Not again (actually, about once a year)… someone declared “the blog” dead. And this time, it’s someone whose opinion I respect a great deal.
Jason Kottke from kottke.org has put an “obituary” of sorts that also got published over at Nieman Labs. I respect his opinion a great deal, and he even brings up interesting statistics and trends to back up his point, but I think we’re just evolving the media form here, and blogging (or the blog) is not dead.
(the post he wrote is here, linking also to the other piece on Nieman)…
John Scalzi, another person whose opinions I respect, wrote his own take here on Whatever.
Here was my comment on his blog, and it reflects my opinion on the “death of blogs/blogging”:
Blogging isn’t dead, instead, the “shiny object syndrome” of blogging has finally worn off. As things progress, we’ll probably be talking about “Twitter is dead” or “social media is dead” in 10 – 15 years, too.
No one helps to make the creation and maintenance of a blog easy. Twitter, Facebook, etc… are much easier to use than creating, connecting to people with, and publishing a blog.
Humans follow the path of least resistance, and right now, social media tools make it easy to connect and share stories, which is what we humans have wanted to do all along.
So the bottom line here is, as Jason acknowledges in his thoughtful article / prediction, blogs and blogging are not dead… but the reason they aren’t the highest traffic source, nor are they the “first thing” our young generation chooses to publish on…
… is an evolution, rather than a consequence, of the media form. Technical skills are required to get a blog post to “be seen” for the story to be shared.
It’s much more challenging to start, maintain, and publish a blog with the intention of connecting with people and sharing stories… than it is to start a Twitter (Facebook, Pinterest etc…) account, FIND the people you know, and start sharing with them, growing what I call a “walled in blog” from there (whether it’s text, images, video etc…).
But if you have the skills, start a blog, because that will be the closest you’ll come to owning your story. Blogs and blogging won’t die, they will simply evolve into another form, hopefully not in someone else’s “walled garden.”