What again? Every few months somebody proclaims that blogging is dead and being replaced by micro blogging and other media and this post on the Forbes blog by Jeff Bercovici seems to say that Facebook and Twitter are replacing blogging. “It’s hard to recall these days, now that most bloggers are corporate drones (*cough*), but blogging was originally the pursuit of hobbyists. ”
OK, I admit that I do tend to spend a lot more time on Twitter than anywhere else just like their study says, but that really (hopefully) just means the value of the actual blog posts is higher. A more thoughtful and educational experience than the quick jot on Facebook, a tweet or even a slightly longer response to news or commentary on Amplify. I’ve never been a daily blogger, but that doesn’t devalue blogging itself.
I also take offense at the suggestion that the first bloggers were “hobbyists”. I think Dave Winer probably would too, and the founders of Slashdot, one of the earliest blog hives. I was among the first bloggers and we used it as a storytelling medium to encourage discussion on our web site. It worked too. Those early blog posts created flurries of discussion and buried the forums on the site with hot debate. It was awesome. Blogging was about community, communication and storytelling. it still is.
Oh, and bloggers as corporate drones? Hmm. Maybe the ones who write for Forbes, or the numerous sites that cover tech and work their bloggers into the ground, but hardly the likes of Andrew Sullivan, Louis Gray, Beth Kanter, Molly Wizenberg, Paulo Coelho, (just a few of my favorites) These are people who use blogging in the service of their readers, not corporate interests. Sure, not all bloggers are in that class (including me) but there are probably as many amazing bloggers as there are amazing journalists.
I agree it’s easier to toss off a quick tweet or a Facebook post and the discussions on Facebook are getting deeper, but quite often what started those discussions was somebody’s blog post. Blogging isn’t dead, it’s the starting point.