Blogging is Dead, or So They Say

Comments 20 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Parsing through my Delicious links this morning I came across two articles that John sent me (yes, I become giddy when I notice my husband tagged something for me in Delicious).

The title of the first bookmark was “Blogs More Relevant Than Ever” and the next one, right on top of that listing was, “Blogs are so over”. The interesting thing is that they are both referencing a Wired article by Paul Boutin.

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.

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. [Wired]

Let’s start with the seemingly glass half empty post from Mathew Ingram, quoting the Wired article with his tongue way in his cheek:

To tell you the truth, I’m kind of surprised that Paul didn’t put a headline like “Twitter and Facebook have killed blogging” on his piece. Things are always killing other things in the kind of world Boutin describes. And what evidence do we have that blogs aren’t the place to be any more? Just this: Jason Calacanis quit blogging and moved to an email newsletter, and Robert Scoble is mostly doing video posts and Twittering. So there you have it. Case closed.

Then there’s the post by PureBlogging, which quotes yet another response to the Wired article, from Dwight Silverman, “Are Blogs Obsolete?”:

Like any other publishing medium, blogging is a tool for getting information to other people. The fact that other ways of doing it have come along doesn’t mean blogging doesn’t belong in your toolbox. It’s still an effective way to communicate ideas, news, images, video, audio. It remains a simple and powerful way to not only share your thoughts, but point others to valuable info and insights elsewhere on the Web.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Blogs are not obsolete. You know why? Because I still read them everyday. I still write for them nearly everyday. And so do countless others (that probably includes you). If you ask me, blogs are more relevant than they’ve ever been, because they are more mainstream than they have ever been.

I’m starting to see a pattern here. First, blog about how blogging is dead. Next, watch all the bloggers blog about how blogging is not dead. Sit back, and watch blogging thrive and have your post spread like wildfire through the blogosphere.

Here’s an update that Mathew Ingram made to his post:

Seamus McCauley calls Boutin’s post “flagrant flamebait,” which I think is probably true. And I fell for it 🙂 And so did Tish Grier.

Translation, the post was asking for controversial discussion (being “flame bait”) so that people would blog about it for better or worse.

I have been noticing changes in blogging patterns – at conference there are more Tweets than live blogs and those who write uber personal posts are being unfollowed on Twitter or blasted for sharing too much information, although this is really where blogging go its start isn’t it? That’s even how the Wired article begins.

I think blogging is changing (not dead); it’s evolving into something much bigger, allowing for more applications and tools to emerge in the online realm. It’s changing the conversation and allowing for more of a two-way street; you and your audience, wired and mobile, on and offline. In that regard, I’m pretty glad this article came to be.

20 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. ChrisMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:02pm PDT

    Flaimbait? No. LINKbait? Yes.

  2. Miss604Monday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:03pm PDT

    Does Wired really need link bait though? 😛

  3. gusgreeperMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:07pm PDT

    im always unfollowed on twitter for being too personal but i have stopped letting it bother me. when i came back to twitter last time i made a decision that if i couldn’t take the heat to leave for good. seems i can now take the heat.

    im thankful everyday for my reader base considering some of my content and it is only going to get better because im going back to the beginning with my depression and going to make it a series, it is all planned just can’t launch it till im home. i decided a long time a go that my blog would always be centred on depression, it will always be there for the people who need it and feel safe commenting there. i think there is always a place for a blog with a purpose. i think real bloggers like us know the tides come and go but we keep going cause we want to, and that is enough for me because when i try to blog about stuff that isn’t me it doesn’t work anyway.

  4. ChrisMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:08pm PDT

    Hell yes!

    Ask any site owner how much organic traffic is enough.

    SEO… it never sleeps.

  5. MegMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:20pm PDT

    I remarked on it when it was linked at Mashable. It was such an obvious provocateur thing, just like all the ‘Twitter Killer’ posts and ‘Twitter Killed….” posts. I roll my eyes when I see them go by. Usually the examples they give and stats they give and trends they observe are fairly short-sighted and reactionary, and don’t apply across the board. After all, there are about 30 zillion ways to blog, Twitter, etc.

    I will say I’ve never truly been blasted for sharing too much information — maybe just talking too much (though I’ve cut my tweets down by 60% or more), unless unfollowing or making fun of me counts as being “blasted”… but my definition of cyberbullying is restricted specifically to threats to livelihood or body, so maybe I’m just impervious.:) I don’t care if someone thinks I’m stupid or chatty or inane or whatnot. Digg broke me in nicely.

