Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Are blogs as we know them dying?

Today I realised that I have not posted on this blog for over a year. That is amazing, especially considering that this constantly ranks high on Google searches. The world's changed considerably in that time and I feel that the blogging space has changed.

First things first... Is text still an efficient way to communicate thoughts? Whilst many English enthusiasts might argue so, it's rather apparent that there are many limiting factors with text some of which include:

  • No tone
    • When speaking one can animate their thoughts using changes in pitch. With text you're limited to simple formatting. Many people hate the fact that sarcasm doesn't carry well across the internet or within books so on social networks the sarcasm 'tag' /s has been widely adopted. 
  • A picture tells a thousand words
    • The rise in vlogging is a testament to this. Why read a two thousand word essay when you can have it played out in front of you in a few minutes of film with sound. These mediums appeal to various senses and can aid the blogger in establishing rapport with the audience. The viewer also has to do little work in order to interpret the footage, whereas processing large block of text can be tiring. 
  • You need to host it somewhere
    • Yes you can start a blog easily but if you want to go seriously one would need to pay for a host and/or a domain name. They'd have to maintain the site for the readers etc. With videos, there are many distribution services like YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo where content creators can share footage.
There is still hope for text based blogging, however. Services like Medium offer opportunities for bloggers to write one off (or a series of) articles on whatever subject pleases them. Medium has rapidly expanded to now be in my opinion the murderer of the classic blog.

I find it funny how the founder of Medium (Evan Williams) was also the founder of Blogger- seems a smart way to do business... make a company that kills your old one.