Why Blogs Are Dead
“Blogs Are Dead.” Google it and you find it, lots of times. The world of digital media is constantly changing, so blogs are changing too. Every once in a while, some expert tries to be cool by writing an In Memoriam for blogging. Let’s put the critique into perspective. Not all blogs claiming the death of blogs have the same authority. Take for instance this blog post Ganesh Swami wrote in 2005: “Blogs aren’t cool anymore, since every kid happens to have his own.” Besides coolness Swami mentions some more arguments why blogs are dead: linearity, lack of time, non-conformance to standards, immaturity of blogging software, and stagnancy. However, Swami himself is still blogging. Just like all other critics. Wired is still blogging, and so are Robert Scoble, Hugh MacLeod, Andrew Keen, Steve Rubel and any other blog critic. Blogging is dead, long live blogging!
“One trend that bloggers don’t want to talk about? A number of my blogging friends have seen their traffic go down lately. They assume that their readers are off in social networks. I think they are absolutely right.” (Robert Scoble, July 2007)
“Whatever your blogging strategy may be, I personally believe that on average, you’re far better off going off to somewhere like Facebook and building your own social network with like-minded folk, based on your own collective interests, your own collective passions and own collective sense of merit, than loitering around the Blogopshere, waiting for some rockstar like Scoble, Arrington, Cory etc to link to you… and hoping in vain that the latter will somehow transform your life.It won’t. […] The time of the A-List is dead. Thank Christ. Not a moment too soon.” (Hugh MacLeod, July 2007)
“With the rise of MySpace in the last couple of years and now Facebook in 2007, many people aren’t writing personal blogs anymore. Having said that, both Six Apart (with Typepad and Vox) and Automattic (with WordPress.com) are clearly targeting personal – and social – bloggers with their products. So it stands to reason that both of those companies are threatened somewhat by social networks. Although the counter to that is that the overall market pie is growing.” (ReadWriteWeb, July 2007)
“Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it.” (Jason Calacanis, July 2008)
“Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug. Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.” (Paul Boutin in Wired, October 2008)
“As I was walking the dog this morning, I checked Twitter on my phone and saw that it was alive with comments about “the death of blogging.” According to an article in Wired Magazine, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook make blogs look “so 2004″. Oh dear. My response was to go straight home – and write a blog post.” (BBC dot.life, October 2008)
“Is blogging dead? Last year, questioning the future of the iconic weblog would have had me institutionalized. But today, in the face of the dramatic explosion of real-time social media services like Twitter, the future of blogging is far from certain. […] The old static blog is indeed dying. But it’s being resurrected by WordPress as a real-time social media personal portal. The blog is dead; long live the blog.” (Andrew Keen, April 2009)
“I have been giving a lot of thought to what the future looks like for blogging and where it fits in my life. I have no plans to stop, but as more action moves to the statusphere and my world gets more mobile, I have been looking for a new publishing approach. […] Now that I have been at it for over five years, writing a weblog is starting to feel very slow and antiquated. It’s like a singles tennis player who focuses solely on the baseline game, logging long balls back and forth. The statusphere, on other hand, is like playing doubles – and at the net all the time. That’s just one side of the story though. Another part of me feels strongly that in a world of “RTs” and “@s” a thoughtful blog post that adds value is downright refreshing. The right mix is a hybrid.” (Steve Rubel, June 2009)
“Twitter, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Flickr, Posterous, to name a few, can all serve as a blog. If you look at how Robert Scoble and Louis Gray use FriendFeed, they create for more content there than on their blogs. Blogs aren’t dead, they’re just fragmenting. Steve Rubel has always been an early adopter of tools and while he hasn’t been as active on FriendFeed or Twitter as some he has recently fallen in love with Posterous. […] Some people have declared that blogs are dead. Ironically they always do this on their blog.” (New Comm Biz, June 2009)
“Reports of blogging’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Like the last time I addressed this topic, the basic argument is that the rapid growth of Facebook and Twitter has dampened the urge to blog. Since social networking is much easier than creating long-form content, why bother blogging? Chris Brogan delivered the immediate logical response—that while snack-sized social networking content has its place, from a marketing standpoint it only works in conjunction with longer, more thoughtful content. And while blogging veteran Steve Rubel worries about long-form content in a short-attention-span world, he’ll continue to blog—because he knows he has valuable ideas to share that don’t fit in 140 characters.” (Brian Clark on Copyblogger, June 2009)
“Blogging is dying. Actually, no, let me qualify that. The long tail of blogging is dying. […] People are still reading blogs, and other content. But for the creation of amateur content, their heyday for the wider population has, I think, already passed. The short head of blogging thrives. Its long tail, though, has lapsed into desuetude.” (Charles Arthur in The Guardian, June 2009)
“It seems as if blogging is becoming old hat, or at least evolving into something smaller, faster, and more portable. I’m with Louis Gray, I’m not going to give up my blog, instead, I think of it as the hub of content, and the rest of the information I aggregate. To me, joining the conversation is certainly important, but it doesn’t mean the hub (or corporate website) goes away. […] Yes, you should certainly socially pollinate your corporate or blog content to other communities, using tools like sharethis, however these should also be hooks for people to find your content. For me, I’m going to respect the needs of my community, and keep on blogging to distill what I think is important.” (Jeremy Owyang, June 2009)
These are many complementary visions on blogging. What is your vision?