It is so effortless to Tweet baby’s first burp in 140 character snippets.
Blogs, the prose of common interest so dear to expressive and opinionated hearts, have been maimed by social networking, forgotten like a babbling great aunt at a family reunion. This begs the question: Is blogging dead?
Rushed and Squeezed
Frustrated bloggers and their fading blogs have caved in to glib social networks, feeling that the competition from the professional blog rate in the Technorati 100 is too fierce. The synchronization of energy and time used to create digestible, creative online content seems lost on superficial audiences who suffer willingly and culturally from short attention spans. The world has become a place where what song you’re hearing right this moment has undone the thoughtful review of the music of life itself, a one-liner world of instant gratification that’s enough to trip the trigger of eternal writer’s blog block.
The Business End of Blogging
In the wake of Mini-Me social networking, a fading blog is one that is under-promoted. The serious blogger is compelled to monitor forums, discussions, reader responses and multiple social networks to get the word out, crushing the word that is the real content of the blog itself. Blog readership demands that the blogger stays current with inboxes and comments, threatening blog banishment as leverage. Keeping the reader’s happy means bloggers must address the audience, touch base with related bloggers and hyperactively network. Fading blogs and dead blogs come when a blogger is suffocated by optimizing, web design, link building, and blog promotion.
Keeping Up with the Info “Joneses”
Instant information is fast but it isn’t osmotic. For a blogger to be timely, it’s necessary to read as much as possible as often as possible. Blog preparation requires the ingredients of talent, skill, and information. The first is hopefully natural, the second is learned with practice and the third is time devouring. Understanding a blog topic makes this second’s knowledge more than a necessity. It’s an absolute compulsion. Time is eaten up by research, scanning sites, videos, audio, reading books and gathering data on and offline for the blog and about blogging. It is as much preparation as is required for a fine meal with the same goals–palatability and multiple helpings.
Learning and Forgetting
Bloggers sift through masses of data, learning and tweaking blog content from eruptions of overwhelming sources of knowledge in order to funnel the results into a tasty, coherent form. The process is so time driven that bloggers often sacrifice recording the blog prep experience. They forget what they know because they don’t preserve what they learn. The virtual clock in the bottom right-hand corner of the computer is driving the deadline. Time management becomes a fragmented trap of duties and any hopes of conserving solid learning are lost in the desire to get the blog posted and published for an anxious readership. What goes in the blogger’s brain must come out well-written, condensed, edited, re-edited and, most of all, on time. The beat of the clock allows few if any, moments of a log, note or record what is learned and, any innovation, as a result, is undercut by deadlines obligating bloggers to rush to post.
Blogging Laughs at the Face of Death
Is this the death of blogging? Hardly. Many bloggers, churning under the squeeze of time, have put aside or forgotten the reason they ever tapped out a first blog: uninhibited self-expression. Blogs serve as niche content and that content has value across the board. It is worthy and satisfying work to the blogger and a viable, familiar community for his interest-sharing readership. The news and information market that is the internet, operating since day one on the merits of great online content, needs blogs more than ever. Not fading blogs, but blogs that shine from passion.