December 18, 2010 Keenan

The Decline of Blogging Isn’t Really Bad

Mashable reported the results of a recent Pew Internet study on the uses of the Internet in 2010.  It’s a great read, be sure to check it out.   I found this chart fascinating.

One of the big findings was that blogging was on the decline.   I’m not surprised.  Blogging is hard.  It takes time.  It takes effort.  Blogging is not a quick and simple tool of expression.   Mashable suggests one reason for the decline in blogging is the rise of Facebook and Twitter for self experssion.  I think they are right.   Blogging is too robust a tool for the sole use of sharing pictures or self-expression, 140 characters is a much better alternative.

When it comes to blogging, I’m more interested in who is hanging around, who is still blogging and who is choosing to blog, how much more are they blogging, what are they blogging about, why are they blogging?   I don’t think blogging is declining rather than shrinking.  This is a key distinction.  I see blogging as consolidating.   As more Internet tools come out, people have better options for what they are trying to do.   Blogs were early, and therefore were a hammer, where everything social media looked like a nail.   Now there are screwdrivers, saws, and drills.   Interent users are becoming more savvy and choosing the tools that best work for them.  It’s a utility game and there are more tools with better utility available today than there were a few years ago.   I talked about this shift a while back here.

Blogging may be shrinking from a numbers perspective, but I wouldn’t  be so quick to say it’s on the decline.   It is still a hugely valuable tool that generates tremendous return for those who use it and use it well.   I don’t look at it as the decline of blogging but rather a pruning.   Like forest fires strengthen a forest by getting rid of the dead wood and fertilizing the soil, this blogging “decline” maybe exactly what blogging needs to make it stronger.

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  • http://odonnellweb.com COD

    I published my first blog post in Jan 2001, and I’m still blogging. Although I have gone from 50-60 blog posts a month down to 5-6, as a lot of stuff that used it end up on my blog has migrated to Facebook and Twitter.

  • Brian

    I wonder if the decline in blogging is caused by the quantity of available blogs. It seems to me that as the quantity goes up, the quality goes down.

    There are still a lot of worthy blogs out there and one has to be selective.

  • http://asalesguy.com Keenan

    I don’t think you’re the only one whose content has migrated to Facebook or Twitter.

  • http://www.iamronen.com iamronen

    I totally agree – it’s quality winning over quality (there’s a model in Yoga for this kind of transformation in an individual: http://iamronen.com/2009/04/energy-quality-not-quantity/).

    I also think there’s another side of “blogging” which has not yet been properly integrated. I think that many people’s commenting profiles (like on Disqus or IntenseDebate) are actually blogs (and should be upgraded to this status)

  • http://www.jasonmkey.com Jason mKey

    Keep in mind that a lot of blogging is personable blogging such as Blogger and Livejournal type blogs. Most blogs aren’t professional (such as this one and mine). I fully expect to see a decline in personal blogging.

  • http://asalesguy.com Keenan

    Great point!

    //keenan

  • http://asalesguy.com Keenan

    I agree with you on comments. I wish you could tweet a comment on disqus or intense debate.

  • http://odonnellweb.com COD

    Actually, I think they’ll be a decline in professional blogging too. 10,000 sales guys will jump into blogging looking for an edge. About 10 of them will do it right or get lucky and actually build something with lasting value. The other 99% will fade away when their blogs fail to deliver leads, or sales, or whatever they thought they would get from it.

  • http://asalesguy.com Keenan

    Sad but probably true.