Knowledge Bridge

Global Intelligence for the Digital Transition

//Peter Whitehead /february 9 / 2015

Blogging is very much alive — we just call it something else

Following the decision of Andrew Sullivan, founder of The Daily Dish, to give up blogging, Mathew Ingram of Gigaom discusses what blogging is, how it has changed and, importantly, what its role is in modern media.

Ingram explains that some critics say that Sullivan’s retirement signals the death of blogging, while others claim that it actually died a long time ago. BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith has argued that blogging disappeared when people like himself started to use it as a tool to power their own career. “Ben is saying that some bloggers stopped thinking as much about being part of a larger ecosystem — one in which they linked to and sent traffic to other bloggers, and in turn relied on their resources and links — and started thinking about becoming their own independent media entities instead. In effect, they turned inwards, and became more concerned with creating their own content and building up their readership, and turning that into a business.”

Ezra Klein, co-founder of Vox, thinks that the rise of the social web forced blogging to change. The niche, specialist nature of blogs that linked to other blogs, creating community and conversation, has been replaced by the search for virality through Facebook and Twitter.

In Ingram’s opinion, the truth is that blogging hasn’t died; it has changed. In fact, we are now surrounded by it. When it started, blogging was the quickest way to publish your voice, to share your thoughts and listen to what others were saying. Now, with Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, all the elements that we used to think of as blogging are everywhere, immediately available to us all, easier to use than traditional platforms, and providing far larger audiences.

“Clinging to a specific form like blogging is an anachronism,” he says. What newspapers like the New York Times have done is to get rid of their blogs as separate entities, and incorporate that content into the rest of the paper.

Article by Peter Whitehead

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