Mark D. Roberts

The New York Times recently ran an article called “Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter.”  Here’s the core of the article:

Blogs were once the outlet of choice for people who wanted to express
themselves online. But with the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter, they are losing their allure for many people — particularly the younger generation.

The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center
found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17
fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet
have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.

Former bloggers said they were too busy to write lengthy posts and were
uninspired by a lack of readers. Others said they had no interest in
creating a blog because social networking did a good enough job keeping
them in touch with friends and family.

As one who blogs (obviously) and has done so for over seven years and who believes that blogging has value (obviously), none of this surprises me in the least. In fact, I’m rather amazed that 14 percent of Internet-using children 12-17 have blogs. I bet most of those blog are mostly inactive.

Sure, blogging is hard work and takes time. And if your goal is simply to communicate with other people, then you’ll get more rewards from Facebook and Twitter.

But the news isn’t all bad for blogs. Here are a couple more excerpts:

Indeed, small talk shifted in large part to social networking, said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, a women’s blog network. Still, blogs remain a home of more meaty discussions, she said.

“If you’re looking for substantive conversation, you turn to blogs,” Ms.
Camahort Page said. “You aren’t going to find it on Facebook, and you
aren’t going to find it in 140 characters on Twitter.” 

. . . . .

While the younger generation is losing interest in blogging, people
approaching middle age and older are sticking with it. Among
34-to-45-year-olds who use the Internet, the percentage who blog
increased six points, to 16 percent, in 2010 from two years earlier, the
Pew survey found. Blogging by 46-to-55-year-olds increased five
percentage points, to 11 percent, while blogging among
65-to-73-year-olds rose two percentage points, to 8 percent.

Of course, the younger people will get older. Who knows what happens then? My prediction: Facebook and Twitter will no longer be a big deal. The next big deal hasn’t even been envisioned yet. The creators of the next big deal are just beginning to shave.

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