Saturday, July 04, 2009
I just finished reading an article by Charles Arthur on the Guardian website that seems to imply blogging is on its way out, the victim of its younger, flashier cousins, Facebook and Twitter. According to a Technorati study quoted in the New York Times as well just 7.4 million of the 133 million blogs in existence were updated in the three months covered. Actually, this sounds about right, as when I think of all the blogs I have set up for myself or others over the last few years most have fallen by the wayside. The result of lack of interest of my part and that of my students.
Ironically, I blog far more frequently on this blog now than in the past, usually finding time to add something most days whereas when I started I doubt if I posted more than once a week, sometimes less. I guess that blogging is not for everyone. If you are interested in keeping in contact with your friends and family then Facebook makes far more sense. Also Twitter is much easier to handle since all you have to do is write no more than a handful of sentences, if that.
I think it was inevitable that blogs, which were some of the first platforms that allowed non - technically minded folk to add stuff to the internet would cede their role to more suitable applications. One size does not fit all and for every person who wants to write a 2000 word op - ed there are hundreds who just want to know what their friends did last night at the party.
Similarly, the whole "wow" factor that goes with any new innovation also wears off and what you're are left with is a tool, which has to be used well if you want to get people's attention. So blogging has become just another way of connecting with others on the web, part of a range of ways of communicating with a wider audience. As a result the initial wave of people starting blogs was never going to be sustainable.
Also I have noticed that the way blogs are being used is changing, origially they were considered to be some kind of diary which I suppose people were meant to keep up for years. Now blogs are being set up for a specific duration, designed to get a message out and then left when no longer needed.
Actually, because we have got over the hype connected with blogs and the whole web 2.0 phase we can now think about much more fundemental questions such as what is it I want to share? Now I guess people are thinking more carefully about what they want to say as opposed to simply stating that they have a presence on the internet. Once again when the technology becomes boring the social implications become fascinating.