The last few days have seen a higher then usual number of Gloom and Doom posts proclaiming that “Blogging is Dead” and the “Golden Age” of blogging has come to end. A few people even think that blogs have been dead so long they are ripe for a retro-comeback. Discounting the general web fixation of declaring things “Dead” every so often (Bon Jovi anyone?), is it true? Is blogging dead? The main post I’m referring to is from Jeremiah Owyang. The 2nd post is a response to that from Brian Solis and for good measure here is one from Mark Evans.
No. Not only is blogging still very much alive, it’s far from “Living on a Prayer”. Blogging might appear to have taken up residence in the digital hospice, but that’s just because blogging has become the norm. It is an accepted, integral part of the web. More people read and write blogs then ever before, so how can it be on life support?
Many pundits are declaring blogging “dead” because it is no longer the newest, hippest kid on the block. That’s certainly true. If you examine who the people writing the eulogies for the blog are, they are overwhelmingly tech reporters. To a tech reporter, a blog is old news. They’ve been around forever, don’t have the exciting, shiny new start-up street credibility or cache of being the new kid on the block anymore. There isn’t much of a story there for a tech reporter. In the tradition of great reporters throughout the ages, when there is no story…make one up!
Blogs have become one of the main components of the internet. They are a standard, accepted backbone of the web . The other 99.9% of the web audience who aren’t tech writers realizes that a good chunk of their news, reviews, opinions and media are consumed via blogs. Blogs are so much a part of the web landscape today, that readers just see them as “websites”, not as a wholly separate entity and writing format.
The shifting nature of what a blog actually is, plays a big part in the perception some have that they are “dead”. BoingBoing. TechCrunch. Mashable. MetaFilter. Slashdot. When you think of these sites, do you think of a dying medium? Certainly not, All of these sites bring in massive amounts of traffic, regularly break news and interesting stories and have large and engaged user communities. Each of these sites is also most certainly a blog. This is the point of contention. While all of these sites are blogs, most readers just think of them as “websites” or “news sites”. The definition of what we think of as a blog has changed. A blog is no longer an overly long, scrolling page with spinning HTML stars where a 13 year old goth girl reprints Cure lyrics and discusses her depression to an audience of 8 unique viewers per day. Many of the most popular, and most respected “news” sites, are blogs.
Either way you look at it, it’s a game of semantics and definitions. Whether we choose to call a site like Mashable a blog, or something else, is at the heart of things, unimportant. The site, and its brethren are alive and kicking. The blog is not dead, it has just gone through a name change in some cases and a perception change in others. Blogs have become such a dominant force on the web, that we no longer separate them out from the other sites out there. This is an excellent thing, and a more potent argument for blogs being alive and well. So to all the writers out there, declaring the Death of Blogging, I have one question to ask. Where did you publish that article declaring the blog is dead? I thought so…