Confusing the blogging concept with the current ecosystem

Paul Boutin published an odd, and fairly short sighted article in Wired. His basic premise is that three things are driving blogging to irrelevance:

  • Twitter and online video making publishing even easier than blogging once made publishing
  • Blogs have detractors
  • Big “blogs” like Engadget and Huffington Post, there’s no chance that you’re going to get Google Juice off your blog

Here’s more from Paul:

Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

When blogging was young, enthusiasts rode high, with posts quickly skyrocketing to the top of Google’s search results for any given topic, fueled by generous links from fellow bloggers. In 2002, a search for “Mark” ranked Web developer Mark Pilgrim above author Mark Twain. That phenomenon was part of what made blogging so exciting. No more. Today, a search for, say, Barack Obama’s latest speech will deliver a Wikipedia page, a Fox News article, and a few entries from professionally run sites like The odds of your clever entry appearing high on the list? Basically zero.

While these things might be true as facts, they’re certainly not a conclusion. Not having the ability for my blog to hit the top 10 in Technorati doesn’t dictate that blogging is dead. It indicates two things:

  • Technorati needs to be fixed or replaced
  • I need to reassess my need to have my blog hit the Technorati top 10

But here’s the real foolishness of this article:

Further, text-based Web sites aren’t where the buzz is anymore. The reason blogs took off is that they made publishing easy for non-techies. Part of that simplicity was a lack of support for pictures, audio, and videoclips. At the time, multimedia content was too hard to upload, too unlikely to play back, and too hungry for bandwidth.

The entire ecosystem of social activity includes a great many tools. Perhaps text communication is losing some predominance in the face of other communication opportunities, but saying it’s “not where the buzz is anymore” just shows you’re not thinking about anything other than buzz. And really, what’s the point of that?


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