Photo by Jim Frazier
Blogging Is Dead
I’m sure many of you have read about the “death of blogging”. Every time a new web communication tool or publishing format comes out, the poor old blog takes a beating. The more hip the new tools are, the more predictions are written about blogging’s imminent extinction.
All the arguments have been valid: Blogs are less “personal”, they’re big business, they’re too competitive, etc. It makes sense to conclude that new social networking tools like Twitter fill the void of what blogs “used to be” about. If you want to establish an online presence and spark conversations with people, a blog should be your last consideration for achieving this.
I agree in some cases with these arguments, but only when I’m agreeing with the definition the author of the argument gives of what blogging is. Blogs are so many different things, for so many different people. That’s the biggest problem these theories of the “death of blogging” have. They’re defining something that doesn’t have a universal agreement of what it truly is. I wrote about this a while ago.
A Little History
The link at the top takes you to seven Delicious bookmarks I’ve tagged BloggingIsDead. I’m starting to collect them. I’m sure there are more, but these seven are the most recent. If you look closely, the popularity of the “Death of the Blog” meme started with Jason Calacanis in July 11, 2008. He never said that blogging was dead, but from that moment on millions of “bloggo pundits” started asking what this could mean. Because if Jason Calacanis can’t handle the pressure of “blogging superstardom”, than who can right?
If you keep following the trail of links in the order they were published you can see that the obituary of blogging wasn’t written overnight. The conclusion was reached naturally, but slowly. At first it was about how blogs have lost their “personal” nature. Then how microblogging and lifestreaming connects people better.
The most controversial was the Wired article that just flat out recommends not starting a blog. From the article:
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.
It’s a reasonable argument, but I don’t think I could express what I’m saying in this post any other way than a blog post. More importantly, I have a better chance at being understood. Something like a Twitter update on the other hand, is more likely to be misunderstood.
To come full circle, I’m going to leave you with a quote of what Seth Godin wrote about in his post titled Death of the personal blog?:
Personal blogs aren’t going anywhere, though. There’s a difference between a blog about YOU (I call this a cat blog) and a blog about the reader. Guy Kawasaki’s blog, and my blog for that matter, are not about us, about what we ate yesterday or how great we are. They are about you, the reader.
I guess there’s an easy analogy:
Your blog could be like a newspaper (written by a staff)
or it could be like a book (written by an author)
9 times out of 10, newspapers outsell books. No surprise. But they’re different. And we need both.