Saturday 8 November 2008

Blogging isn’t dead, but the Blogosphere is

From Wired last month, they advise:

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

And from the The Economist more recently:

Gone, in other words, is any sense that blogging as a technology is revolutionary, subversive or otherwise exalted, and this upsets some of its pioneers. Confirmed, however, is the idea that blogging is useful and versatile.

Actually, the main point of both these articles is that blogging technology has changed the Web medium as a whole (by allowing greater participation on news sites and the like, we assume for the better) but meanwhile the A-list bloggers have themselves for the most part morphed into professional publishing and money making organisations, while other new Web communication mechanisms, like microblogging (e.g. Twitter) and activity streams (e.g. Facebook), have emerged to grab the blog author and blog reader’s attention.

But I think Nicholas Carr is the one that really fixes on what has really changed:

When we used to talk about blogging, the stress was on the style. Today, what blogs have in common is mainly just the underlying technology – the ‘publishing platform’ - and that makes it difficult to talk meaningfully about a ‘blogosphere.’

I’ve recently made similar arguments about blogging, that relate back to a theme I described a while a go as the grey area between using social software as social software and using them for achieving other information management objectives. I believe there is a lesson in the rise and fall of the Blogosphere across the whole of the social computing spectrum, not just blogging.

But getting back to the issue of the death of blogging, personally I’m with Tim Bray - while admitting he is blogging less because of Twitter, he says:

having to stop writing would hurt me terribly, and if the other contributors of essayists and remarks were to fall silent, that of course would hurt me infinitely more.

It would greatly impoverish the world. Fortunately, it won’t happen.

I agree. The Blogosphere might be dead, but blogging isn’t.

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