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Blogs are dead (or, are dying). Or are they? Wed 12 Aug 09

Blog_for_sale_john_weise My friend Jason Alba who owns JibberJobber (by the way a great career management tool) recently sent out a newsletter and asked the question "…let me know what you think about the following phrase: "Blogs are dead (or, are dying)."  Could blogs become obsolete?  On one side people say that Twitter and such will make them obsolete... on the other side there are too many blogs, and many of them plain junk. What do YOU, as a blogger, think?"

A great question and one I couldn't help but comment on. In one sense, I do think blogs are dying but in the same sense all other forms of communicating ideas are "dying".  Let me explain my reasoning.

Over time our methods of communication have increased. With some obvious omissions look at the following progression of communication technologies

  1. Grunts and finger pointing
  2. Language
  3. Written language
  4. Books
  5. Telegraph
  6. Telephone
  7. Television network news
  8. CNN
  9. Websites
  10. Blogs
  11. Twitter

Each of these was at one time the cutting edge communication technology and it significantly impacted the previous listing as a significant way of communicating.  Some would say many of these "killed" its predecessor technology and in some cases it did.  

What each of these technologies did was to further segment the market of communication technologies into smaller more defined niches.  In the beginning grunting and finger pointing had 100% market share so to speak (pun intended).  The development of language created a niche (albeit a large niche) application where it was more useful than simple grunting.  Thus language took a large portion of market share away from grunting although grunting as a communications technology is certainly not dead.

Likewise, blogging with its attributes carved out a niche where it is an appropriate communications technology and took share away from other technologies, traditional websites for example.

Twitter now offers a method for personal communication over the web that offer different characteristics than blogging such as short messages only, no technical skills needed, no site to manage etc. that will take away people that want those attributes.  So in this sense because blogging may be losing market share you could call it dying.

At the same time as its niche becomes more narrowly defined I would have to say blogging is alive and well. Thriving, actually. As the market it serves becomes more narrowly focused on the type of communication it provides well those that desire this form of communication become more enthusiastic about it.

To paraphrase Bill Clinton, I guess it depends on what the definition of dying is. For me it's alive and well. For others it might be dying.

What do you think?

"Blog for Sale or Lease"photo by John Weise (be sure to read the comment on the photo)

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