Does Twitter Make Blogging Obsolete?

More

Andy Serwer is the managing editor of Fortune magazine and he is so busy with Twitter and Facebook status updates that he has announced the end of blogging -- for himself and, it would seem, the world. As newspapers and magazines drown, are blogs really just the next inland city to be submerged in the wave of communications technology?


No. And obviously, Serwer doesn't believe his own headline. He's announcing the end of blogging on a blog. And his article isn't really a blog post. It's an 800-word column about how he has no time to blog, which is like a meter maid telling a homeless person she has no change. Not to be ageist or anything, but it's a middle-aged argument that every child suffers from their parents: communication technology, so many gadgets, can't count them all, the future the future, blah blah blah. But let's take this more seriously.

When you wade through the histrionics of the title and first few paragraphs, Serwer settles on the right idea of what the explosion of communication avenues can do for us -- it gives us more to read, not less. Many bloggers tweet not out of sense of masochism but self-promotion. Nobody tweets an article saying "Don't read this!"

That reminds me of the the Daily Beast, one of the latest and flashiest news aggregators, which uses the tagline: "Read This, Not That." That's obviously dishonest. The Beast, like most everybody, hardly ever tells you not to read something. The role of communications media -- blogging, tweeting, aggregating -- is to extend the circle of engagement, not build walls. Online, even to disagree with an article pays it a kind of favor. If the Beast is really a sprawling hydra of infinite appetite for interesting stuff, its slogan should be: "Read this. And That. And That Other Thing Too!" I don't know if Google or the Daily Beast makes me feel dumber or smarter. Like Serwer, it fills me with the sense I'm OK with knowing more while strangely "falling further and further behind."

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In