February 18th, 2011 by Andy Didyk
I was going through some of my professional acquaintances’ blogs the other day, and was really shocked by the number of blogs that have simply evaporated since 2008 or so. A rough estimate would be that over 60% of those I know that blogged, blog no more. Oh, they’re still paying their hosting fees and have their sites up in most cases, but no new content has been created in years. Why is this?
I have some ideas.
Ironic, I know, because blogging is a form of social media. So social media was supposed to enhance our lives. I think it has to some degree, but this study shows that the average person spends over seven hours a day on facebook, almost 2 hours more than the previous year’s result. And while Facebook does give us a forum to share ideas, I believe that most sharing on Twitter, Facebook and the like is superficial and cheap, kind of like the “junk food” of the internet. I know they are valuable customer service channels, amazing for advertising, and yes, lots of fun (where else can you check up on that weird guy from middle school?), but ultimately they don’t really provide a forum for depth of content. Blogging does, and I think it’s suffering as a result of Facebook.
Recession-Induced Time Crunch
While the government does its best to daily eek out some positive economic statement, most of our jobs changed dramatically in 2008. So many lost their jobs entirely, which is no picnic, but for those of us that kept our jobs, things changed. “Doing more with less” became the mantra across our company and across all of my clients’ organizations as well. As the work force shrank within individual companies, individual jobs became more inclusive. Vital employees were terminated, but vital processes still had to continue. Personally, it was a positive transition for me as I was able to take more responsibility within our organization, but to this day in 2011 I’m a lot more busy than I have ever been. Since a lot of great blogging comes from people actually working in the fields they are blogging about, the time crunch has squeeze their available time.
iPads and Smart Phones
Anyone that hasn’t been a coma over the past three years knows all about the explosion of web use across smart phones and devices like the iPad. According to Forrester, 40% of smart phone and ipad users say that they access the internet more on these devices than on a computer or laptop. This presents a fantastic new marketing opportunity and a further glorious democratization of information. However, these devices are great for consuming content, but are still pretty useless for producing content of any substance. Mobile blogging is cool, but ultimately whenever someone really wants to write, they want a full keyboard and display. The iPad is an awesome device for reading an interactive magazine, but every user I’ve seen that actually produces content has also purchased the wireless keyboard and mouse from Apple.
Is the Age of Blogging Over?
No way. My prediction is that we’ll begin to hit a peak of blogging sometime in the next year or so, if we haven’t hit a peak already. After that, I think we’ll see a bigger and bigger rift between those that blog for pleasure and those that blog for a business. Business-minded bloggers and those that receive a substantial percentage of their income from blogging are already pulling out all of the stops to gain as much traffic and loyalty as possible. But the blog itself will remain a valuable outlet for many who simply enjoy writing, and according to Technorati.com, the percentage of people that trust blog content over brand content (e.g., content pushed by a manufacturer or brand) is continuing to grow steadily.
Have you killed your blog recently, or allowed it to die a slow death? Or is it simply on life support? Do the world a favor and write something. There will always be some of us out there that are listening.
This entry was posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011 at 12:54 pm and is filed under blogging, communication, consumer products, marketing, social media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.