Is Blogging Dead?

I looked at this extensive list of blogs on my blogroll and felt pretty sad. Most of bloggers I have on the list haven’t published a new post for at least a month, some have gone hiatus for a year, some have turned themselves into foodie bloggers or photobloggers (which means more pictures than words posted), and some of the links don’t even work anymore – they’ve just gone forever.

It makes me miss the time when there was a big, heated debate or arguments about everything like it was the end of the day, when everybody jumped into the discussion, picking up one topic today and another tomorrow, and made friends and trolls in the process. It’s intense, stimulating, intriguing, engaging….

It’s gone. At least it’s gone from my circle. There’s no single topic that can make us bound together and write similar posts, exchange ideas and thoughts, and leave comments on each other’s blog.

Paul Boutin from Wired Magazine wrote about blogging trend last October:

clipped from www.wired.com

Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you quit now, you’re in good company. Notorious chatterbox Jason Calacanis made millions from his Weblogs network. But he flat-out retired his own blog in July. “Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it,” he wrote in his final post.

blog it

The rapid growth of Facebook and Twitter is the killer of blogging, some accuse. Since social networking is much easier than creating long-form content, why bother blogging? Every blogger I’ve known for years might stop writing in their blogs, but they still pour their heart and soul in twitter. With 140 words limit, it’s easy to publish our thoughts and get replies instantly as well. No wonder we all get lazy.

“Social multimedia sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook,” add Boutin, “have since made publishing pics and video as easy as typing text. Easier, if you consider the time most bloggers spend fretting over their words. Take a clue from Robert Scoble, who made his name as Microsoft’s “technical evangelist” blogger from 2003 to 2006. Today, he focuses on posting videos and Twitter updates. “I keep my blog mostly for long-form writing,” he says. Twitter — which limits each text-only post to 140 characters — is to 2008 what the blogosphere was to 2004. You’ll find Scoble, Calacanis, and most of their buddies from the golden age there. They claim it’s because Twitter operates even faster than the blogosphere. And Twitter posts can be searched instantly, without waiting for Google to index them.”

After 5 years of blogging, I am not ready to give up just yet. I agree with Derek K. Miller, that  “while these new platforms all affect blogging, none of them replace it. I’ve certainly noticed that in my own writing online. Short links and comments I might previously have posted on this blog tend to appear in my twitter stream instead (though I’ll occasionally collect some of the better ones here for posterity). I interact with a lot of people on Facebook, where we might previously have commented on one another’s blogs or emailed each other. Yet neither of those have stopped me from writing here almost every day. Often things I find out on Twitter and Facebook are what inspire a new blog entry, in fact.”

And Grant Griffiths seems to think the same. He argues that blogging is not dead, and in fact, it should be the center of any good social media [and overall marketing plan for any small business].

What all of this doesn’t mean is that blogging is dead. Yes, social media can cause the conversation to go to different places. It doesn’t mean the conversation is going to start on twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. Yes, “social media” may extend the convesation and lengthen the lifespan of a story. However, the story has to start somewhere and they are not going to always start on social media. They are going to start on a blog. You simply can not expect twitter for example, to give you the space you need for the long conversations you need to build the trust with your audience a blog affords you.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. I am soooo guilty as charged :(. Why is it that I am so lazy to write yet I can tweet so many lines. Maybe it’s the thought of having structured sentences is a chore :P.

    • Twitter is definitely one of the reasons why many bloggers stop updating their blogs. It’s much easier to compose 140 words rather than a complete post. But now I see the trend that some twitterers treat their twits like blog, having published a big idea in more than 140 words – which make them twit 100 half-completed posts in half an hour. Why not just go back to blog and post a complete one?

  2. i’m still blogging 😀
    christin recently posted…your life, on the lineMy Profile

  3. Wow, I’ve the same experience of deceased blogs.

    What about this impromptu explanation?

    One reason is that the life expectancy of a blog is just a short one. It is like solo sex: it’s okay till you practice the real thing, like heated life-debates in a pub etc.

    Moreover a considerable group of bloggers consisted (consists) of trendy-prone youngsters. They loose interest as soon as another trend catches attention (hyves, facebook). And blogging takes relatively much time as well. Once they have entered the labour market and have a career and a family life, they have to cut down on time-consuming activities.

    • Colson, spot on as usual. True, people think blogging is easy, it can be done with half eyes open and less than half brain working. But it’s a big work, it requires a determination (stubbornness?) and (almost) no rewards.

      True, especially in Indonesia, where the trend changes so fast, and people who picked up blog as a trendy thing two years a go now swing to twitter or facebook as something that they ‘have to’ have and do.

