LinkedIn announces ability to “follow”

Will self-hosted blogs become a thing of the past?

Are you seeing the new patterns in digital publications as platforms fight to win eyeballs? They are expanding to become more like personal blogging platforms which could mean a replacement of many self-hosted blogs.

I first saw the idea from Google+ adopter +MikeElgan. He ditched his blog platform and began to use Google+ because it allows for expanded posts with rich media. He’s setup automated feeds to connect his G+ to his complete audience so that he sources his information in one spot. This works good for getting content indexed but works bad if Google decides to ditch G+ (which I don’t think will happen).

+MikeElgan on Google+

Now this from LinkedIn announcing the ability to follow individuals as well as expanding the ability to publish longer and more feature rich content. LinkedIn has been adding more content to their services lately in the form of recommended news articles, blog posts, etc. This move sounds like using LinkedIn as a Blog platform to me, where many people have already established a circle of connections (and soon to be followers). It will position LinkedIn as a major player in content in addition to the professional connection and networking services.

These trends certainly make me stop and think. The idea of using a larger platform does reduce complexity and overhead associated with maintenance of the platform. But it also means losing control of layout, content, etc.

The advantage is that the platforms may have an audience established by connections. So it’s relevant. It keeps publishing simple. So it’s practical.

What do you think?