Death of Blogging?

I am trying to avoid this topic, but as a 9 year blogger, I have to admit that the declining of blog sphere has been an obvious trend, and we have to face it.

The whole Internet is involving quickly. Just like the Geocities.com cannot be hot for ever as its first few years, blogging cannot be as cool as 2001 – 2005. Comparing to the newest media, and tools, blog started to fall short in many aspects.

Real Time Web

The Internet has never been as instant as today. The whole Internet is more like a big IRC chat room by itself. When you enter some short messages, and hit enter in twitter.com or t.sina.com.cn, you are like chatting with the world like old MSN or chat room days. Your message is broadcasted to people, not only at the other side of your IM, or people  in a chat room, or a IRC channel. Your message is seen by the whole Internet. That type of real time is never possible before.

Blogging has been the frontier of the Internet of real time web. Blogs have been quicker than news in early days, but now, it is slower than twitter, or weibo.

Information Fragmentation and Defragmentation

To make real time web possible, you have to cut what you are going to ship into smaller chunks. You just cannot input 500 worlds before you hit “Send” in your Instant Messager (MSN or QQ). Only information pieces, not articles, or longer paragraphs can goes fast enough, and make it easier to consume on the reader side. It is easier to combine many short 140 characters sentences into a bigger article that makes sense, than putting many paragraphs togather.

Information defragmentation involves a process of information distribution, and combination. “Follow”is a much easier action than RSS – people can learn to click a button quicker than installing a RSS reader, locating the small orange RSS icon, get the URL of XML, and add it to the reader. People like simple stuff. Always.

Personalized Web

With the fragemented information in real time, that is huge volume of information. You have to personalize the web. Different people should see different thing on the same page. To give everyone the same thing – the last tweets from everyone – just does not make any sense. The reader will complain there is nothing interesting on the homepage of twitter, and the writer complains that their message got skip to the 100+ page in one secnd. The only solution is personalized web – everyone has its own news feed (in Facebook’s term) or time line (in twitter’s).

Blogging itself is not personalized to user. It has to be used in combination with a RSS read and manual work of many people. That is also a reason why people prefer microblogging.

The Death of Blog?

Does the evolution of Internet claim the death of blogging? Not that quick yet. Although I see significant decline in number of blog posts people write, and less readership than before, and at the mean time, the microblogging writer and readership went up dramatically, I still think blogging will survive and be a long lasting platform for people to write stuff, although not as hip or cool as before.  It is still the best way to write longer articles that has long last values, instead of real time information like news, or dinner appointments.

At the end of the day, blogging or microblogging or the future stuff are just the tools of thoughts, and the only thing that matters are the thoughts behind it, and the people around it.

8 thoughts on “Death of Blogging?

  1. Your argument seems to be that microblogging is faster and easier, so it will win. But there is a limit that (IMO) twitter et al are hard up against – below a certain length threshold it’s hard to say anything interesting, and impossible to build an argument or get any depth. A lot of short messages scrolling up your screen, most of them having nothing to do with one another, feels a lot like chaos or cacaphony to me. And maybe I don’t want something personalized for me, but rather a window into the mind of someone else.

    I’m a slow adapter, and old fashioned, but I prefer something that takes a little time to compose.

  2. I agree with ddjiii, but of course you know that I am a real dinosaur. I have reluctantly embraced Facebook, but primarily to reconnect with friends from former times in my life. I rarely post there, and the posts I find most interesting from other people are links to various articles elsewhere on the internet which I might not otherwise have come across. As a result of my job working with international students this past year quite a few of them asked to friend me, and of course I said yes…but it turns out that after a short while I have hidden most of them. They are not people I really know personally, I do not share their taste in music videos…why not “unfriend” them? Eventually I probably will, but that seems so…well, unfriendly! Probably if the blogs I read regularly begin to dwindle in content, it will mean I spend more time reading actual books again…not a bad thing to consider :-) Of all the bloggers I read, Jian Shuo, your posts are invariably the most thought-provoking.

  3. Hi – in Singapore, the blogosphere is still in a stage of growth (and the social interaction with twitter and facebook – among others) is a natural progression. More and more companies and global brands are reaching out through bloggers on their online viral campaigns in Singapore (including even Govt departments)… this means some real serious $$ for influential bloggers in SG – I’m not talking about advertorials and online ads, but real capmaign engagements at serious levels.

    Having said that, although I keep a ‘star’ blog at Singapore Press Holdings (OMY wordpress platform – which is accessable in China) along with my blosgspot URL (aussiepete.com), I’m in Shanghai now, and with no access to blogger or facebook and twitter here, my commitments in this regard are very difficult to meet… any ideas on how I can access these sites from within mainland China (ie how to get around the China firewall)… I can get to them through apps on my iPhone powered by my SG sim card, but roaming data charges makes this solution unworkable for three weeks while I’m here. Any ideas? If it’s more convenient (and wiser) to email me about a potential solution, please drop me an email at pete@jaimezheng.com – this is very critical for me.

    Thanks in advance Jian Shuo (and anyone else that can assist).

    Pete

  4. I should add that the blogging community in SG has changed a lot over the last few years – away from the old days where blogging was considered ‘geek-ish’ – now it’s often red carpet events… some bloggers have celebrity status and are well known and engaged through traditional media – newspaper colummists and TV (eg ChannelNewsAsia). We often attend events and meet some of the biggest stars – eg. Jay Chou, S.H.E, Jolin Tsai, and many many more (often many HK TV stars) – even travellin on sponsored trips – eg 2010 to HK for the Dragon Boat Carnival and taken around with all the local ‘Stars’… influential bloggers in SG are regarded with very high esteem. Perhaps it ca be correlated with the smaller population (I’m not sure why actually – but certainly not complaining :p).

  5. twitter just like the catalog of a book. In contrast, blogging like the content of a book. Two different way for people to get information. It is hard to say that blogging will fade out because most valuable thoughts behind it,which can not be elaborated easily by the way of entering some short messages in twitter.

    @AussiePB, Welcome to ShangHai. Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China and can not be accessed expect for using VPN to get around the China firewall. A free VPN account can be got in Green VPN. Apply account and setup your network environment with the instruction provided on website, you can login Facebook and Twitter in China. The URL of Green VPN is http://www.greenvpn.net/ and drop me an email at mp99415@gmail.com if having any questions.

  6. I have personal blogger

    http://newsplayersfootball.blogspot.com/

    i see more people watch my page

    they putt comments on facebook and We debate every day evrey time we mett frieds you know but it raely good way to putt your

    long artical / comment yeah you right about this but i ask my self what after

    i see twitter very borring and facebook is way to lose time best way Despite this i log on every day i don’t know why but i do .

    you agree or what?

  7. @Frank – thanks for the info… since I posted the comment (and before I read yours), I managed to get hold of a VPN that gets me access to everything I need – although it’s a paid one ($12 for the month, so not too bad)… but it’s quite stable and everything is working at lightning fast speed :p Thanks again anyway. Cheers!!

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