Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Anyone out there?

I have had a number of conversations recently about blogs. All surrounding ongoing viability, something which has already been broached by many smart people (NY Observer, Wired). Is amateur journalism too time-consuming to be viable? I spend a good amount of professional energy writing for (and even more energy trying to coerce other people to write for) the AASL blog, and know it isn't the kind of thing people are likely to take on without branding themselves, or some sort of renumeration.

Turning it over in my mind, it seems these his "no one reads blogs anymore" thing is predicated on some lazy assumptions:
  • That blogs are all one thing. I seem them as a disparate array of rich content. It is a format, not a genre, in other words.
  • That readers aren't using aggregators. One person's "magazine" or "website" might be another person's "blog."
  • That everyone can read the web at work. I don't have a lot of the browser plug-ins to make many sites "work," but can read rss feeds without incident.
  • That reliance on "pointers" from twitter and other places obviate the need to "follow" a blog. What about vacations, and weekends? One can't watch twitter all the time, not if following more than a handful of people and without using lists (a topic for another day).

I know not very many people read this, which is fine with me. It is my professional journal more than anything else, and who wants a lot of people poking around there? But it does make me wonder, is it all for naught?

1 comment:

  1. No, it's not for naught!

    I sometimes feel as the same, though, particularly when I've written about something that one of the Big Names has also written about and/or linked to and there are no comments left. "What am I doing wrong?" goes through my mind... but then I recognize that I'm not blogging for fame and fortune, I'm blogging for myself (and anyone who happens to read what I've written is gravy).

    You're right about the death of blogs being premature. I can't possibly keep track of all the links people include in Twitter, for one, and I don't read only one type of blog. Perhaps those predicting the end have a narrow focus and thus can get their information purely from Twitter? On the other hand, Twitter doesn't allow for analysis, just links.