      Shame, really. Blog, at least to myself, helps me to understand a lot of things as I must do little research before publishing a post, and hence, forces my sorry, half-awake brain to keep working…

  4. Same as christin, I’m still blogging, too. Well, maybe not too frequent like I used to, but I force myself to write. At least, I’m writing for my other “online diary” blog. 😀
    Kimi recently posted…Patah Hati. Lagi.My Profile

    • Kimi: yes, and your reason is very selfish, just like mine, just like other bloggers who still insist on blogging. Whatever it is that drives you to blog, just hold on to it! :)

  5. youknowwhomeare says:

    hi mba,

    kangen nih..sambil cari2 foto kondangan di bali..penasaran..tapi gak bs buka blog nya therry.

    trus nyangkut di post ini.

    i agree with Colson. i my self felt so tired of blogging since i started to travel, work and now back to school but with more loads of work plus a hubby.

    but i think it’s not the thing..because my hubby still blog very much. it’s the passion i lost..i still have all of my posts archived well under my hubby’s new domain though.

    but i admire bloggers like u..stay blogging, otherwise Roy suryo maybe right..that blogging is a trend.

    miss the old times :)

    • Hello you ‘who can’t be named’! It’s been a long time! I miss the old times too where we used to do online chatting and commenting on each other’s blog. Can’t believe it’s 2 years a go!

      Colson is right (again), since you mentiond that you’ve lost the passion (because something else/bigger/better/more important comes first). Again, it’s the selfish reason that keeps us blogging or makes us stop blogging. I just wish I could hold on to ‘this trend’ longer and blog/blogging wouldn’t be dead soon!

  6. youknowwhomeare says:

    mba e katanya mau update yang panjang, neng di?? tak tunggu lhoo.. daku masih di CPH..mba e dari london balik aja lagi ke aberdeen..masa gak kangen sama cuaca scotland? 4 seasons in one day loh..hahaha..

    btw ini gak ada nama tapi ada foto..gak jadi anonimous deh 😀

  7. Anita, I really really do miss blogging. I withdrew primarily because of privacy concerns for my two children, and also because I started working part-time. I am going to start blogging again… slowly. I am into personal blogging. The personal aspects of weblogs are the things that made blogging attractive to me in the first place. But now that I am all paranoid about weirdos reading about me and my kids, I think I am going to be more selective who my readers are. I know this really beats the point of it all, but your post makes me so ‘gatel’ pengen nulis lagi! :)

    • How about having 2 blogs? One is for you writing about what you love, statistics, politics, culture, etc. The other is more family oriented, where you have members-only subscribers?

  8. I agree with Derek K. Miller that none of them replace it.

    For me, FB and Twitter is a good platform for those who like to texting on the net. It’s similar like chatting.

    I think blogging platform is suitable for those who like writing, so I think blogging will still exists.
    tikno recently posted…STOP the hatred war in the social networking siteMy Profile

  9. I am blogwalking again after more than half a year in hiatus lol…. so refreshing to read yr blog everytime, nit. Yes, don’t stop blogging. I loveeee to read them
    Ivy recently posted…New DomainMy Profile

  10. hey, i am still blogging..tapi berubah jadi photoblog aja.

    don’t stop blogging. i love to read your blog

    • Well, it’s not the same for me. Photoblogs mostly discuss about the techniques and the tools for photography, not the object in the picture itself. So it’s like writing about how to write…

  11. hayo siapa hayo says:

    mba eee…iki ndi tooo kok ora blogging2 again..aku walaupun wes jarang blogging tapi masih rajin intip2 blog mu looo…

    among the least blog yang masih aku visit..hayo mba e ngeblog lagi. aku mau denger cerita2 nya lagiii

    btw aku udah balik ke dundee tadi pagi. hihi from sunny sky of CPH to gloomy Scottie..but i like the people here, they are friendlier :)

  12. Hi there,

    I have become one of these ‘some have turned themselves into foodie bloggers or photobloggers (which means more pictures than words posted)’ and I’m tweeting now. I agree with you blogging allows us venting ourself extensively in more than 140 characters. I start to miss blogging actually. So I posted one thread yesterday, after 5 months of unofficial hiatus.

    Let the conversations/discussions begin again!
    Lorraine recently posted…Limited FreedomMy Profile

    • Lorraine: I find it rather difficult to compose sentences. It takes me longer to think about what I wanted to say. Especially because English isn’t my first language. How about you? How do you feel after 5 months hiatus?

