuse a home address linked to a blog, with a full-fledged website. An address is simply that, a blog being dressed up with a domain name. A full website, on the other hand. is pointless, simply because the audience of a blog comes from "here and now" and the "archives".
The here and now are simply people who have bookmarked your site, or follow you on social media where you spread your hyperlinks. In the Lebanese blogosphere it could be traffic coming from Lebanese Blogs as well. For this audience what matters is your latest post, or if you are jumping into the fray of a conversation or touching on the topic du jour. They will find you anyhow.
Now, for the "archives" and being someone who has 9 years of stuff online, I can tell you that people get to them mainly by google searches of specific items "riwayat abir" "vintage nestle ad" and so on. They bring in, for my case at least, thousands of visitors a month, for the simple reason that you cannot be online and be stingy. So my generosity is rewarded by the huge amount of traffic on my blog(s).
Bottom line, in both cases - current info or archives - no website is needed for a blog. All those sections and subsections and whatever you do with your techie and arrange visually with someone who knows graphics mean zilch. Because blogs as websites simply do not work as medium. But if you insist on paying the big bucks to someone, all the best to you.