There’s been a bit of commentary and opinion in recent weeks that blogging (meaning, written content longer than just a paragraph or two) as we know it is dying or even already dead when compared to the rise of Facebook and Twitter (meaning, very short content like the 140-character posts of Twitter).
It doesn’t look that way to me from reading Pew’s survey report. On the contrary, blogging isn’t so much on its deathbed as it is on a continuing evolutionary track:
That’s the US picture which, I would guess, is credible to project broadly speaking into other geographies such as the UK.
Then consider this picture – hosted blogging service WordPress.com is growing fast with over 6 million new blogs in 2010 and pageviews up by 53%.
[…] Media uploads also doubled to 94.5 terabytes of new photos and videos, while new posts were up 110% to 146 million. Meanwhile, mobile WordPress blogging is on the up. The company’s userbase for its mobile apps increased 700% to 1.4 million in 2010.
A good indicator to reinforce the credibility of a view that blogging isn’t dead comes from Anil Dash, a man who knows a thing or two about the development and evolution of blogging and who has an interesting perspective on the role of short-form content tools like Twitter:
[…] Twitter and other stream-based flows of information provide an important role in the ecosystem. Perhaps the most important psychological innovation of Twitter is that it assumes you won’t see every message that comes along. There’s no count of unread items, and very little social cost to telling a friend that you missed their tweet. That convenience and social accommodation is incredibly valuable and an important contribution to the web.
However, by creating a lossy environment where individual tweets are disposable, there’s also an environment where few will build the infrastructure to support broader, more meaningful conversations that could be catalyzed by a tweet. In many ways, this means the best tweets for advancing an idea are those that contain links to more permanent media.
“Links to more permanent media” is the bit that especially grabbed my attention. Twitter (and Facebook, for that matter) is a terrific tool to alert your community and others of more fuller content elsewhere. Syndicating your content to your community, in other words.
No, blogging isn’t dead, it’s simply evolving.
Incidentally, the cartoon you see at the top was drawn in early 2005 by Hugh MacLeod. It spectacularly summed up the sentiment of the time about blogging which, six years ago, was social media. There was even a t-shirt.
Originally published on nevillehobson.com