One of the most read articles on the New York Times website over the past weekend was a short article on how websites such as Twitter and Facebook are causing a decline in blog hits, especially among young generations. I’ve heard it over and over since I started blogging, and I guess it is partially true that blogging is dying. Statistics do support the idea. Big blogs are gaining bigger readership (think Huffington Post which started out as a simple blog) while smaller blogs run by people looking for an outlet eventually die off because the one person runs out of energy and ideas for it.
The article summarizes the shift saying, “Former bloggers said they were too busy to write lengthy posts and were uninspired by a lack of readers. Others said they had no interest in creating a blog because social networking did a good enough job keeping them in touch with friends and family.”
I have a few problems with this shift though, and they are the main reasons I continue to strive to keep this blog going:
- Facebook and Twitter are not places to have extended conversations on deep subjects. Sometimes blogs aren’t either and face to face is needed but blogs do a lot better job of facilitating lengthy conversations than social networks.
- 140 characters isn’t always enough to develop a meaningful thought.
- The consistency needed in good blogging is something that my generation is not good at.
- The art and quality of writing will continue to go down as texting and social networks thrive. Sure Twitter has helped many people get better at being succinct, but blogging has made me a far better writer than I ever was before.
- I think social networking sites need blogs more than the other way around. Great links to great blogs have driven a lot of the success of both Twitter/Facebook.