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Has blogging run it’s course?

February 25, 2011

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”

blog

Are  Facebook and Twitter killing blogs?   I heard the relevance of blogging questioned at work today for the first time since about 2006.   The question used to be whether blogging mattered.  Now the question seems to be whether blogging still matters.  I’ll confess that I really hadn’t given it much thought.   There does seem to be a trend toward social interaction forms that require less.   Less time.  Less complexity.  Less thought.

But the new interaction styles brought about by Facebook and Twitter offer more.    More volume – 500 Million people?  More interaction – more friends, more likes, more quick comments.  More velocity – the wall flows like a river.  Here today, gone and forgotten tomorrow.  No search persistence, but do we care?   Probably not because the content didn’t require a lot of thought or effort, but it made a fast impression.

Twitter is like that too.    Hemingway would have loved twitter.     The 140 character limitation forces you to distill your message down to it’s critical essence and some tweets are truly artful while delivering their message with punch.

Facebook and Twitter seem optimized for an increasingly mobile digital world of people who increasingly want to create, share, and consume information impressions.   Short phrases.  Pictures.  Videos.

Has blogging truly run it’s course?

I hope not.

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2011 8:00 am

    Some years down the line,people will start predicting that news papers will no longer be available (If tablets become affordable that is 😉 ) Blogs are the only platform for expressing our thoughts, and since they are SEO friendly they will stay in their own league

  2. Gavin permalink
    February 25, 2011 2:14 pm

    Hi Mark — I don’t think there’s any question the landscape for the written word has changed and will continue to change. As my workmates will attest, I frequently yammer on about the death of the attention span or the obvious evidence that the complete sentence is beginning to walk the plank. But I’ve actually gotten less cynical about this in the last couple years.

    My take is this: those of us from old-school journo backgrounds would be wise to meet people halfway, be it in the word count of our latest opus or the platforms we choose to employ. In-depth written analyses still have their place but the overwhelming need to weigh in in real-time (both for us and for those who might comment back at us) is acute and the moment is often gone before we get to our 2nd draft.

    • February 25, 2011 4:31 pm

      Gavin,

      Agree. Velocity is an opportunity and a killer. The increasing shift to phone and phone optimization are going to only accelerate this.

      Definitely appreciate your perspective – and your comment here!

      Mark

  3. Tim permalink
    February 25, 2011 4:39 pm

    Gavin’s on the money. Long form writing (long compared to FB/TW) has it’s place, but if you don’t write for a web audience you will lose them.

    And blogs aren’t dead to me. The best stuff I read is still on blogs. I just come across more and more of them via FB/TW

  4. February 26, 2011 9:44 pm

    Mark, some very interesting thoughts, I guess it’s similar to the debate about a newspaper charging for access to news on it’s website, or come to that purchasing e-books.

    I travel to and from work each day with the strassenbahn in Germany; some fellow passengers read a newspaper, some read a book. On odd occasions, extremely rare indeed, I’ve seen people surfing with a notebook or netbook and I’ve seen an iPad being used once.

    A newspaper reports the news and offers it’s take / opinion on whatever’s happening in the world at that time; I guess it’s going to be up to the consumer to decide in which form they purchase their newspaper. An e-book is also something which can be purchased in paper or “cyber” form, again how it’s purchased is a decision left to the consumer.

    To be honest I think I’d prefer to sit next to someone reading the news on a netbook, notebook or iPad as I would have to duck out of the way of their arms as they turn the page reading a spreadsheet 😉

    Facebook, Twitter and Blogs are only some of the mediums available today for communicating accross the web. The consumer will decide at the end of the day how they want to receive their news or whatever.

    IMHO a blog has it’s content centralised and all together, it serves a different purpose to Twitter and Facebook which seem to leave everything a little disjointed and “spread around”.

    You maybe could have created your above post in Facebook, certainly not in twitter. Would it have the same value in Facebook? I don’t think so. The form, method of delivery, is totally different. IMHO the blog is here to stay, at least for the near future 😉

  5. February 27, 2011 3:30 pm

    I still read a lot of blogs, but these days, if they don’t grab me in the first couple of sentences (or if they use a template that shows up as a tiny font on my screen), it’s TL;DR. That doesn’t mean that I only value things that will fit into 140 characters or a FB comment. It just means that I only have so many brain cells to process all the information coming at me, and I’m (trying to) be more selective on how I use them.

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