    But people unfollow for SO many reasons (you talk too much, you talk too little, you are too personal, you aren’t personal enough, you tweeted @ someone they didn’t like, you have a different political stance) that who can even keep up or blame any one thing?

    I say we blog and we Twitter for ourselves, for our clients, and for the people that appreciate it. If they don’t take it in, they don’t. But nothing is dead.

    What I *wish* was dead was people saying things are dead. And MySpace.

  6. Monica HamburgMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:27pm PDT

    I was just as inflamed about the Wired articles as the other bloggers. Yip, absolute flame bait – but so irresistible…
    ( )

  7. Blogging’s death knell only rung by those of limited vision | Blogging | A View from the IsleMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:27pm PDT

    […] All the brew-ha-ha about the death of blogging last week didn’t really surprise me much (See Mark Evans, Mathew Ingram, Wired and Tish Grier). I had a post percolating in my head about the whole issue, but it wasn’t until Rebecca’s post today that it all clicked together for me: I think blogging is changing; it’s evolving into something much bigger, allowing for more applications and tools to emerge in the online realm. It’s changing the conversation and allowing for more of a two-way street; you and your audience, wired and mobile, on and offline. Source: Blogging is Dead » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca Bollwitt […]

  8. DarrenMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 12:32pm PDT

    These articles are so silly. There’s no simpler (or more effective) strategy to stir up controversy than by writing something entitled “Foo is Dead”.

    I suppose we ought to be throwing out books and radio with the blog bath water, eh?

  9. RobMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 1:27pm PDT

    Anything with such heavy ironic weight behind it is bound to have mileage for a lot of people. In this case, I think there is a certain leverage being employed to garner a reaction from an audience who like to be in the know on the latest thing – that would be us – with the possibility that we’re behind the times dangled in front of our faces. Typical link bait. But, I think the reactions ultimately proves that the idea of community is less about the tools and more about the people.

    Ultimately, I don’t think this was ever about a vinyl-vs-CD kind of dichotomy. At least not yet. I think it’s more about preserving our ideas of building community and fostering connectedness between likeminded people that is being appealed to here. This is what we care about after all. The rest is just about the means we use to get there. Ultimately a blog post about how blogging is dead is just a Monty Python sketch when it’s taken at face value, right?

  10. RaulMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 4:24pm PDT

    My blog is personal and the more people tell me that my blog is “too personal”, the more personal I make it 😀 … just ’cause.

    The “unfollow/re-follow” on Twitter is also an incident that, in my view, just happens. I have been unfollowed for all sorts of reasons. I’ve had other bloggers not approve my comments, or not respond to my emails for all sorts of reasons. That’s fine.

    The more I blog, the less I care about “the blogging scene” or “the blogosphere”. I use Twitter and my blog as tools to communicate with people I really like. I’ve made wonderful friends as a result of my blog and Twitter. And the rest (like all the other additioanl good things that have happened as a result of my blogging) is just icing on the cake.

    The real thing is that blogging and Web 2.0 are reshaping the way in which we have conversations. But those conversations have to be bi-directional and fluid.

    My $ 0.02 😀

  11. Matthew CollingeMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 4:37pm PDT

    If blogs are dead, static sites must be extinct, and although many ought to be there are still good ones around. It is all evolving, and pretty quickly too.

  12. The death of environmentalism? « Random Thoughts of a Student of the EnvironmentMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 5:14pm PDT

    […] public policy issues. Tags: climate change, perceptions and beliefs trackback A recent post by Rebecca on “is blogging dead” and a comment by Darren on that particular post (echoed by other commentators) made me remember […]

  13. raincoasterMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 6:45pm PDT

    Does Wired need to linkbait? Well, let me ask you this: when was the last time you thought about linking to a story on Wired? I’ve been blogging since 2002 and I don’t think I’ve ever linked to them. It’s obvious linkbait.

    I love Paul. He incites like nobody’s business. If he’d worked for Louis Riel we’d all be speaking French right now. But that doesn’t mean that he’s right, only that he’s effective.

    There IS a lot of auto-swill out there in the blogosphere. That generates a demand for filters which get rid of blogspam, and Google and other search engines do a pretty decent job of this. It shouldn’t concern you that when you blog about “Godzilla Halloween costumes made out of cigarette papers” there are eighteen thousand listings lower than you: they are spam. Do not let the spam distract you from what you do. It will never outrank a real blogger.

