It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? Blogging about the apparent death of blogging? Ironic, perhaps, or maybe a kind of fitting tribute.
But to be honest, I don’t think I’ve been in denial like this since Destiny’s Child broke up.
I mean, most people (and by most people, I mean young people, people familiar with millennial lingo like “snap story,” or “on fleek”) have already come to terms with the apparent “demise” of blogging. Like, so totally over it! But I’m just not quite convinced. Hold the “RIP.”
Is blogging still relevant, or am I just refusing to evolve with the natural (albeit unnaturally unforgiving) course of technological innovation in the 21st century?
I’ll admit, with truth, that in the cob-web-covered corners of the etherweb lie the abandoned blogs of yester-year. MySpace and Blockbuster are probably there, giving their condolences. Hey, I’ve know what it’s like, they reassure those (circa-2009) family blogs that we were convinced would keep everyone in-the-know, but now lie untouched.
The popularity of blogging rose and peaked in about 2006-2007;”blog” was even deemed word of the year in 2004 by Merriam-Webster. However, it was not long after, as the New York Times reports, that the use and popularity of blogging began to decline. Perhaps it was that the blog’s user-generated content emanated a lack of credibility that prohibited its longevity. Or maybe the content just seemed too shallow (like the sneering brush-off we give to “mommy-bloggers”), or a threat to “real” journalism, a publication model much too amateur.
But couldn’t we agree that our social media of today owes its success to the humble blogosphere of the early 2000’s? Aren’t Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram just microblogging sites that have taken and run with a blogging model? As the Neiman Lab argues, all web media has blogging DNA.
I don’t believe that blogs are dying. Their definition and use are simply changing and evolving, arguably for the better. For millennials turning completely and exclusively to social media, blogs now serve as more serious avenues of content-production needed in a fragmented virtual atmosphere plagued with incompleteness of thought. Blogging stills provides a personal outlet for the individual, but it is now more of a tool to launch businesses and people (those with the chops) into the spotlight, contributing in a meaningful way. There can be valuable creators that make meaningful additions to the world’s niches. And they can do it more comprehensively than the 140-character glimpses we get on Twitter. With blogging, we don’t get just tastes, we get heftier, more satiating, platefuls; feasting we deserve even when we crave, even demand, less, quicker. A Guardian writer said thoughtfully, “We shouldn’t mourn the loss of casual bloggers as it has raised the overall production quality of the blogosphere.”
So don’t worry, blogs. You’ve still got it, and your best years are still ahead of you.