Are Blogs As We Know Them Dead?

It’s been about five years since blogs emerged on the media landscape. There are more than 175 million blogs – many of them well written, insightful and/or interesting but you have to wonder if blogs as we know them have had their day.

By that, I mean the “traditional” blog that features a lot of text, some links and perhaps a graphic or two to spice things up. It’s bread-and-butter blog not unlike newspaper articles or columns.

The barriers to entry are low, which explains why nearly 200 million blogs have been created. Of course, blogs are also easy come, easy go given Technorati’s most recent State of the Blogosphere report said only 7.4 million blogs published a post over the past four months.

The lack of activity may suggests most people who start blogs quickly lose their enthusiasm because writing a regular basis takes time and energy. As well, other forms of “blogging” such as Twitter are becoming more popular. If you think about it, micro-blogging has huge potential due to multi-tasking and how many people have short attention spans.

At the same time, video is getting easier and more popular. It may not be long before video-blogging emerges as the new platform, making text-based blogging look antiquated in comparison. With video blogging, you hit the record button, opine/rant for a minute or two, and you’re done.

So, what’s the future for blogging as we know it? Do blogs like this one – lots of text – disappear or become digital dinosaurs? Will large media organizations take over the blogosphere, leaving independent bloggers scrambling for a small and perilous foothold?

Note: The inspiration for this post came from a Wired story by Paul Boutin, who is down on blogging. The first paragraph says it all: “Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug”.

It’s attention-grabbing but it does make you think. Some good insight from Trish Grier, who does a nice slam-dunk on Boutin’s thesis.

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  • PRJack

    geez, another topic that I’ll answer with a ‘yes and no’ response.

    Sure the novelty of blogging may have worn out and many of those who once created and read blogs have moved to other sources of expression such as Facebook or Twitter.

    But I’d argue that this does not spell the end of the ‘text heavy’ blog. I think that those who are increasingly turning to web 2.0 and blogs in particular for information, education and depth of content will not abandon blogs like this one. Quite the contrary, in fact.

    All we are seeing is a natural schism forming – not unlike how traditional media fragmented along many different lines.

    Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but I get more out of a few really good blogs and articles with in depth info (that I get via rss feed) than I do many other sources. Something tells me, though, that I’m not alone.

  • Trevor Stafford

    Am I the only person who dislikes the idea of video blogs?

    If a ‘text’ blog is spurious, I can skim the content and decide that I’m not interested in a few seconds.

    And assuming I am interested, I can still skim past the preamble.

    With video I get the same itch as TV gives me. A ‘get to the point already’ feeling. With video I simply I don’t have as much control over the information in front of me.

  • ace

    as long as you can blog about it.

  • Adam

    Wow, overreaction. Dead? Really? I skim almost 30 blogs daily, most of which show no signs of slowing down.

    What few people realize is video blogging is A LOT harder than it looks. You can’t just get on camera and start rambling. You have to think about what you say in order to say it coherently and well enough to get people to stick around. Then you mess up, have to reshoot a portion, edited it in, render it out, realize you made a mistake in the encoding process, re-render it out, upload it to a site, realize it doesn’t meet the requirements, re-encode it, upload, etc. With a text blog, you just type, (hopefully) review, and hit submit.

  • Mark Evans


    You’re right; making a good video involves a lot of work. Thanks for calling me on it.

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  • Vava

    From an archivist’s perspective, ALL of this stuff is destined to disappear…

    I read lots of blogs daily, and I actually find the ones with videos to be of much worse quality than the traditional text/image type and, therefore, prefer the “old” way of doing things, if you can call 5 years old.

    Keep on truckin’!

  • Denis

    Can we please not switch to video blogging? I can’t stand watching videos of things that are much better off on paper. (For example: instructions on how to fix some computer problem, I’ve seen a video of a person walking around with the camera pointed at his face and just talking through the solution. Gah!)

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