Sunday, May 1, 2011

Are Blogs Dead?

I had a discussion with my brother recently about blogs. He thinks blogs are sooo 2008 and are going the way of the 8-track tape.

He laments that the trend is now toward twittering and facebooking, where people express themselves in shorter, less substantial posts.

I don't doubt that blogs will someday go the way of the 8-track, just like rotary telephones, facebooking, twittering, and metaZombieClustering (or whatever the next big new thing will be.) Social networking is constantly changing, and the rate of change just gets faster and faster. Five years ago I didn't even know Facebook existed, and now it's hard for me to imagine life without it. Who knows what new thing will be indespensible to me three years from now.

So the debate I had with my brother was, how dead is blogging? He doesn't waste his time on it anymore because he sees it as already obsolete. I agree with him that that's where the trend is headed, but to quote a line from Monty Python from before there was texting, email, or even cordless phones: blogs are "not dead yet!"

There are lots of blogging communities that are going strong and adding new members every day. Just last week someone told me about a new blog her sister started. I recently retired an anonymous blog that was part of such a community. In eight months it got 21,700 page hits. Near the end I was getting about 150 hits a day. I retired the blog for a lot of reasons, but part of it was because my blogroll was growing too much and it was taking up too much of my time. That doesn't quite sound like a dead medium.

Of course, that's just anecdotal evidence. One person's experience doesn't prove the overall trend. But it's hard for me to believe people who read, write, and participate in blog communities are like groups of vinyl record enthusiasts-- luddites who refuse to embrace the new popular technology. I'd also like to point out that people have been making jokes about blogs being dead for many years now. (One article I found with the title, "Is blogging dead?" is from 2007.) But they're still hanging around.

I've had seven blogs in my life, and none of them have lasted more than about three years. An individual blog has a short shelf life. But blogging, as an activity, has been part of my life for about eight years. It's a good medium for me. I enjoy writing out my fluff thoughts, with goofy pictures, and flinging them out into the world.

So as long as I still enjoy it, I will continue to blog. Even if I'm not getting anywhere close to 150 hits a day on this blog.

Even if it's a dying medium, it's not dead yet.


Here's other people who have, uh, blogged about this topic:,2817,2374448,00.asp


UPDATE: So here's the punchline. After publishing this post and re-reading it, I realize it's really boring. Even I'm bored by this post, and I wrote it. Or maybe it's just not very well written or investigated. Whether or not blogs are dying, this post is not doing a good job of keeping them alive.


Jolene said...

LOL! Not boring...BUT blogging is NOT dead. IMHO :)

Tim said...

Thanks, Jo. I knew which side of the debate you would fall on. :)

RobL said...

Hi Tim,
Your blog was the 'next blog' to mine, ( being a nosy type I had a look - interesting. I enjoy your writing style.

I have tried on numerous occasions to get a blog going but it always falls into embarrassing arrears. Very similar to bank accounts, are blogs - don't you find?

Anyway, keep going - it gives me something productive and motivating to look at when I am trying to get down and write a feature, work on my book, update my blog, put new ideas into my newsletter, not miss my mouth with my coffee cup, get the cat off my lap etc.

Be happy
Rob Lindegger - Southern Drakensberg Mountains, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.

Tim said...

Thanks for visiting, Rob, and for your encouragement.

I think if blogs were like bank accounts, a lot more people would be interested in mine.

After checking out your blog, I now realize your post was spam. Oh, bother.

asplenia said...

Blogs are NOT dead. People don't comment so much because doing so within a reader is exceedingly difficult (and also doesn't reflect on visitation numbers) but people do read. I enjoy your blog and hope you continue to write.(please?) :)

Tim said...

Thanks, asplenia. I enjoy your blog(s) too. As well as your username.