Blog -Reading Revolution!

Just before Christmas I read a report from the Pew Research Center that suggested to me that blogs start becoming less important, not exactly cheering news as I had just started one but unsurprising as I’d already wondered if blog reading wouldn’t be dead already if it wasn’t for links being shared via Facebook and Twitter!

But just 6 short months later I find myself reading (and sharing!) more blogs from more places than ever before.

So what’s changed?

Well for me there have been several things. First I got an iPad, not in itself earth shattering, but the sheer lightness and mobility of it combined with a screen big enough to read means I am much happier to be online in my leisure time. Which in turn means I am seeing more updates with links to interesting looking blogs!

Then I added apps such as Mashable, TechCrunch and AllThingsDigital so I was coming across more posts, but these were still from limited sources, in some senses these blogs are more like online magazines with definite editorial stances and these days so big that they have become part of the establishment.

I still read these and still share links to great posts from them, but recently I downloaded an app called Zite ( http://www.zite.com/ )on the recommendation of a friend (thanks Andy Merrill!) and this has expanded my blog reading no end!

What Zite bills itself as is a ‘personalised magazine’. It allows you to pick as many or as few sections as you like from its list and even to use keywords to create your own sections. Then it goes out and trawls the Internet looking for content to populate your magazine with.

The magazine is beautifully presented, every story has a headline, picture and the same font but they are laid in a variety of size and position.

This is great but it gets better … The more you interact with Zite the more tailored to your needs it becomes. Every time you read a story you can quickly rate it afterwards with a thumbs up or down and you can also say if you’d like to read more from either the blog or that particular author. Of course you also have the options right there to share the posts you are reading too.

What I love most about Zite is that it finds posts that I probably couldn’t find, and it does not trawl only sites from the U.S! In fact I was thrilled a couple of weeks ago when it presented me with a blog post written by a friend of mine. Peter Masters (or @marketingm8) is a great guy who teaches people in the construction industry how to use social media and he lives less than 20 miles from me. Seeing a blog from my home county opened my eyes to just how extensively Zite looks for articles and reassured me that content was more important to them than fame.

As a blogger that lives in the back of beyond in the UK I suddenly felt like we were on the map! And that anything was possible! It reminded me that all these other blogs I’ve been reading were written by people just like me, I suppose it gave me back the feeling of community that seemed to be missing from blogs recently.

Because of Zite I am discovering a vast array of well written thought-provoking blog posts. Long live the bloggers and long live Zite!

http://www.zite.com/

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About GemLThompson

Gemma Thompson is the author of the best-selling “The British Book of Social Media Marketing”. She is a full time social media consultant and loves helping businesses grow. When she’s not working she can often be found watching Dr Who with her teenage daughter or indulging in a spot of inept D.I.Y (but no, she still hasn’t managed to make her house bigger on the inside than it is on the outside!)
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4 Responses to Blog -Reading Revolution!

  1. Dorien Morin says:

    Thanks Gemma! Never heard of it before but on your recommendation went to check it out. Zite sounds so cool. Now I need an IPad! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  2. Pingback: - CONSTRUCTION MARKETING UK BLOG

  3. This is a great article and I’m not just saying that because I got a mention.

    I immediately put this onto StumbleUpon which gives me so much blog traffic it is unreal, more than Twitter & Facebook combined! It is now on Digg, Facebook, LinkedIn and I’ll add more too!

    I’ve met quite a few local Social media people recently, mainly through Empire Avenue, it’s great to have local connections!

    Thank you Gemma, I’m grateful for the mention.

    Very best regards, Peter

  4. Tracy Wilkinson says:

    As always, Gemma, you have shared your experience in such a way that engages me, takes me with you as I relate to your experience, describes what I am thinking before I have even worked it out, and then for a bonus you point me in the direction of an idea, product, service or marketing tool which will enhance my working life. And you achieve all this with a friendly, personable style. Fantastic and thank you.

    I’m delighted to be introduced to Zite and will certainly be looking into it now, particularly as you recommend it.

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