The End of The Blog?
For the people in the blogging loop, you may know one of the most established bloggers on the net, Andrew Sullivan, hung up his keyboard after 15 years creating one of the biggest blogs the internet has seen. Sullivan, a predominant political British-American commentator, came to the conclusion that his blog had served its time earlier this year. His resignation from blogging triggered a huge online debate in which many commentators declared “the death of blogging“.
Internet usage has risen steadily since the early ‘90s, however, despite the number of hosting providers out there all offering super simple, and quick to set up blog packages like the one described here, the actual number of independent online blogs has dropped drastically in the past five to ten years. This begs the question – where have all the bloggers gone?
Social media is continuing to grow and extend its reach into the lives of teenagers and adults alike, with new registrations far outweighing people leaving sites (Facebook is the third most popular site on the internet). This popularity enjoyed by social media is arguably the chief reason for the slump in blog numbers, as people who once sought the refuge of the blogosphere to share their two cents now do so through the medium of social media. In a nutshell, people are consuming the internet differently to how they did ten years ago.
Phenomena like ‘memes’, ‘gifs’, pictures, videos, tweets and status updates are the primary avenue of self-expression on the internet today – perhaps because the framework of social media encourages this kind of activity and consequently long-winded blogs have been ditched in favour of quick fix 140-character tweets.
This change in consumption has of course been accommodated by big business. Rather than creating blogs, businesses now opt for creating Facebook pages and mobile phone applications, further contributing to the demise of the blog. The blog is winding down toward becoming an obsolete form of technology, at least in its traditional format.
However it is not all doom and gloom for bloggers out there. The change in the way people consume information has seen established bloggers dwindle in numbers dramatically, concentrating the power of the blog among just a few busy writers. Social media has arguably trimmed off the fat in a blogging world which was once overrun by illegible pages created by vocal youths on the family computer. What remains now is the meat, meaning, if you can beef up your joint, then blogging can still be a worthwhile means of communication.