Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blogging Is Dead

Blogging is dead. In a lot of ways, it really is. Yet, at the same time, more people are blogging then ever, in both the traditional sense and with the rise of microblogging platforms like Twitter and Facebook status updates.

But the old-fashioned blogging died the instant blogging became profitable, or at least helped make other things profitable. In the ancient era prior to 2007 or so, blogs had something special that no other media had. Nobodies were somebody. Blogging was a hobby, not a career, and you were paid in respect, admiration, and influence.

The problem, if it is a problem, is not that nobody does the good old-fashioned blogging anymore. The problem is that nobody cares. I'm being slightly facetious here; of course some people care. Even the lowliest blog with semi-regular updates has a few dozen followers. But this is all lost beneath the influence of the blogging industry. If Technorati still means anything, look at the top ten blogs: all are professional, and most are corporate, with the sole exception of Boing Boing at the time of this post. Boing Boing remains one of my favorite blogs, but even it isn't quite good old-fashioned anymore. It's a business that makes a substantial revenue for its bloggers through advertising. It's still good old-fashioned in spirit, but certainly not in operation.

All is far from lost, however. I am certain that in terms of actual numbers, far more people blog today than ever did in the good old days, especially outside the US and Europe. I confess freely to reading and enjoying large numbers of professional and/or corporate blogs, and I follow celebrities of Twitter (of both "real" famous and "net" famous varieties). But I also go out of my way to read the obscure stuff, and it's all still there. People are still plugging away, sharing new ideas and viewpoints, if you dig past the first page of Google results or down the Twitter lists past the top hits.

We had a taste, from about 2000-07, of a world where the average person's opinion could be as important and disseminated as any news anchor, columnist, or author. The only way to keep that magic alive is to do it. Maybe its harder to rise above the corporate money today, but if you keep saying what needs to be said, someone will hear it. At least I hope so.

No comments:

Post a Comment