In 2008 tech luminaries such as Wired Magazine began posting articles proclaiming the death of the blog. The gargantuan Huff Post and Buzz Feed were just beginning their infamous rise to power and the rhetoric at the time was deeply rooted in negativity; nobody could quite fathom how smaller blogs might compete with the new, all powerful ‘super’ blogs taking over the blogosphere.
Fast-forward 7 years, it’s 2013: The year Google Reader finally died and the last person in the universe decided called it a day completely with RSS feeds. The Huff Post, Buzz Feed and Mashable sit proudly at the top of Technorati most popular blogs (as they have done for years) and nobody (it seams) is even that bothered about reading online anymore.
Glancing at the evidence, you could be forgiven for assuming that Wired, and the rest of the doomsayers of 2008 were 100% right. But it is my opinion that those commentators that donned the proverbial sandwich boards and emblazed them with ‘The End Is Neigh’ slogans where guilty of the same trap that so many other technology futurists have fallen foul of over the years; the misassumption that subtle changes and diversifications in the consumption of technology will not have profound effects on the way people digest media.
Users have a crafty and clever way of repurposing technologies, changing their uses and consequently the very ideals that underpin them. Blogging pre 2008 was revolutionary in nature; it was a one-finger salute to the old-world publishing community. It was a powerful new platform from which censorship and editorial decision-making were rubbished and castaway. There was vigorous desire just to create, something, anything, as long as it was different to that that came before!
In 2013 the blogging revolution is a distant memory to some and an inconsequential moment in Internet history to most. Bloggers are still publishing great content on a regular basis but the type of blogging has changed, and so has the audience.
Here are 4 types of small (or personal) blog that can still draw dedicated and quite often large readerships from those people who still think the written word has some relevance online:
1) The Hobbiest blog
Niche/hobbiest blogs are powerful knowledge tools for people whom have very specific interests. The niche blogger generally doesn’t care for traffic stats and visitor numbers. But by sharing their passion and connecting in an intimate fashion with a small number of readers niche bloggers are doing what should bloggers have been doing all along – making real connections with other people interested in the same topics as the writer.
2) The Business Blog
Bloggers and professional writers everywhere should probably be knelt in subservience chanting something along the lines of “All Hail Google’s New Webmaster guidelines”
The business blog is the new backbone of the blogging community. Businesses everywhere now understand the importance of providing fresh, interesting and relevant content to consumers and potential customers across the globe. Consumers like to be kept in the loop – transparency is the new black. Certain businesses are now considered though-leaders due to their blogging efforts, and of course Google loves to digest and crawl actionable and unique content direct from a businesses URL.
3) The Music Blog
In a space that has so many genres, sub-genres and genres that haven’t even been coined yet, there will always be space for a snappy wordsmith with a keen ear for new music. Unlike other industries, music journalism has continued to evolve and in some ways has grown into the online space in a more mature and creative direction than, say for example film. Where the industry giants failed the bloggers succeeded – long live the independent music journo!
4) The Blog About Blogging
The royalty of the blogosphere, the king, queen and jester of the court, all rolled into one. The pseudo blog has become the unstoppable driving force of the blogging industry.
The last 3 years has seen the development of the content marketing industry – the marketing industry’s answer to taming social networks and modern search algorithms.
Blogging about how to write/produce better blogs and how to project them to as wide an audience as possible has become one of the most written about and read subjects online. As more and more businesses prick their ears up and more directors and CEO’s start to take an interest in blogging the question of how best to do it has become a huge industry in its own right!
As for blogging being dead for 7 years, we we all know that hasn’t happened. Blogging continues to grow and change. It develops and shifts at a faster rate then any other publishing platform. It is this diversity and freedom to publish hat continues to drive it forward..
And this is why it just will not die quietly.
So there you have it: A blog about the death of blogging, written on a personal blog that’s all about blogging.
I’m off for a beer x