Mack over at the Viral Garden brought up a great issue, highlighting one of the most misunderstood subjects in new media, blogging. Experts have long been predicting the demise of blogging. Frankly, I'm a bit shocked that Steve Rubel even raised the issue, but I'm more than satisfied with his coverage. About 6 months ago I was discussing this very concept with Greg Verdino (on a job interview) and while this may not always be the case, I still maintain the position I had back then.
Steps in the Evolution
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The Great Blogging Evolution
Do you remember about a decade back, before digital marketing was mainstream, when long tail magazines and cable networks seemed to be the wave of the future? As I recall there were roughly five to six hundred magazines launching every year! Cable television listings had grown from thirty to eighty channels! And yet something happened along the way. Of those 500 new magazines, only a handful are still in circulation. This will happen to blogging, but in a very different way.
Below are my predictions for this evolution:
- There are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs currently written by high school kids, college students and the elderly. As they move onto the next stages in their lives, they will likely either
- stop blogging altogether,
- launch a new blog, or
- move their personal social media into another (new?) non-blogging platform.
- As a generation of tech savvy successful baby boomers retire, they likely will take up blogging as both form of a entertainment (Florida speak for "keeping busy") and to help stay current. Think of it as the college professor crowd but without the barriers of academic credentials. All elderly people like share their life experiences, blogging offers a great platform for this story telling.
- This will also open up a whole new resource to RSS readers, especially those in college and new to the field.
- Those blogging about nothing in specific will stop blogging.
- If the blog is a one way communication, chances are you will stop blogging. Blogging is about conversation and conversation keeps the medium alive.
- Those who are blogging because it's the shiny nickel (or as Rubel puts it, Shiny Object Syndrome) will stop blogging. These same people will however, pick up new forms of social media as they become popular.
- Blogging will become increasingly more interactive, fluid, mobile and dynamic.
- While I agree with Rubel that mobile will play a part in the blogging evolution, I believe mobile will (for the next 10 years or until they develop mass produced expandable screens) serve largely as a small complimentary audience and as a live extension of the core blog via microblogging. Until larger format screens become more mainstream, most long form social media will remain a web only experience. I'm not sure if this is what Rubel meant to say, maybe he can correct me!