The Paranoid Guide to Better Living: SOTB - Are Blogs Dead?
And now your host, Paranoia:
SOTB. State of the Blogosphere. If I was to give a State of the Blogosphere address tomorrow, what would it sound like? Would it convey a positive message about the state of blogs? Or would it be a negative diatribe declaring blogs to be an antiquated form of internet communication, doomed to the pits of personal soapboxing?
That's pretty much what I'd say - to wit: blogs are dead. At least, the original concept of what a blog is and was, is dead.
Before every so-called "social media expert" listed blogging in their portfolio, blogs were places when unsanctioned and unaffiliated writing took place. A land of deep personal opinion, moonbattery and political lunacy.
At some point, blogs changed and in my eyes at least, were no longer blogs. As soon as a "blog" was peppered with advertisements and boasted link sharing and a consistent readership, it was no longer a blog, it was a website. As soon as sites such as The Huffington Post came into existence, the true meaning of a blog started to become blurred. "This is not a blog, this is a website. It's fully affiliated, staffed and run like a news organization. These are not blog posts," says I, "they are columns by paid writers. This is not a blog." And so on.
So what is a blog? According to Wikipedia a blog is a "web log usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video." So blogs basically started as personal online diaries, an evolution of babbling commonly found in Usenet & BBS threads.
So maybe it's not blogs that are dead, but the terminology needs a closer look. As of December 2007 this site (Technorati.com) was tracking 112MM blogs. Clearly not all of them are affiliated or associated with a major corporation such as the "blogs" found buried on news sites such as CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Wired.com and so on. These are not blogs, these are sub-sections of websites. The terminology is all wrong.
True blogs, the gist of that 112MM, the little guy reading out of his diary or spouting off political nonsense that no-one is going to read, those blogs are not dead. But they may as well be - because no one reads them. Sure, you say you do, but do you really? When your blog has an audience of "mom" does it really exist? Take a look at the "blogs" you do read, who's network are they part of? Who's banner ads are at the top? Who owns the copyright?Continued on the next page