  13. Hi Anita, long time no read, but as many say, life tends to lead us down different paths.

    But, I’m still blogging, not so much because I’m obsessive as that I actually like writing. However, as Miss Lai Lai says above, “having structured sentences is a chore.” Charlie Brooker says (writes) it well here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/16/charlie-brooker-writing-deadlines/

    Once we publish anything on the ‘net, like snail mail, it’s nigh on impossible to retract. So I don’t text, tweet or chat on social networks; I’d say little of value and it would to be in short emotional outbursts. I save those for face-to-face situations, what could be termed ‘real life’.

    • Jakartass: indeed you’re right! Having been spilling my thoughts lately on twitter left me high and dry with nothing to share on my blog. Worse, as you pointed out, structured sentences is a chore! And before I knew it I started dreading it, thinking twitter is much easier and more fun. Getting back at blogging is like pushing myself to ‘think’ again. Scary.

  14. Guilty: yes
    Excuse(s): no
    Improvement: in progress :)

  15. OMG are u talking about me? Yes yes I am guilty, I’ve abandoned my blog and forgot about it for almost so long. I don’t know why I just dont have the will to write anymore even though I’ve so many things to say and my life is busier and more hectic now. Funny that before when I used to write so much I had so much free time and now that I dont…

    Ok. Must. Update. Blog. Must. Update. Blog.

    • Therry: I’m just as guilty as you are. Funny that I wrote more when I was working full time. I remember I went home after 10 PM each night and still had the energy to sit down and blog until past midnight.

      Lately I realise that I wasn’t that discipline, and worse, I ‘forgot’ to blog hopping. I guess it’s a domino effect too, one impacts the other.

      Hopefully with some of us back on blogging, the Indonesian blogosphere would be fun again. Remember our post about lesbian? 😀

  16. I’m a relative newbie: have only been blogging since May. I came out great guns afire, posting to Seen the Elephant around twice a week. I’ve slowed down recently, though, because of summer vacation and some stuff going on with my family. I wonder if I’m also losing steam? Pacing is a tricky thing with blogging, and if something throws you off, it can be hard to get back on track.

    I actually joined Twitter before FB, can you believe. The blog came last, and for me it was the piece that pulled the whole thing together. It’s the platform on which you build your brand, so to speak.

    But I guess if branding isn’t your aim, there’s probably no need, right?
    ML Awanohara recently posted…In Honor of Those Who See the Elephant Untrammeled by XenophobiaMy Profile

    • ML: I’m a big fan of your blog. I can’t believe that you just blog recently, because your blog is awesome. And you’re right, it’s rather difficult to get back on track, at least for me. I have pushed myself pretty hard since last week, and hopefully I could stay in this pace for quite some time;)

  17. I try to do a healthy combination of both actually. A blog used with twitter is a powerful tool. In fact,I learned about Networked Blogs from you which allows blog posts to be automatically posted to FB and Twitter!
    Marc recently posted…Is Technology Hurting our KidsMy Profile

    • Marc: I just follow you on twitter. Hopefully you don’t fall into its trap just like me and forget to blog because it’s much easier to share much shorter, 140-characters, post, rather than a full-length one;)

  18. First of all, I am not in your circle of bloggers friend. Which makes you don’t know if I am still blogging or not. But yes you are right, blogging for me is slowing down this year, compare to last year. And yes, I agree, that the other microblogging and other social networking platform has distract us from the original blogging media.
    However, in my case I have 2 excuses: one and foremost is because my job this year consume most of my time, secondly, my other hobby and obsession to be a better photography enthusiast took most of my spare time.
    In case you are interested, blogging is not dead yet for me…
    NSuwarno recently posted…Jakarta Five Years OnMy Profile

    • I just get back on blogging recently too. The longer I left it behind me, the harder for me to get back on track again, and the more difficult I find to start composing sentences again. But I don’t give up yet, I have too much in my head to keep it myself. So yeah, I’d keep writing until my fingers fall off!

  19. Hey I just started again after I don’t know how long hiatus, it’s been a long time. I blame on laziness and lack of time to sit in front of computer. But for sure I’m back baby!
    Ecky recently posted…Flower PowerMy Profile

  20. I blog every now and then.

    And sometimes, when I hit the ‘Publish’ button, I wonder if anyone is reading any of my writings
    But then again, all of my writings are personal I might not want anyone scribbling in feedbacks on any of them.

    So no, it’s not dead.
    But it needs to know where it stands to grow.

    Nice writings btw, I jez happen to stumble at your blog.

  21. Either they become lazy, busy, or only aiming to make money from blogging at the start :)
    Michael Aulia recently posted…iPhone 4- the phone of 2010My Profile

    • Michael: Thanks for visiting my blog. I agree with what you said, but I still can’t accept the fact that it’s dying. I really miss the time when everyone was busy throwing ideas and comments on each other. It’s such a wonderful time!

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