The declining importance of blogs

By July 8, 2008Blogging

A year or two ago blogs were at the centre of citizen journalism – fast forward to 2008 and you can see two trends which are undermining that position.

Firstly, the initial flush of enthusiasm for the medium has gone and some people are getting bored of blogging. I think there are a number of contributory factors here:

  • Services like Twitter, Tumblr and to a lesser extent social networks are alternative outlets for self expression which require lower effort and have more immediacy than blogs – a point made by Fred Wilson here
  • The best blogs are now content companies in a way that is little different to newspaper companies in that they focus on scoops and driving readership – a point made by Fred here. The corporatisation of the biggest blogs has a trickle down effect which takes some of the magic out for the rest of us.

Secondly, blogs are becoming less important as a source of traffic for other blogs. As Louis Gray chronicles in detail in his post The Importance of Blog Linking Seems to Be Declining Google driven traffic is far more important and in addition aggregation services like Techmeme and FriendFeed now deliver much more inbound traffic than top blogs like Techcrunch and GigaOM.

I’m not sure yet what this means for me as a small to medium sized blogger. At the end of the day I don’t think it changes much, as long as blogging remains a useful way for me to capture, organise and disucss my thoughts and to engage with all of you dear readers, then I will carry on. That said, one thing I will start doing is publishing to more social media sites.

  • Nic

    Fully agree with your findings. I started blogging in 2006 and used to proudly display the title of “blogger” on my business card. Now I am a micro-blogger on Twitter and find it hard to motivate myself to blog at my usual site http://www.manojranaweera.com. I also maintain blogs at http://www.nwstartup20.co.uk/blog and http://www.edocr.com/blog. All need more love. regards Manoj

  • Nic

    Fully agree with your findings. I started blogging in 2006 and used to proudly display the title of “blogger” on my business card. Now I am a micro-blogger on Twitter and find it hard to motivate myself to blog at my usual site http://www.manojranaweera.com. I also maintain blogs at http://www.nwstartup20.co.uk/blog and http://www.edocr.com/blog. All need more love. regards Manoj

  • Martin Owen

    Check our posterous.com

    So simple.

    I use tumblr for very specific purposes – to back up my real world meetings/presentations with in depth information. I also use my delicious account for the same purposes. Neither have spaces for comment – which is where posterous may have the edge.

    Otherwise commenting on other people’s blogs is a good activity!

  • Martin Owen

    Check our posterous.com

    So simple.

    I use tumblr for very specific purposes – to back up my real world meetings/presentations with in depth information. I also use my delicious account for the same purposes. Neither have spaces for comment – which is where posterous may have the edge.

    Otherwise commenting on other people’s blogs is a good activity!

  • Martin Owen

    oops chek out posterous.com (not our)

  • Martin Owen

    oops chek out posterous.com (not our)

  • “Google traffic is more important than blog traffic”

    Q. Why does Google send traffic to particular sites?

    A. Blog content.

    I guess we should be writing equally for both

    1. visitors
    2. for the long tail of search.

  • “Google traffic is more important than blog traffic”

    Q. Why does Google send traffic to particular sites?

    A. Blog content.

    I guess we should be writing equally for both

    1. visitors
    2. for the long tail of search.

  • Danvers

    I find “My Blogs” on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=6833142037) works quite well as it puts something on my profile whenever I write a blogpost (not often) and as a result most of the very few hits I get on my blog have come via facebook.

  • I find “My Blogs” on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=6833142037) works quite well as it puts something on my profile whenever I write a blogpost (not often) and as a result most of the very few hits I get on my blog have come via facebook.