Social-networking sites & blogs have love-children

17 - baby blogs copy.jpg
The mounting buzz around short-form blogging sites Posterous and Tumblr puts a new spin on the blogs v twitter debate; a third way. It’s got me thinking that rather than killing each other, or even co-existing, social networking sites and blogs are actually coming together and making mid-length social blog babies.

Metaphorically I mean, there’s no business deal or sex involved anywhere.

Shortening blogs, lengthening tweets
Suggestions that blogs are shortening comes along with the idea that tweets could lengthen: new service Twitblogs is an near-exact replica of Twitter with the difference that you can extend posts beyond 140 characters.

It seems to be that having stoked the desire for in-depth lengthy posts (blogs) and up-to-the-minute link-tastic chatty random short posts (twitter) – businesses are moving into a middle ground that caters to both.

Follow on after the jump

Tumblr & Posterous the content-octopus
Easy-to-post-to and group-focused Posterous and Tumblr are blogs and social networking tools. You *could* describe them as the love children of Twitter and More Traditional Blogging Platforms. And I will, for the purposes of this article.

Tumblr is more of a social network in that you subscribe to other people’s posts and get their posts. Posterous is more of an amazing hub – stretching its octopus-like arms into all areas of the internet. You can email it your posts, it puts them up directly and it can import and export from just about any other content platform invented.

So, if you plug Posterous into your Twitter account, Facebook updates or even Digg choices it hoovers up all the content you produce in those other places and streams it all out into one super blog composed of bits and pieces of content of varying sorts and sizes.

Once it’s there you can then send it somewhere else. The possibilities are slightly mindboggling.

A content hoover like this diverts a new energy into your blog: you don’t have to go specifically go there to update it. It also provides an archivable web history, so you can go back and see what you said to your sister on MySpace last year.

Similar to the long-tweet/short-blog sites are the Lifestream sites – like FriendFeed – another fruit of the coupling between social networking and blogs.

They stream information from other places – anywhere you put it: Bebo, Blogger, WordPress, Facebook. The difference being that it’s a feed rather than a blog so you can’t log on and post something old style.

I think how well these little hybrids survive depends on whether they’ve genuinely inherited the good qualities of their parents. And of course it just remains to be seen whether people chose to use them, though the buzz around Tumblr/Posterous suggests they will. Otherwise they could just be an evolutionary cul-de-sac on the way to something greater.

Related: 5 reasons Twitter is Killing Blogs & Why People Blog and Why They’ll Keep Doing It.

Useful comparison of Tumblr & Posterous here.