Blogging's Not Dead, Say Bloggers

Bloggers react to the New York Times' assertion that their medium is dead

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According to the New York Times, blogs are out. Armed with Pew Research data and anecdotes from former high school bloggers, Verne Kopytoff declares that "blogs were once the outlet of choice for people who wanted to express themselves online. But with the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter, they are losing their allure for many people--particularly the younger generation." Blogging among 12 to 17 year olds is apparently down 50 percent from last year, and at least two San Francisco high school seniors have sworn off traditional blogging sites. But the argument becomes murky when Koptyoff tries to actually define a "blog." For example, "although Tumblr calls itself a blogging service, many of its users are unaware of the description and do not consider themselves bloggers — raising the possibility that the decline in blogging by the younger generation is merely a semantic issue."  But all hope is lost: bloggers were ready to blog until they blogged to the bottom of this blogger trend.

  • You Wish, Grey Lady Multiple bloggers, such as Dan Riehl, suggest the New York Times' promotion of the theory that blogs are dying shows that "the NYT wants blogs to go away so badly, they consistently look for ways to suggest that's the case." Melissa Clouthier agrees with this theory, writing at the Liberty Pundits blog that "The bloggerly landscape is consolidating, reconstituting and becoming almost indistinguishable from outfits like the New York Times. In fact, the NYT gets so many of their stories from bloggers rather than vice versa, I always suspect these stories reflect more than a wee bit of insecurity on their parts. Blogs aren’t going anywhere. Bloggers, the good ones, are interchangeable from journalists. That’s what scares them."
  • Blogging By Any Other Name "This idea that blogs are dying has been around practically as long as either Facebook or Twitter, and it almost always gets dismissed as a ridiculous notion," concurs Web Pro News's Chris Crum. Crum argues that the notes people post on Facebook are, in fact, blog posts. "You can call it what you want, but people will continue to put their thoughts into words and publish them online. Sometimes, they'll even do it in more than 140 characters," he writes.
  • The Numbers Can Be Read Differently Scott Rosenberg at Wordyard points out that the Pew study to which today's New York Times article is pegged is from a year ago and that a closer reading of the full report reveals blogging is actually growing. "Maybe we’ll end up with roughly ten percent of the online population (Pew’s consistent finding) keeping a blog. As the online population becomes closer to universal, that is an extraordinary thing: One in ten people writing in public. Our civilization has never seen anything like it," he writes. "So you can keep your 'waning' headlines, and I’ll keep my amazement and enthusiasm."
  • All That Matters Is That People Express Themselves Facebook and Twitter are great for quick, short posts, agrees Marx Layne Digital Architect Matt Schuler. But, "as long as people enjoy writing more than a few sentences at a time, blogging will never die."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.