Lots of people have, quite prematurely, been eagerly announcing the death of blogs recently, for various reasons and with an abundance of arguments. Darko Buldioski, though, is right: Blogs are not dead.
They just smell funny.
They possibly have lost their teen spirit – and the odour that’s usually connected with it.
To be a tad more serious: Blogging has come of age. In the terminology of the Garnter Hype Cycle blogging has passed the Peak of Inflated Expectations (remember the days?) and the Trough of Disillusionment. My guess is that we are currently in the transitional stage between the Slope of Enlightenment and the Plateau of Productivity.
Blogs are dead, nevertheless
Blogs as a text-centric tool of communication are (almost) dead. Like in any other evoluitionary process this special species of blogs with their extensive spread of knowledge and their heavy load (and sometimes burden) of hypertextual connectedness and interactivity will live on in their respective niches. And I really fancy a lot of them (am even involved in one of them), make no mistake. They are important. Their remnants will be the core of future paleontologists’ wet dreams.
In order to survive blogs and blogging will have to change (and have already been changing for a while) by integrating other social media channels and APIs and whathaveyou. In the end, even as an aggregating and integrating nucleus of online communication – or as a black hole sucking in all the sparkling fanciness of modern times SM means –, blogging will have dissolved, i.e. transitioned into something that reflects the whole range of social interactions.
Frankly, from a tools point of view I don’t give a damn what blogs and blogging will look like at the end of this transformation (if there is an end, which I highly doubt). As long as there are suitable and convenient ways to interact with your social graph – or as long as there is the right context for your content, if you prefer – there’s no need to be picky about what it’s called and what it looks like.
There’s one thing, one inherent quality of blogs, that deserves to be preserved, and that’s their disruptive potential. I have recently written a short blog post (in German; btw. it marks the revitalisation of my long neglected blog) about the disruptive power of blogs. You’d really have to be a dumbass of sorts not to have realised how blogs tornadoed through so many areas of business, politics, social life.
There’s no reason to assume that blogs have lost their stamina and power to change things (even paradigms, if you can still endure another one of those buzzwords), mainly because it is not derived from the tool side of blogs but from the social context they are embedded in. In fact, you don’t have to look very far to see the next walls tumble that have been deemed to surround impregnable fortresses.
Blogs may die, as long as the underlying quality (of disruptiveness) lives on.
And sorry, I didn’t intend to be so whimsical 😉
Well, maybe I DID.