Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another ridiculous "death of blogging" item

Rough Type - Who killed the blogosphere?

A few points to ponder about the increasing number of items like this:

Three years is not a long time... ten years is not a long time.

People who consider themselves on the "cutting edge" always reject and turn their noses up at latecomers, even though it was those very latecomers that vaulted them up to their perches.

If you attempt to gauge the true state of the blogosphere - not the statistical - by only looking at the top 100, or even top 10,000 blogs on Technorati, your data set will naturally be tainted and not indicative of what is really happening. Most of the established and popular weblogs don't pay much attention to newcomers, so how could they know? These newcomers are not necessarily doing the same things for the same reasons that their predecessors were. The Technorati top 10,000 is no longer the blogosphere, it is the MAINSTREAM MEDIA. The new form of blogging is largely based on community and no longer about being a columnist or a pseudo-journalist. The usurpers have arrived and most know that the old school is largely irrelevant. This next wave does not mean that blogging is dead, it means that the old wave is dead.

Sure, people tire of blogging. People tire of stamp collecting. However, I am subscribed to over 400 excellent weblogs - most of them are latecomers and show no signs of slowing down. They are blowing away the old-timers. In fact, many of the old guard appropriate and even steal much of their material from these obscure efforts.

I'd wager that many of the people who started what are now abandoned weblogs were motivated by the potential for profit and when they found out that that was not likely to occur, they bailed. Others probably left because they realized that it actually involved work. Many bloggers that are still active are in it for the love and the community.

What we're really hearing from the old-timers that keep ratcheting this increasingly tired argument is that THEY are dead and the secret garden that they cultivated and cherished is changing and moving beyond their control and comprehension. It's time that THEY abandoned their weblogs if they think the medium is dead. While tech gurus pontificate, regular folks, academics and aficionados continue to post fascinating and timely material. In short: Stay in the game and keep up, or go away and leave us alone - we'll take it from here. Stay over by Twitter and shut up.

140 characters on Twitter cannot replace the wonderful items I find every day in my reader. Please do not insult us with this outrageous dreck.

With all of this in mind, it seems to me that these specious "death of blogging" items are the products of bloggers that are out of touch, misinformed and running out of material. What is truly passé is tired, masturbatory ranting about the death of the blogosphere.

The only reason I stoop to blog about blogging is that I'd like to see young people and newcomers greeted with the notion of "the life of blogging" - arriving to find unfurrowed fields of potential so that we can enjoy what their unique minds have to share. Remember, the rest of the world is coming online, individual by individual, and I'm sure they are going to have something to say.

Perhaps this new era we find ourselves in might also be reflected in how we interact and share our experiences and outlooks online - for it is indeed time for change. Time to slough off the fluff and keep on. Blogging is here to stay. (listen)

Welcome newcomers! Come on in and pull up a chair, there is so much more to explore.

update: I find it amusing that Mr. Carr disabled the back-links for his post after I wrote this.


Alan Evil said...

You kids get off my lawn!

John M. said...


Thanks Al,

I wished I could have summed it up in six words. Brilliant.

Hillbilly said...

well put!

John M. said...

Thanks, man.

It won't make me popular with some, but I had to say it.

I have been holding back on commenting about this for some time. This more recent item pushed me past my boundaries.

Hillbilly said...

well, I think that "newcomers' like me who read this can take heart and feel encouraged. it really is hard to grasp the idea that one has something to contribute in such a vast, morphing entity like the blogosphere.

I can say that encouragement from a couple of veteran bloggers, and a few complete strangers have kept me away from the "delete this blog" button.

John M. said...

Blogging is not a uniform practice. What it is is not to be dictated by the few. It is what WE make it. If you like politics, cooking, skateboards, whatever it might be, there is something to say and someone to take it in, appreciate it and give something back.

One of the discouraging factors is the fact that it is so hard to find an audience - a community. Established and popular blogs often dictate which newcomers will be heard and quash or ignore the others. Articles like the one I'm responding to do not help, at all.

It is up to us to take the reins and run with this. We seem to be doing an ok job, as I like the community that I'm becoming a part of. We have a lot to say and share and I really don't care who doesn't like it and I care a great deal for all of those that stop by and participate.

I have had so many comments ignored by bloggers. All it does is makes me go away. I refuse to ignore my readers and compatriots, no matter what they have to contribute, even if it doesn't agree. Unless it's trolling or spam, of course.

Screw them. I like it here.