opinion & features
It's a scary new world
Blogs have been around since the earliest days of the internet. From personal diaries to do-it-yourself manuals and yes, even porn. Blogging is a way to express yourself, to share your interests and to rant – for all the world to read. But how can a person choose between the blogging ‘platforms’? How do you know if you should be blogging on Twitter, Tumblr or Livejournal? (Hint: You should not be blogging on Livejournal).
As with pretty much everything else on the Internet, blogging platforms vary widely. Some are just for photos; some are mostly for text; some are a mix of both. The one you use will depend on what you plan to do with it.
One of the newest platforms is Pinterest. Pinterest follows the new model of blogging, which moves away from the traditional diary style and towards the ‘bulletin board’ or ‘pinboard’ idea (which is where its name comes from). It allows you to collect things that interest you, things you like, things you’re curious about and ‘pin’ them to your curated boards. Others can then ‘repin’ your pins. While Pinterest is reputed to be female-dominated, many have compared it to the older, (gay) male dominated, but still relatively new multimedia blog platform, Tumblr.
Tumblr, with its reputation for hosting ‘hipsters’, gratuitous instagram photos of Starbucks cups and of course, porn, has struggled to establish a reputation outside of the teenage demographic. While Tumblr is one of the most user-friendly blogging platforms, it’s much more difficult than others to connect with people who have similar interests. This puts it in the corner of old-style blogs – the diary style, where you write mostly for yourself. Another platform that uses this model is Wordpress. Wordpress is generally thought of as an expert’s platform. It’s easily the most versatile platform, standing in stark contrast to the most popular platforms – Facebook and Twitter. For many people, Wordpress becomes more of a website itself, rather than a blog.
Most people think of Facebook and Twitter as social networks – but think about what Facebook was like when it started, or even two years ago. Over the last few years, both sites have steered more towards blogging and sharing, and less towards networking. For most people, Facebook and/or Twitter do a good job as a platform for their blogging. They allow you to share, create and comment, without the hassle of maintaining a separate online presence. But if you want a dedicated space separate from your ‘social’ life, the dedicated platforms – Tumblr, Wordpress and Blogger (a Google service) have created legions of ‘citizen columnists’ and are eager for you to join in.
- Corey Shefman is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.