Man-day Post: The Death of Blogging- Part 1

In Blogging, Man-day by Jensguy22 Comments

Have you heard the news?  Blogging is dead.  Every year people march out articles telling us that the era of blogging is finished and the “new thing” is ready to take over.  Generally, they are selling something or just crying for attention.  I especially love it when they make the pronouncement on a blog (very post-modern.) But the claim is made so often, that I guess we ought to examine it.

Microblogging is the Wave of the Future!

A fun start off point would be an article from Fast Company magazine, explaining “Why Blogging is Dead- And What is Next?”  Since this article is a couple of years old, we have a chance to look for hindsight (which I adore.)

“All of these (microblogging options) are incredibly different from traditional blogs. They are much less text heavy, and they focus on quality of both content and design. God knows what they will do to journalism when they become mainstream–because they will. Many of the people entering the Internet now will never even see a PC or a laptop; they will read on mobile devices. So the format of content must rapidly change to meet them.”

The upshot of the article is that everyone will read content on their mobile devices so long form communication is dead.  Fast forward to today and the culmination of the bite-sized immensely clickable communication looks a lot like:

Welcome to your brand new non-blogging future.  The funny part is that my favorite blogs are probably the only place that I have left to go to avoid that kind of crap.  Go to any online newspaper and you will probably get those same exact articles just below their news stories.  The other funny part is that if you actually go to the articles, you will be presented with a slide show that will guide you through 20 different advertisement-laden pages.  Not really optimal for mobile devices.

No, they were really talking about Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook and Twitter were a thing back in December 2012, so that wasn’t what Fast Company was talking about, as neither was really discussed.  But others have pointed to the rise of social media as blog kryptonite.  From the New York Times in 2011, “Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter,”

The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.

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.

Well, yeah.  I will reckon that there were very few blogs written by 12 to 17-year-olds that held any type of audience so shifting to Facebook and twitter makes infinitely more sense.  Among 18 to 33-year-olds the percentage drop off was minimal.  As many people reading this have blogs, the relationship between blogs and social media isn’t a mystery.  Social media only works when it can move along content and most of that content is created by blogs.  Very few people are proficient enough to create lasting and meaningful content in 140 characters or less, so they use links.  Remove the links, there is very little going on with Facebook and Twitter.  The thought that these mediums are REPLACING serious blogging is laughable.  Well, unless you are Katy Perry.  Hi, Katy!!

Homegrown Blogging can never replace traditional media and will eventually be done better by “professionals.”

Already happened.  Next time you go to the grocery store look at the magazine rack when you are checking out.  Notice the almost complete absence of women’s magazines.  That is not an accident.  Not long ago the seven most popular women’s magazines (known as the seven sisters) were:

Better Homes and Gardens (started in 1922)
Family Circle (started in 1932)
Good Housekeeping (started in 1885)
McCall’s (started in 1873)
Ladies’ Home Journal (started in 1873)
Redbook (started in 1903)
Woman’s Day (started in 1937)

Two of these (McCall’s and Ladies’ Home Journal, folding this month) are dead, the others aren’t really flying off the shelves.  Mainly because you can get better content, not localized in New York, penned without political agendas, and written by actual mothers that share your same situation in life, for free and updated far more than monthly.  It’s known as “creative destruction” and the remaining magazines are doing their best to be “edgier,” because they actually believe that was their problem.  The truth is that they are simply being outworked and are trapped in a model that ensures their demise.

At issue here is a ton of advertising dollars.  Those magazines didn’t enjoy 100 year long swoons of success because of their brilliance, but because they were able to deliver ultra targeted advertising to head-of-household mothers.  The need for that advertising hasn’t went away and will try to find a way to reach that audience.  That is why there are so many “mommy bloggers” that are doing so well, and the reason why so many “professionals” use the term “mommy blogger” with a sneer.  If you really wanted to save such a publication they would be reaching out and incorporating independent bloggers like SITS Girls and Blogher do.  Eventually those dollars will funnel to where the eyeballs are, and they certainly aren’t on the magazine rack at the checkout aisle.

You can read the second part of this post here.

