Oh No! Blogging is REALLY, REALLY dead this time!!!!!! :D

[Cartoon first published circa 2005 etc.]

So uber-famous-corporate-blogger-ninja-rockstar Jerimiah Owyang blogged about The Golden Age of Tech Blogging being over. His colleague, my friend, Brian Solis doesn’t agree. Lots of other people are yakkin’ about it as well, it seems. I guess that’s a good thing. Here are my thoughts:

1. Time to quote Shirky YET AGAIN: “So for­get about blogs and blog­gers and blog­ging and focus on this?—?the cost and dif­fi­culty of publishing abso­lu­tely anything, by anyone, into a glo­bal medium, just got a whole lot lower. And the effects of that inc­rea­sed pool of poten­tial pro­du­cers is going to be vast.” -CLAY SHIRKY in 2004.

2.  The business model of blogging has been proven many times over, so pretending that it hasn’t is pointless. Indirectly, Fred Wilson’s blog is EASILY worth more to him, than what AOL paid Mike Arrington for Techcrunch, maybe by a factor of ten (and they paid over $20 million for the latter, I am told). I’m not kidding! Whether or not said proven business model suits your individual needs is another question…

3. Blogging is no longer about “The Conversation”. That moved over to Twitter, Facebook etc years ago. If you’re just looking to natter and rant with the other trolls, I guess the comment section of a large blog like Gawker or HuffPo is as good a place as any. One more waste of space wasting their time, whatever. I’m liking Google Plus a lot these days. It has the same spontaneity as Twitter, but a bit more engaging and thoughtful, somehow. I never go on Facebook much any more. Too many “civilians”.

4. We forget JUST how utterly time-consuming blogging used to be, back when it was the only game in town. I remember the early blogging days, don’t you?  Remember how keeping up with the blogosphere properly took ten hours a day? Nowadays, the only people who are left blogging are the people who REALLY want to, who ACTUALLY have something to say. Everyone else is uploading cat photos on Facebook. I think this is a good thing.

5. Traffic is now harder to get than ever, but I’m OK with that. The kind of effort it takes me to get a noticeable and sustainable increase in blog traffic, ballpark, is about the same amount of time and effort it takes me to get a book deal and write the first draft.  Guess which option I chose? Exactly…

 6. I’m waiting for the Golden Age of Facebook and Twitter to be over, too. That way we can all get away from our computers and back to actually getting some real work done. Ha!

7. It’s the product, Stupid. My social media strategy these days has only three words: “Draw more cartoons”. In other words, create more real work, ACTUAL PRODUCT (in my case, cartoons) and the social media will fall into place, but only AFTER I’ve done the thing that actually pays the bills. Getting all obsessed with social media BEFORE you’ve created something of real, lasting value is putting the cart before the horse. But that’s an easy mistake to make online, I’m as guilty of that as anyone. Never again.

8. None of this is new. My thoughts on blogging aren’t that different than the last time I wrote a post like this one, nearly two years ago. Nor are my thoughts that different to anybody else’s I’ve seen lately, frankly. Do the math…

Comments

  1. Brian doesn’t agree because he has a vested interest in its success. The SEO game is over, and social is changing the way people interact, so what’s left?

    Blogging is really just a form of content that happened to be a good way to promote something. Good content will always be valuable, and I don’t think anything has changed there.

    However, I think the way people consume content is changing, which is why people like @Jason are trying to figure out how to adjust on the fly and skate to where they think the puck will be. He thinks it’s iPad apps…others think it’s video, etc.

    The fact remains that we’re in a world of increasing diversity, which means that blogging hasn’t lost it’s meaning, but has lost it’s value, on a bang for buck basis. If you only have 40 hours to use every week, it’s likely that there are better places to spend the majority of your time.

  2. I know it’s not about the conversation now, but I can’t help commenting.

    Thanks for nailing down the changes in blogging, especially the shift in conversation. I’m still convinced that the practice of blogging is worth it, even if I had zero subscribers.

