Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blogging: Dead or alive?

When I got hooked on the blogging phenomenon back in 2005, this new (to me) toy was the smartest, hippest, most exciting thing around. Over the next couple of years the gang - meaning all the bloggers I met online - seemed to spend most of their free time writing blogs, reading blogs, and conversing via the comment trail.

Blogging has been a revelation for the writers among us. For the first time ever, we could join and form communities with other writers across the globe and share our journeys in real time. We could support each other and learn about the publishing business from experts in the field. We could gang up on the people who profit from fleecing writers and expose their nefarious deeds for the whole wide Internet to see. Heady days, these. Heady years.

Over the last two years, however, I've seen many of the regulars in my particular circle - most of them writers, naturally - fall by the wayside. Many have stopped blogging altogether. Others put up an occasional half-hearted article. For those who persevere, readership seems to have fallen off drastically. Group blogs have shrunk or disappeared altogether.

So here's my question: Are we bloggers going the way of the dodo, the Polaroid camera and the Walkman? Or have the mere dabblers moved on to the next fad while we the serious people keep the blog fires burning? Take the poll (it's all in fun) and let's find out!

Is the blogging phenomenon dying?
Dying? It's so dead.
Most bloggers I know have absconded to Facebook and Twitter.
Nah, it's going as strong as ever.
What's a blog? free polls

Liane Spicer
Free poll maker


G. B. Miller said...

Interesting post. I wrote one about this on Friday, in which I stated my observations on how people dispose of their blogs when they ride off into the sunset.

I'm not sure how/if its dying among writers. I do know that for the writer's blogs that I follow, they keep them fresh by narrowly focusing on a particular topic and not deviating from it.

I do know that for general bloggers like myself whose main focus is not writing (but a decent side tangent), it does become tougher as each year passes to keep doing it. Personally, I've been blogging since '08 and it's been very tough some 545+ (and 29 1/2 months) later to keep coming up with fresh material.

Maria Zannini said...

Every so often I hear 'blogging is dead', but my blog has gotten stronger this year. More followers and more requests to guest blog, so I would say blogging is still breathing. Someone is reading. And I'm reading--otherwise I wouldn't be here.

Like every medium, it goes through shifts. Listening to Twitter and FB fans, you'd think blogging was on life support, but I haven't seen it in my experience.

And there are other bloggers who have a huge following. I don't think they're worrying too much about the state of blogging. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, I can't quite vote because my choice isn't there. I see a lot of these kinds of social interactions, like blogger, twitter, etc, go through periods of extreme rapid growth followed by a decrease in popularity. blogger went through this, but I don't think it's dying. I think it's just settled in at an endemic level. It won't be as popular as it was for a while, but won't go away.

Shauna Roberts said...

I'm spending more time on Facebook, which leaves me less time to visit blogs (unless that's all I wanted to get done each day). Some of the blogs I used to regularly visit are dead or dying.

Still, blogs fill a role that Twitter and Facebook can't. Blogs can provide in-depth discussion, detailed instructions on how to do something, carefully worked out arguments. I don't think blogs will go away until something equally substantive comes along to replace them.

Unknown said...

Liane -- I have to agree with all of the above comments. I think blogging is still out there, but it's going through the same transitions as all other media.

I think -- as always -- people who wait for an audience to come to their blog will die out. I see more blogs posted to Facebook, with people commenting there. I've actually come to prefer this integrated method of presentation. Those who want to know more about the blog's author or who want to read additional posts can always link to the blog.

Emma Darwin said...

Agreed - I think it's just part of the evolutionary shape of anything:
- clever little inklings and early adopters,
- huge growth when the mainstream finds it,
- slowing of growth as most people who will ever (say) blog are blogging
- downwards dip as other ways (FB/Twitter) to get some of the same fix (sociability, instantaneity) come along
- settling down to a stable state of people who are really suited to blogging and reading blogs.

I came in towards the end of the big boom, in 2007, and after the initial climb as I acquired readers, my stats have stayed pretty steady, growing very slowly. But I have a very closely-focussed blog, purely about writing, so I guess I have a natural constuency which is never going to get huge, but hopefully will not shrink either.


Lane Mathias said...

I agree entirely in that blogging in general is solid and here to stay. Whilst some blogs drop off, plenty more take their place - my google reader is proof of that.

When blogging was relatively 'new' in 2007 - when ordinary people realized they could have their own space - there was bound to be boom. But like all things, it ebbs and flows.

Like Emma above, my stats have stayed pretty much the same, even though I'm blogging less.

Karen said...

I still love it, and although I post a little less often than I used to when it was new and exciting and I wanted to get to know everyone in blogland, I don't intend giving up writing or reading blogs any time soon!

Anonymous said...

If the comments on my recent, related blog article are anything to go by, then blogging is still going strong. It's just shifted focus so that some areas have dropped in activity, while other areas have increased or at least stayed steady.