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What’s next for blogging? Looking Beyond Tumblr

Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1 billion but since then the blogging platform has faded and lost some of it’s glory by not offering new features and tools.

It’s not surprising that Yahoo! bought Tumblr.com for $1 billion. Yahoo! has always been a traffic fanatic. If you get a lot of traffic,Yahoo gets excited and wants to buy you out. Need proof? It’s the same company that bought Geocities for several billion dollars. That is not a typographical error; that is “B” as in boy and billion, not million. We’re talking ten figures. That’s right, Yahoo! bought Geocities, one of the clunkiest free websites and free webpage builder sites on the internet for several billion dollars, crazy. You might say that Yahoo! is crazy for buying Tumblr but when you look at Tumblr, the purchase is not as crazy as you would think. Tumblr offered bloggers a solution. The problem that bloggers had is two-fold, they’re looking for content and then they are looking for traffic. Their problem is not finding a platform where they can publish stuff online, that’s a problem that Geocities and other copycat websites solved a long time ago.

The problem now is content and traffic. If you own a website or you’re trying to make money off the internet, you would know fully well that these are the two classic problems of anyone trying to make money online. If you don’t have any traffic, you’re not going to make any money and it really is that simple. However, there is a corollary to that if you don’t have any content, chances are you won’t get any traffic. If you don’t get any traffic again, the iron rule kicks in-you don’t make any money so these are nterrelated issues and there are other blog platforms that came and went to try to solve these issues. Tumblr was a blog platform that pioneered a convincing answer, it can deliver both traffic and content. How? You can read blogs or other people’s content, you can basically borrow their content and based on Tumblr’s rules, that is perfectly okay. You can also get traffic from the Tumblr network; whenever somebody goes into Tumblr and checks out different blogs, there’s chance that they can click and visit your blog. As a result, Tumblr solution really took off that’s why it had so many bloggers using it and had so many readers that Yahoo! snapped it up.

Tumblr’s solutions getting old

As awesome as Tumblr was several years ago, it’s not as awesome now. It looks kind of static. Many of its users think it’s quite boring and also, another drawback to Tumblr is that there really is no communication between the blogger and the visitor besides the standard comments section and other tried and proven blog communication elements. Tumblr is missing in action in terms of turning temporary traffic into a semi-permanent tool of fans.

SETT, email, and engagement

If you want to engage your blog’s visitors, you really need to get a hold of them. You can’t be passive and just wait for them to knock on your door and enjoy your content. You can put out your RSS feed and they could see notifications when you update your blog but everybody has an RSS feed and in fact, large chuck of internet users don’t even use RSS feeds to find content. So what do you do? SETT and other similar blog platforms offer email collection as a form of building engagement with your audience. While you can technically use Blogger.com or WordPress.com and install code that collects email addresses, SETT has email collection built in. This is a major step forward because once you get somebody to give you his email, you get his permission to send him messages. In other words, you have successfully turned what otherwise be temporary internet traffic into a semi-permanent pool of buyers, ad clickers or anything you want. You have this captive pool of people that you can communicate with so that they can help you get what you want and that hopefully, you can help them get what they want. That’s the power of regeneration and that’s a step forward with SETT.

The next frontier: mixing content syndications, content origination and traffic?

Tumblr’s model had a lot of things going through because people were able to reblog other people’s content and syndicate that content. In other words, we can generate more traffic using other people’s content. The next stage in blogging would probably mix contents syndication similar to the model used by Tumblr then tweak it so that it feeds into the creation of original content and by creating a hybrid solution between these two, there would be traffic generated. The truth of the matter is, the blogging game is far from settled. The bundle of problems that bloggers have may have been solved by previous blogging platforms but those problems have morphed and evolved into different forms. Problems never really disappear, they just change forms. So, it’s going to be quite interesting how the next frontier of blogging will look based on what we’ve learned from Tumblr.

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