It’s been a month since Donald Trump launched his blog, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” and the blog is already no longer. The blog—if you can even call it that—has been removed from the site completely. The blog was reportedly part of a strategy to get around his permanent bans from social media. According to the Washington Post, Trump’s “effort to regain some of the attention he received with his headline-grabbing tweets largely failed.”
An adviser told The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey that the former president wanted to open a new “platform” and didn’t like that this platform was being mocked and had so few readers. The individual spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly about Trump’s plans.
“It was just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on,” [Trump spokesman Jason] Miller told CNBC, which first reported the news. “Hoping to have more information on the broader efforts soon, but I do not have a precise awareness of timing.”
Look, I’m going to be honest here, it’s not a surprise the blog failed. The site had two main faults: No means of engagement, and no exclusive content.
When the site launched, users had no ability to post comments, and at least once when I visited, the sharing buttons (which were only offered for the Big Tech social media platforms) didn’t work. But, even if users had had the ability to post comments it wouldn’t have mattered, since none of the content was exclusive to the site. When the site launched, it quickly became clear to anyone who is on Trump’s media list that the same public statements that the media was getting and reporting on (us included) were coming to our email inboxes already. Why did we need to go to the blog?
The answer: we didn’t.
So, what’s the point of visiting a blog where anything newsworthy being shared there was already being pushed to his media list? Trump’s mailing list, which I assume is substantial in size, didn’t even point people to the blog to use as a linkable source for his public statements.
Even the most diehard of Trump fans had no incentive to be repeat visitors of “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.” It was a glorified archive of press releases that offered visitors nothing more beyond that. In light of reports that Trump is building his own social media platform, this blog was just underwhelming.
The fact is, his press releases were already serving as his alternative sounding board. Maybe he doesn’t have Twitter or Facebook anymore, but when his press releases go out, they get reported on. The blog, absent any real community-driven platform, was always unnecessary.
While many in the media are exaggerating the importance of “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” it appears that it wasn’t the promised new social media platform Trump is reportedly building. The media conflated the two, and Jason Miller appeared to allude to that in his statement to the Washington Post.
So, we’ll just have to wait and see what’s coming from Trump, and hope it’s better.