Trump’s failed blog proves he was just howling in the void

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Former president and Former “king of social media” Donald Trump decided this week Turn off Because of his poor readership, he blogged a month ago.According to one analysis after This Washington post, The interaction between Twitter and Facebook and the blog From the Desk of Donald J. Trump dropped from a peak of 159,000 interactions on the first day to less than 30,000 interactions on the second day, and there have been no more than 15,000 interactions on any day thereafter.Trump is Report The decision to close the blog was because he believed that the low number of readers made him seem small and irrelevant.

How could a person who had more than 80 million followers on Twitter before being banned and still a central figure in Republican politics could write a blog that is so insignificant in the contemporary media environment?according to Forbes, Trump’s blog generates less traffic than pet adoption site Petfinder and food site Eat This Not That.

The answer to underperformance lies in the inevitable dynamics of how today’s online media ecosystem works and how viewers participate in online content.Many of us who study media have long distinguished “Push” the media and “pull” the media. Traditional broadcast television is a classic “push” media, in which in addition to flipping channels, users can stream multiple content to the user’s device with very little effort. In contrast, the Internet was originally a typical “pull” media, and users often need to actively search to find content they are interested in. Search engines and knowing how to navigate them effectively are at the core of locating the most relevant content online.TV is a “tilted” medium for “passive” users, while the Internet, we tell, It is a kind of “forward-leaning” media where users are “active”. Although these generalizations are no longer tenable, this distinction is instructive for thinking about why Trump’s blog failed so much.

In a highly distributed network environment, with millions of websites to choose from, generating traffic is a challenge. This is why early web startups spent millions of dollars on Splashy Super Bowl ads In the old radio and television, it is basically the use of push media to notify and encourage people to pull their online content.

Then social media helps Transform the network From pulling media to pushing media. As platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have generated a large number of user groups, rolling news feeds have been introduced, and more and more complex algorithmic systems have been developed to plan and recommend the content in these news feeds. They have become an important means of aggregating online attention. Users evolve or shift from active searchers to passive scrollers, clicking on any content placed in front of them by their friends, family, and the platform’s news feed algorithm.This caused the still relevant chorus “If news is important, it will find me.” Ironically, when it started as a typical pull media, social media users may have reached an unprecedented degree of passiveness in media consumption.The “couch potato” leaning back turned into a hump “Smartphone Zombie.”

The failure of Trump’s blog tells us that even the kind of impassioned political extremists that form the core of Trump’s support have their passive and social media-dependent media consumption patterns so ingrained that traditional blogs are not accompanied by them. The algorithm for generating social media accounts is magnified, and it is impossible to obtain a fraction of the online engagement that a single tweet can achieve. Even the most open public figures cannot get rid of the platform dependence that largely determines the distribution of online audiences’ attention. Without direct access to social media audience gathering and magnification tools, Trump’s blog cannot gain attention, and then maybe nothing can be done.

The failure of Donald Trump’s blog once again shows that the platform giants have tremendous power over the content we consume. But it reminds us that we have the responsibility to voluntarily transfer this power to them, and enthusiastically embrace the network’s push model rather than pull. Finally, we can look back at the failure of Trump’s blog, which is the final and clear nail in the coffin of the original network model and the concept of “active” Internet users.


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