Jevon MacDonald has a thought-provoking post today on the future blogging at a time when micro-blogging (Twitter, Tumblr, et al), Facebook and geolocation-based services are where an increasing number of people are consuming user-generated content.
An interesting observation made by Jevon is that:
It seems at times that blogging is becoming the domain of those people who still have something to say. I am now subscribed to more blogs than I ever have been, but at the same time I would say that I am getting real value from fewer blogs than ever.
There are two ways to address this statement.
As a blogger, it has become more challenging to say something unique or interesting on a regular basis because there are just so many other voices in the mix, many of them saying the exact same things about the same same events. After awhile, everything starts to blur together.
By the time you’ve got your thoughts together about offering something with a different perspective, the story and the audience have moved on. Then, the question is do you wade in anyway with your post even though few people are paying attention, or do you just forget about it?
Over the past few months, it’s something I’ve considered a lot in contemplating whether MET should continue as a new-sy blog or morph into something more analytical with fewer posts.
Another issue – at least for me – is blogging hasn’t evolved much over the past five years. It’s still mostly a text-based medium, even though it’s pretty easy to create podcasts and video-casts. As Jevon suggests, there needs to be a way for blog content to be easily reshaped and repackaged so you can distribute your thoughts in different ways to different audiences.
The other side of the coin is blog readers like Jevon, who don’t find that blogs offer much insight. Maybe it’s because blogging has become more about traffic and monetization, and the more posts you have, the more traffic you can generate. At least, that’s the theory.
It could be that the amount of noise and the lack of really good blog discovery engines makes it difficult for insightful writers to attract much attention. Think about how many new and interesting bloggers you’ve discovered recently. I would hazard to guess not many.
Like Jevon, I believe blogging needs to evolve. It’s had a great run and become an entrenched publishing/media platform. The challenge is making sure new tools and services are created to keep things vibrant and engaging.
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