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June 2009
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Reports of blogging’s death somewhat exaggerated

Blogging is dead. Maybe. According to some commentators.

But not really.

Back in 2007, Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion argued that Shiny Object Syndrome and the attention crash mean that people were focusing on social networking tools rather than traditional blogs.

Charles Arthur of the Grauniad has pitched in with a piece based on the decline in inbound links to the site’s technology section from blogs. After dramatically – and incorrectly – declaring that “blogging is dying”, he qualifies his statement by saying he’s talking about the “long tail of blogging” – meaning that while big, “serious” blogs are still going strong, the mass of small blogs by ordinary people is shrinking.

Where is everybody? Anecdotally and experimentally, they’ve all gone to Facebook, and especially Twitter. At least with Twitter, one can search for comments via backtweets.com – though it’s still quite rare for people to make a comment on a piece in a tweet; more usually it’s a “retweet”, echoing the headline.

Of course, it all comes down to what you actually mean by “blogging”. Does it mean producing a website using a blogging CMS or would a more appropriate definition be posting content online in a user-friendly way?

From the latter perspective, no part of blogging is dying. It’s just happening somewhere else. To paraphrase Clay Shirky “behaviour first, technology second”. What matters is what people are doing, not the tools they are using.

Because what’s happening is not down to a change in user behaviour. Vast numbers of people continue to post material online. But booming numners are doing so on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube rather than WordPress or Blogger. This does not mean the demise of blogging CMSs either. WordPress especially is evolving into a powerful publishing tool suitable for everything from a n00b blog to a complex commercial site. Crucially, blogging platforms offer plenty of tools to tie in social networking activity.

Thanks to these multiple platforms people are posting and engaging more than they ever have. And here’s an example of some wonderful content posted not on a blog but on YouTube. Enjoy.

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1 comment to Reports of blogging’s death somewhat exaggerated

  • Blogging is continuing to evolve and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. My own experiences would say that rather than being dead it is becoming more important in the online strategies of many businesses.

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