The reports of blogging’s death are greatly exaggerated

Things that are new are never new for long. Over the years, they become tarnished, rusted, worn away and picked at. Eventually, something new comes along and threatens their safety. It happens with animals. Appliances. Technologies. People.

It happens on the Web too, where concepts can be readjusted, glossed up and cleaned – like a new coat of paint, or a rebuilt engine – but the basics are always the same. The concept is always connected to launch date. The history still snakes back to the beginning.

For good and for bad. Successful entities continue on, changing to meet the needs of the future but staying true to their solid core concept. Unsuccessful ones refuse to change, and therefore fail.

But old doesn’t always mean bad. And new doesn’t always mean good.

Which is why the idea that blogs are quickly becoming obsolete is as laughable as the idea that radio would die after the invention of television. More laughable is the idea that Twitter is going to offer the deathblow when, in fact, Twitter is making blogging stronger.

Because let’s be honest. You started reading blogs because it was a look into someone’s life, whether literally or through the collected knowledge of that person’s field. Static sites featuring conversations adapted and message boards evolved, bringing in a steady flow of content, LiveJournaling their way to today’s WordPress and Blogger dominated landscape.

But they’ve always been the same. They’re one person – or, in some cases, a collective voice – bringing their words freely to the masses.

I’d compare it to the early days of pamphleteering, or printing, or even the underground zine culture, but it’s not even close. Sure, the concept is there. But the delivery is different. The delivery is open. Everyone can use it. EVERYONE CAN BLOG.

But not everyone should.

And that’s where Twitter is effectively weeding out the masses. Those people who spent days posting cat pictures and breakfast menus and baby trivialities no longer need to go through the hassle of writing and formatting and posting and waiting. It’s just one sentence, click, post, repeat.

So the number of abandoned blogs rise. Those too lazy to read a full article are content to write the entire medium off. And those too lazy to write a full post are content to let it die.

I don’t see this as a bad thing.

Now, after the blog boom (when blogging became a badge, simply one of the grandest things in the world to be a part of) people are realizing the error of the undertaking, that keeping up with a blog isn’t as much fun as saying you had a blog.

At the same time, Twitter has pulled the driftwood from the banks of our feed readers (also dying, apparently) and given the stage back to those who are still passionate about posting, about thinking and writing and offering something to the masses that serve as an audience.

The process isn’t complete. It never will be. But when you look at it this way, Twitter isn’t killing blogs.

It’s saving them.

This was lovingly handwritten on January 5th, 2010