  14. Miss604Monday, October 27th, 2008 — 7:02pm PDT

    @ raincoaster… is it wrong that I’d kinda like to see that? (Godzilla Halloween costumes made out of cigarette papers”)

  15. Ed NewmanMonday, October 27th, 2008 — 8:00pm PDT

    I, too, wrote about the Wired dissing of blogging on my own blog this past week. A strange position to take, since it is only emerging… Paul Gillen, in the intro of his book The New Influencers, say he was ever so wrong about blogging when he dissed it before it even started. In 2003 he wrote that blogging’s wave “had already crested.” He ended up eating his words.

    It reminded me of the Decca records execs who decided not to sign the Beatles because the guitar was on its way out.

    Blogging, like the web itself, is evolving. It is a remarkable tool, and we’re only discovering it piecemeal.

    My opinion of the Wired writer in recent issue who smeared blogging was that he just did not like it because it had changed. Well, America has changed since the Founding Fathers, and the world has changed since 1950s… so what?

    Is the world irrelevant and democracy a failure now because it is different. (Women can vote now, OMG!) Anyways, blogging will not go away any time soon.

    Look at Twitter, for example. A new evolution that I do not believe is a passing fad… because it is useful.

    I wrote a couple articles about Karaoke back in 1992 or so, trying to determine if it was a fad. Looks like there is more karaoke than ever…

  16. RobTuesday, October 28th, 2008 — 12:53pm PDT

    @Ed Newman, re: Decca and the Beatles. To be fair to the Decca execs, the guitar was on it’s way out by 1962. Nobody counted on the fact that songwriting was still very much in, even if guitar-centric 50s rock’n’roll was not (it was all girl groups and teen idols by then). Of course we know that the Beatles had songwriting nailed down (unbeknownst to Decca, since the demo they submitted was comprised mostly of cover versions – if you’d heard it, you would have shitcanned the Beatles too, but that’s besides the point :)). And it was the songs that sold the Beatles in the end once another label, Parlophone, picked them up.

    But, I think this kind of backs up your point – that the tools and context is changing, but the point of it all has not; that people want to connect with great content created by other people who share a similar, or at least complementary, outlook. That’s why the masses responded to the Beatles in the early 60s, and also why people will continue to respond to great bloggers now – great content that stands out. That much will never change.

    I never thought I’d get to use the Beatles in an analogy about content, so thanks!

  17. Billie MintzTuesday, October 28th, 2008 — 7:59pm PDT

    I have three blogs. One for business that I try to infuse a certain level of personal reflection and try to keep my personality come through but I avoid personal issues with because I don’t want to offend my clients and because my business is very niche I try to stay to point. I use my facebook blog to be very intimate and personal because I know that the people reading my blog on there are friends that i have accepted and like to get their feedback. The third blog is entirely anonymous because I wouldn’t want anyone to know its me. this one I can say whatever I want under trhe guise that it is anonymous and I am very transparent that it is because though it is very personal I still want to share these thoughts as I think it will help others who are going through similar issues. Blogging wont be called blogging in the future and everything we do now will be done different. Social media and our use of connecting through web will evolve just like we do. we are simply going through the process as we discover and experiment how we connect and communicate our ideas to each other. we are part of a live evolving experiment. right now we are learning to become transparent and as the fellow bloggers and those commenting on this entry have already pointed out, we are all feeling out how we want to express ourselves. trends begin and end and once we think we know what is going on, tomorrow it might change. so blogging might die and it might not die but once we stop trying to define what all of this is, the more free we will be to actually let whatever we are becoming, happen.

  18. Is Twitter killing the Blog Star? | Translate This!Sunday, November 9th, 2008 — 3:31pm PST

    […] still don’t want to do without the format, however. Read Blogging Is Dead, or So They Say for more on the subject. Tags » blogging, social networking, Twitter « Trackback: […]

  19. mostly lisaTuesday, November 18th, 2008 — 12:31pm PST

    grr! Facebook? Facebook! seriously, facebook is for bottom feeders. you can’t express anything without getting 300 application invites and being flooded with a billion lame ads.

    I’d still rather hear about this article through Miss 604 than Wired. nuff said!

  20. Duane StoreyTuesday, November 18th, 2008 — 3:08pm PST

    I wrote about this today. I obviously don’t think blogging is dead 🙂

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