    • Hey Becky…

      Yep. Pretty much…

    • Blogging is absolutely worth it, if only for the practice and exercise of working on your writing skills.

      I was kinda out of the space for a couple of years (managing a Tavern) but I got to see the conversations move away from blogs because Twitter and Facebook were all I had time for.

      Now I use blogging for long-form and premium material. Seems to work just fine.

      • “Blog ging is abso lu tely worth it, if only for the prac tice and exer cise of wor king on your wri ting skills.”

        I never thought about it too much before, but… yeah, you’ve got a point!

        Writing skills is highly underrated by most folk IMHO.

      • I agree! Blogging is worth it, definitely better than the time spend on TV and advertisement that has no real value to most. At the very least, blogging is a wonderful platform for people to live their dream even if it just for a brief period. Not to mention, the connection one could find through blogging. Blogging will be alive as long as there is no over-exaggerated censorship!

    • Well said Becky!

  3. There was never a “golden age” of blogging as far as I know. If anything it feels like maybe we are getting closer to it.

    Blogs have evolved into pretty high end systems if you look at WordPress. Now the scientific community is even looking at this as a way to produce peer-reviewed articles.

    At the same time less formal blog tools like Tumblr have allowed for a legion of less serious bloggers to still have a voice and share good content.

    I don’t think blogs were ever about business models either. That’s like asking “what’s the business model for talking and writing?” You can create one if you are great at it but it’s not why you do it.

    Blogs, blogging and blog posts are all fuzzy terms but as you note with the Shirky quote it’s all about making it easy to produce and share content. How can that not be a long-term revolutionary change for all of us?

  4. Hugh,

    Great points about blogging. I would agree with Stephen in that writing blogs is a great way to gather your thoughts in one place. Writing down one’s thoughts and opinions with supporting facts and/or references is a learned skill. I feel that true blogging is posting your thoughts with supporting documentation rather than posting a link to someone else’s blog post.

  5. Big blog sites lose focus and are gobbled up by corporations and those of us looking for value dropped their RSS feed in 2010. Give me a handful of individual blogs with authentic voices any day.

    PS: I love how the fight over the death of blogging always takes place on blogs.

    “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”

  6. If a blog was the only real way to connect with a person, brand, or company…wouldn’t that be where the conversation is also?

    Just a thought. ;)

    Tools will come and go, but the act of “blogging” will simply take place on whatever platform (tool) we can use to do that IMO.

    • Hey Joseph,

      “What is blogging?” is a question as old as blogging itself…

      Again, check out the Clay Shirky quote above :D

      • Joseph Ratliff says:

        Absolutely Hugh, we get hung up on “blogging” too much, which is why “blogging” is in quotes in my comment ;)

        Logging thoughts on the web, or weblogging is an action…not a tool IMO. All of us can do it, using any tools necessary…so whatever it’s called (blogging, writing, publishing etc…) it’s not going to die.

        We will just find different tools or platforms to do it.

        But Clay is a genius for pointing it out early.

  7. I have to agree that blogging isn’t about the conversation any longer. Some of the most popular posts get discussed a lot more on social sites. You want to discuss something and share your feelings on something? A lot faster to just post it on twitter or Facebook.

    I went this route after the time spent researching for a blog post seemed like it wasn’t worth it anymore. Eventually the quick fix of posting on sites like twitter and Facebook made me feel like I didn’t feel like discussing anything at all. Everything that I would say would be said already and it was easily accessible by everyone in an instant.

  8. Hi Hugh. Every year, someone makes this same prediction, usually for the same reason.

    As a wise man once told me; “whenever you hear someone make a prediction, consider the source.” By looking at the source of a prediction, it’s usually easy to see the motivation behind it.

    Thanks for adding some well thought out points, to the most recent Blogging Is Dead stunt, Hugh.

  9. If you have built something others need or can relate to, care about your customers or clients, want to stay in touch with them and constantly re-create your proven value and scale the experience… or simply want to express yourself collectively as a human being …

    Can anyone tell me what medium or platform is best suited to deliver that load?

