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Thinking Beyond Blogging: The Future Of Digital Publishing

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by David Garland in David's Blog

Thinking Beyond Blogging: The Future Of Digital PublishingWhen you hear the word “blogging”, what do you think?

Depending on who you ask, you might be surprised with the answers.

For example, here are some of the things I’ve heard:

  • Blogging is about teens talking about their feelings and Justin Bieber.
  • Corporate blogging is all about companies bragging about how awesome they are.
  • Blogs are for people that just rant about anything and everything.
  • Blogs can only “look” one way and are confined to only text options.
  • Blogs can be video based.
  • Blogs can’t be video based.
  • Blogs are amazing and life-changing.
  • Blogs are stupid.
  • Blogs are anything published online, including big sites like Mashable and Techcrunch.
  • Blogs have to be small with only one author.
  • Blogs can make money directly and indirectly.
  • Blogs can’t make money directly and indirectly.

Yikes. Confusing?

Here is the interesting thing. Like everything, blogging is evolving. And that is a good thing. And a great opportunity for people (and companies) with passion, creativity, and drive. People that can look beyond just talking about themselves (as well as products and services).

Think about how much has changed in the past 10 years.

First, getting text online was a struggle and early blogging software took an uber-geek to figure out. Video and audio? Forget about it. Not even an option until pioneers such as Steve Garfield got out their science kits and figured it out (thank you pioneers).

Now the ability to create has essentially been democratized. Anyone can become a publisher. This doesn’t mean everyone will be successful at it, but the opportunity to spread ideas is no longer limited (as we know) to traditional media with fancy gatekeepers (usually old white guys with pleated pants) or the super-tech-geeks who figured it out first (note: I love the tech geeks…without them the path would not exist).

More and more people are online in some capacity. It might be via computer, phone, or tablet. And these people (including you and me) are interested in a wide variety of content, ranging from sports teams, fashion, dance, dogs, the list is endless and not just confined to things that “did well” online in the past (such as technology blogs and technology-focused content). And with this comes tremendous opportunity to build a unique platform.

While of course I don’t have a secret crystal ball hidden under my computer (however, if you have one…can I borrow it?), I will predict that the future of digital publishing will be massively diverse and go well beyond just blogging. We are still early in the digital publishing game. The ship is not gone yet, there is still time to jump on.

Will blogging continue to exist? Absolutely. And that is a great thing. I love great bloggers such as Tim Ferriss, Jonathan Fields, and Chris Guillebeau (although I would argue they are all digital publishers as they combine video, text, and more…but that is a whole other topic). But, the way I see it is sort of like blogging is the father. And now there are all kinds of kids growing into their own with their own personalities, etiquette, experiences, and more with their own vision of digital publishing.

Who are some of these “kids”?

Gary Ardnt (upcoming guest) is using a combination of photography, podcasting, and articles to take us all on a trip around the world with him on Everything-Everywhere.

Michael Stelzner, who has created an “online magazine” full of social media tips at Social Media Examiner (which he talks all about in this interview).

The White Collar Brawlers who have created a web series about quitting their day jobs to become boxers (they told us why in this interview) and now have rabid fans following them worldwide.

Gregory Ng who has created a web show and business all centered around eating frozen food (check out his interview).

Ishita Gupta who is publishing Fear.Less…an inspired, downloadable online magazine (her interview can be found here).

The takeaway?

Now not only can we be bloggers, but we can be online web TV stars, magazine publishers, radio hosts, and create other forms of living, interactive, and interesting publishing art.

The question is, are you ready to make the commitment and tap into the this amazing digital publishing world head first like Gary, Michael, The While Collar Brawlers, Gregory, and Ishita?

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