Does anyone remember the day blogs died? If you keep up with the social media crowd there’s a lot of linkbait posts describing the end of blogging. They say status updates and new services like Google+ have killed long-form content and traditional blogs. What hyperbole!
Yes, there are new services. Faster services. Services that feed the ego and spin content. I believe short-form content has its place. But after awhile short-form content makes me feel like I’ve been in Vegas for a week listening to the ringing of slot machines non-stop. Twitter never stops. Good content, bad content — it’s just too much and the pressure to Tweet is great because you feel you will be left behind. In fact, if you Tweet or post status updates your Klout score stagnates or reverses. That’s just wrong.
No Filters, No Credibility
That fact that someone even has a blog immediately gives them more credit in my eyes. It shows some commitment and competence – like getting a suit for an interview or certification. Anyone can setup a Twitter or Tumblr account. Great. The double-edged sword is that anyone can create content without filters. With the death of professional journalism we’ve lost our filters. That’s a shame.
Shortform Content, Twitter, and a Harmonic Future?
Can you explain your thoughts in 140 characters? Unless everyone is a Haiku master, I don’t think so. The drivel that permeates the short-form content sites makes me think society has regressed 10,000 years. Blogs enable quotes, research, photo essays, multiple videos, attribution, trackbacks, hundreds of comments, the list goes on. Sure short form is great for events and live reporting like I described in my post The New Digital Storytelling – On the Road with Twitter where I documented a night of public transportation in Houston. I think Jack Kerouac would have loved to see Twitter, but disappointed in its impermanence and superficiality. I think integrating Twitter statuses in a blog post for some event might have some kind of future… letting users experience the best of both.
News Organizations are Not Blogs
Jeremiah Owyang created a blog post titled, “End of an Era: The Golden Age of Tech Blogging is Over.” In it he describes how corporate acquisitions have stymied innovation. To me, to have “corporate” and “blogging” together is an oxymoron in itself. I believe corporations should have a place for content, but I wouldn’t compare it to “blogging.” The same with news organizations that mask as blogs. Mashable and Techcrunch are not blogs. They are news organizations that exist now – a breed of company that can survive in the new economy. Congrats to them. I’ll find interesting content to read / watch / listen to produced by individuals in real blogs.
I’ve seen as blogs get larger, oftentimes the original blogger hires less qualified writers just to feed the Google beast. This is a shame. I lose respect for bloggers that do this. If you build up trust with your audience, treat them well. If you want to see an action movie, you don’t want Sylvester Stallone’s brother instead of Sylvester Stallone… you probably want a comparable like Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis. Blogs have hired hacks and I think people should let them know. Talent is what gets people in the door and keeps them there.
The I’m Not Dead Yet Chart
Bloggers are reportedly making less money this year… must be the end of blogging! Oh no! What business isn’t struggling? The S&P 500 was flat for 2011. I think people will look for new ways to tell stories in 2012 and blogging will evolve. I know I am looking for new ways of storytelling. I’m ok with change. I guess that’s why my blog is still here.