    … but heading over to read Owyang’s post and fig out what he’s talking about!

  10. Blogs still have headroom to grow visitors and page views. Social networking had made distribution of blogs easy and therefore is contributing to growth of blogs. While some conversation done on blogs might have moved economically and efficiently to microblogs, the top million blogs can still target 50 billion page views per month.

    http://nraoblogs.blogspot.com/2012/01/has-blogging-reached-its-peak-no-there.html

  11. I have always done more podcasts than blog posts. Because of this most of my subscribers are listening on their iPods/iPhones at the gym or on a plane. I have never been hyper focused on the number of comments I get as most won’t hop off the treadmill to tweet me. The measurement has always been how many of them end up hiring me later on.

    The key thing I have learned over 5+ years of podcasting – know your audience really well and create content for them… or be part of the noise. I think too many blogs talk about the same thing and that dilutes their traffic.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Hugh McCloud give a satirical element to the conversation, and makes eight strong points [...]

  2. [...] That Could Make it Better ( respected technology writer Marshall Kirkpatrick drops some knowledge) Oh No! Blogging is REALLY, REALLY dead this time!!!!!! ( Hugh Macleod has some [...]

  3. [...] That Could Make it Better ( respected technology writer Marshall Kirkpatrick drops some knowledge) Oh No! Blogging is REALLY, REALLY dead this time!!!!!! ( Hugh Macleod has some fun)You can add this one to the list of the nay sayers. I don’t believe [...]

  4. [...] Hugh MacLeod a publié un article sur la mort du blogue, qui reprenait lui-même un article de Jeremiah Owyang publié la veille « End of an Era : [...]

  5. [...] That Could Make it Better ( respected technology writer Marshall Kirkpatrick drops some knowledge)Oh No! Blogging is REALLY, REALLY dead this time!!!!!! ( Hugh Macleod has some [...]

  6. [...] subject this week since Jeremiah Owyang brought it up here (and followed up here) and then BOOM here he goes again with another post about what blogging means AND TO WHOM in 2012. Agree completely and I’ll [...]

  7. [...] That Could Make it Better ( respected technology writer Marshall Kirkpatrick drops some knowledge)Oh No! Blogging is REALLY, REALLY dead this time!!!!!! ( Hugh Macleod has some [...]

  8. [...] were lulled into the idea that blogging is another form of marketing. Well yes – but as Hugh MacLeod says: …create more real work, ACTUAL PRODUCT (in my case, car­toons) and the social media will [...]

  9. [...] Evident nu doar noi ne certam/discutam despre blogging. Se pare ca “dincolo” discutia este chiar mai avansata si Hugh McLeod face un rezumat interesant al argumentelor (click pe linkurile din text) aici [...]

  10. [...] spending less time in social media to make more is put excellently in one of Hugh MacLeod’s latest articles: My social media stra­tegy these days has only three words: “Draw more car­toons”. In other [...]

  11. [...] continued with the following posts from known bloggers: Brian Solis, Robert Scoble, Hugh MacLeod, Jason [...]

  12. [...] of social media pundits have declared blogging dead. I like this tongue-in-cheek assessment from Hugh MacLeod: “Nowadays, the only people who are left blogging are the people who REALLY want to, who ACTUALLY [...]

  13. [...] blogging was the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to)…well, all you really had to do was blog. [...]

  14. [...] blogging was the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to)…well, all you really had to do was blog. [...]

  15. [...] blogging was the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to)…well, all you really had to do was blog. There [...]

  16. [...] blogging was the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to)…well, all you really had to do was blog. There [...]

  17. [...] blogging was nearly the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to), all you really had to do was blog. There [...]

  18. [...] blogging was the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to)…well, all you really had to do was blog. There [...]

  19. [...] When blogging was the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to)…well, all you really had to do was blog. There weren’t other social media sites you could leverage like Twitter, Facebook or Google+. [...]

  20. [...] blogging was the only game in town (see points 3 and 4 in that article I linked to)…well, all you really had to do was blog. There [...]

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