The New York Times recently ran a story saying what most of us had sensed through anecdotal evidence over the past year or so–blogs aren’t what they used to be. In my journalism class I have found students strangely (to me) reluctant to start blogs. At first I thought they were intimidated by the process, but that’s not the case. Starting a blog is ridiculously easy these days.
The truth is, blogging isn’t as sexy as it was. Why?
The fact is, Facebook has drawn many bloggers away from blogging because it offers a more reliable and often larger audience (friends, friends of friends, etc.). It also offers a dynamic social component not always evident on your average blog.
But don’t be too quick to bury the blog. Those who were drawn away from blogging were probably not too interested in their subjects (if they even had one) in the first place. Their removal actually improves the quality of the blogs that remain. Further, Facebook is all about quick snippets of information. Most readers on Facebook aren’t terribly interested in clicking through on the “More” button to read all of a lengthy post, because the site itself encourages grazing on many appetizers rather than eating a full, satisfying meal. Furthermore, a great deal of what is shared on Facebook is sourced from–blogs, or at least sites that include blogs.
So there remains a need for writers to dig out information, to do the legwork that produces something of substance. This is actually good news for those smart bloggers who chose not to use their blogs simply to rant and repost, but who found a niche and produced interesting, usable, informative and entertaining information.
Content, as always, is king.