Jensguy

Comments

    1. Thank you! Content will always be king. It has amazed me that one of the biggest mistakes of traditional media has been providing weaker content as their revenue slides. It was a real eye opener for me how much power the “mommy blog” community really holds.
      Jen’s Guy recently posted…Man-day Post: The Death of Blogging- Part 1My Profile

  1. I love this! My family is always telling me that I will never be able to do blogging as anything but a hobby and even then eventually it will die out. I just don’t see that happening. It is not a fad but a different way of communication. It’s also pretty fun.
    Becka recently posted…Pete the Monkey and a few tips for Pinata SafetyMy Profile

  2. I agree that the likes of Twitter and Facebook will never take over from blogging, who can write anything of any interest in 140 characters – I know I can’t- but then again I am rather long winded!

    I can’t remember the last time I picked up a woman’s magazine as I would much rather browse through blogs written by real women (and men), who are sharing what they know, than read articles that are not aimed at or written by real people.

    I look forward to part two of this article.
    Debbie recently posted…Three Good Reasons Why We Should All Be Eating More Nuts…My Profile

    1. Yeah creating content in a paragraph is near impossible, which is why Facebook’s recent tendency to try to control and nickel and dime content creators is so mystifying. Content creators make Facebook worth reading, diminish them, and your product suffers.

    1. Yep, almost all of my magazine reading is done twice a year in the dentist’s office. I’m to the point that I get more useful information out of Highlights than I do Time. . .

  3. This blog left me dying for part II! Blogging is far from dead, though if I were in the business of print I would likely be in denial…for two seconds before getting my ass behind a blog! lol I only wish I had started getting serious about blogging when I started those many years ago.
    Rebecca recently posted…All Things Dylan, All Things CrazyMy Profile

    1. Yep, we are going to talk about the skillsets that bloggers are picking up compared to traditional journalists in the next article. That is the real difference. Reporters ask for permission, bloggers create their own rules.

  4. I’m a new blogger and really enjoying it. I hope blogging sticks around a long time! I used to receive some of those magazines and now I don’t bother because I find more content that interests me on blogs. Love your perspective on this!
    normaleverydaylife recently posted…Motivational Monday Link Party #98My Profile

    1. I have more, but was forced to postpone the rest due to an unfortunate plumbing situation (that I resolved like a boss!)

  5. Now I need Part 2. I worry about the attention spans of all of us. I have noticed a shift in my own! It would be nice if it trended back to what it used to be!
    And blogging can’t really ever be dead. I will always still be doing it. Always!
    Tamara recently posted…One Small Voice.My Profile

    1. Yeah, the death of blogging always seems to be reported by those who aren’t doing it correctly. . .

  6. I hope blogs are here to stay, especially because I am still new to the scene!

    Seriously though, I discovered modern blogging (sorry, livejournal), after I had my baby and could not find anything relevant in magazines, whether they women, parenting, news, or fitness focused. Finding blogs not only helped me access great content, but it connected me to an amazing community. Creating one of my own has helped me to share what I’ve learned and make even deeper connections. The grassroots efforts may make it difficult for a conglomerate to monetize them, but they are such an important source of support, information, and connection.
    Farrah recently posted…Attached MamaMy Profile

    1. Shhhh, I’m saving the direction that you are going for the second part of the article. It makes me happy that you are thinking the same things and I’m not crazy. . .

  7. Boy, I hope blogging isn’t dead since I just started not too long ago, lol! I really see blogging as evolutionary. I agree that our attention spans seem to be getting shorter and the competition is fierce, but the internet almost seems pretty close to invincible now. Companies have started their own blogs and bloggers have moved on to blogging for companies. I mean where does everyone think Martha Stewart or BHG gets their ideas now? Bloggers, of course! Now, if I could only figure out how to snag one of those gigs.

    I am dying for part II now!
    Rachel recently posted…Turn It Up Tuesday #42My Profile

    1. Yeah, I’m afraid I’m going to have to put a LOT more work into part two to live up to expectations now. Part of the problem is that when bloggers lose their own masthead, they give up part of their voice, and your voice is what makes you fascinating. In a previous life I worked as a technical writer and it slowly squeezed the soul out of me. I would suspect that penning exclusively for a corporation would be a lot like that.

    1. Make sure that you pick up this month’s issue, it will be the last!

  8. Blogging is far from dead! It’s growing. I absolutely despise the content slide shows you mentioned (even if it’s on my computer). Ridiculous.

    This was awesome! Now I have to read Part 2!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…SHINE Blog Hop #9My Profile

  9. Pingback: Shine Blog Hop #10 - The Deliberate Mom

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