The New York Times Declares Blogs are Dead

(h/t Joe Weisenthal via - gasp! - Twitter)

I'm not surprised the NYT would go out on a limb and let out a premature death call on the blogosphere's heartbeat, attempting to reign in those unruly readers who have defected to bask in the wild wonderland that is blogging. Really?

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.

Shit, really.

As one such dinosaur who still blogs, I don't even know where to begin with this NYT piece. Maybe I'm too busy to write a lengthy criticism of everything wrong about this article or just another lazy blogger who can't bring myself to do any research or make any valid points outside of my own opinion. Maybe the bile is rising in my throat so quickly that I can't sit by my laptop long enough to pound it out. Hopefully the future gets here soon so I can get that WiFi-enabled toilet bowl I've always wanted.

Since when do 12-year-olds define an entire ecosystem? My bread and butter as a blogger comes from advertising revenue, including my gig at Going Concern (which consists of advertising I, thankfully, do not have to get my hands dirty with), and last I checked, I wasn't writing for 12-year-olds. In fact, if any 12-year-olds are reading this I respectfully request that you fuck off and go over to Club Penguin or Justin Bieber's myspace page so the grown ups can talk amongst ourselves. Does the NYT write for 12-year-olds?

Don't answer that.

NYT continues:
Defining a blog is difficult, but most people think it is a Web site on which people publish periodic entries in reverse chronological order and allow readers to leave comments.

Yet for many Internet users, blogging is defined more by a personal and opinionated writing style. A number of news and commentary sites started as blogs before growing into mini-media empires, like The Huffington Post or Silicon Alley Insider, that are virtually indistinguishable from more traditional news sources.

Blogs went largely unchallenged until Facebook reshaped consumer behavior with its all-purpose hub for posting everything social. Twitter, which allows messages of no longer than 140 characters, also contributed to the upheaval.

No longer did Internet users need a blog to connect with the world. They could instead post quick updates to complain about the weather, link to articles that infuriated them, comment on news events, share photos or promote some cause — all the things a blog was intended to do.

I'm sorry but I'm not going to put my Internet eggs in Facebook's diabolical basket, regardless of what the social mediatards say. Facebook, in this blogger's humble opinion, is for connecting with people I actually know, most of whom don't care about economics or my opinion thereof. Twitter, on the other hand, is a medium of communication to advance my blogging goals, not the be all end all of the conversation. As NYT obviously figured out, there is a limitation on Twitter that doesn't apply to the blogosphere.

I refuse to believe that NYT actually believes blogs are dead and am a tad disappointed that they didn't try harder to sway public opinion if the goal is to get their former readers back to NYT and away from those dirty, nasty blogs.

Maybe the oversharing livejournal blog is dead and if that's the case, we're just as thrilled as the NYT but let's be sure we differentiate the livejournal blog from the independent writer who uses opinion to reflect on news that matters to said independent writer. Too bad hackery is alive and well, NYT. The attempt to demonize the competition is so obvious it's sad. I, for one, am not at all deterred by the New York Times pointing its shotgun at me telling me to get off the porch. It's a big fucking porch and we all own it.

Don't they understand the symbiotic relationship between the mainstream media and the alternative media who are constantly berating them? It keeps us all in business.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Scott R said...

JDA great article as always, I believe the NYT and other paper based news sources will continue to decline in readership, they just can not compete with electronic media and their physical overhead must be tremendous. Besides you have a bigger following then the NYT right?

Take care

chairmanben said...

Blogs are for people who actually research and write opinion. Was never going to be huge percentile.

Facebook is blogging with phonebook of connections and targeted by the digital yellow pages advertisers.

Twitter's the new message bus for circumventing the IT police.

Youngsters are flocking from Blogs and Facebook to lite blogs like Tumblr.

Kellen said...

Haha, I was definitely one of the 13 year olds with a livejournal... back in the day. That's an interesting shift though, because I imagine that teenagers are just as eager to share their art/poetry/sad feelings as my friends and I were. Facebook seems a little too public to do that on... blogging is definitely not dead. Now that businesses are using them and NPR is interviewing bloggers the way they interview economists, the number of writers out there may shrink some, but the medium is simply growing real roots and becoming more established.

Pete said...

Making good concise points breaths still. Otherwise, yes, dead or dying.