There is talk these days that “blogs are dying” and that “everyone is using Facebook.” Lately I’ve been doing a fair amount of research into needlepoint and what we, as stitchers, read, and I can tell you that it’s just not true.
There are plenty of reasons I’ve discovered why blogs, such as this one, are better than Facebook. Yes, social media of all kinds is great — it’s more interactive, it’s a great place to ask questions, show off your work, and even to indulge in some stash enhancement. Like any other kind of media it has its good points and its bad points. So do blogs.
But I thought that it’s time to talk seriously about what you get from blogs that you won’t find on sites like Facebook.
Blogs Are Permanent
Several years ago you often lost a post because you didn’t read it fast enough. Links weren’t permanent and older information just disappeared. These days most blogs create permanent links so you can always find the information, no matter how old it might be.
That’s important if your blog is a reference site, has historic information, or is an on-line magazine. After all, how many of us keep our old issues of Needlepointers?
If the blog has permanent links, as this one does, the information is there. On Facebook, on the other hand, much of the information scrolls off the page as there are new updates. Did you see a tip you thought was great and want to see it again? Good luck finding it unless you bookmarked it on a page other than your feed.
I’ve lost tons of information this way and now I go through hoops and make notes when I see info so I can save stuff. Finding stuff on blogs is much easier.
Blogs Are Searchable
Going hand-in-hand with being permanent, most blogs are searchable. In fact often they have a search box near the top of the screen, as this one does. If a blog has lots of information you can get many hits but the information you seek is there.
I’ve come to rely on the searches to find information all the time for you. I use it to answer your questions, to check information, and to repost old content.
Have you tried searching for something on Facebook? The search function is designed entirely to help you find people or companies, not information. Try searching for something where you don’t know the name but do know the topic. The chances are very good you won’t find it.
On blogs not only do you have the search box but you have other ways to find information. You can find it by looking at categories or if you know when you saw it you can search by date. This lets you find specific information no matter how old it is. Try finding something from a few days ago in your Facebook feed. Unless people have commented on it, or it is in a not-very-active group, you probably won’t find it.
Blog Posts Can Be as Long as Needed
Has this ever happened to you? You are writing something and want to make a new paragraph. You hit the return key. Facebook thinks you’re finished and posts it.
To say what you want to say you can either make several posts or one long paragraph. Neither makes the information easy to follow.
Blog posts are easy-to-read, they can be long or short, depending on the topic. They can be formatted with headings, lists, in-stream pictures, and bold type to make them easier and faster to read. These tools allow you to get and understand the information in a way that makes sense for you.
Anyone Can Read a Blog
Hardly a week goes by where I don’t see a complaint about Facebook. They change privacy policies constantly. They post content they “think” you might like to your feed. They give you advertisements as content. If you run a business they try to sell you things so it’s your ads that bother people.
And if you are not a member you can’t see anything at all. This is true for Facebook as a whole and for most groups. If I object, as many do, I’m locked out of this platform.
Contrast blogs. Unless they are on a membership site, the minority, anyone can read. You don’t have to give your name or email, you don’t have to join up, the blog writer doesn’t have an agenda that affects you. You are free to read and use the information. Blogs want you to read them and they make this easy to do. Facebook wants to sell you stuff.
You Can Read Blogs in Many Ways
Yes I know it’s a new media age and we can all look at Facebook on our phones. But Facebook is counting on you always being connected to them. Their constant scrolling feed is evidence of that. But what if I don’t want to be jacked in constantly (and I don’t)? I risk losing information unless I get notifications and then they don’t always show up.
The blog is there when I want to read it, just waiting for me. It’s accessible from many different platforms. You can go to the blog directly. You can subscribe to my summary email to see what’s there (sent every other day). You can subscribe via email. You can read in a RSS feed (linked to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more for many blogs). You can read it through a blog reader. Most WordPress blogs (the best & most popular platform) are accessible from that smart phone, just like Facebook.
Blogs aren’t dead. The offer a wealth of great information available to all. That doesn’t mean you should chuck your Facebook account and only read blogs. But blogs give you in-depth information you can read when, where, and how you want to. I’m finding more and more blogs that I check regularly with more and more great information to delight my heart and feed my mind. I hope you do too.