Friday, June 25th, 2010
Next week’s Economist has a good article arguing that blogs are maturing, if not dieing. The article notes that the number of blogs on major services are declining and that the frenetic energy that once flowed through blogging is now being captured by Facebook and Twitter.
Has blogging jumped the shark. I think maturation is the right word.
First growth and innovation are slowing as niches are filled and creative possibilities fully explored. Second, bloggers, whether working independently or spitting out hourly posts within a larger news organization, are now totally accepted as full-fledged media players.
But it’s important to remember that maturity isn’t senescence… if anything, the growth of Twitter and Facebook have improved blogging, since the two played have creamed off the idle chatter and social preening that used dilute thoughtful blogging. What’s left behind in the blogs is, on average, far more useful and thoughtful than it was 5 years ago.
What we’re seeing is analogous to the speciation that occurred over the 150 years after the invention of the printing press: the unitary concept of “the book” slowly evolved into multiple printed species — books, pamphlets, magazine, daily newspapers — with distinct names, characteristics and audiences. The new formats first became distinct, then stabilized, then flourished and continued to slowly evolve and feed new appetites. Different trades and guilds emerged to support these genres.