06 Feb 2010

Blogging No Longer Cool

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Nicholas Carr has the bad news.

I remember when it was kind of cool to be a blogger. You’d walk around with a swagger in your step, a twinkle in your eye. Now it’s just humiliating. Blogging has become like mahjong or needlepoint or clipping coupons out of Walgreens circulars: something old folks do while waiting to croak.

Did you see that new Pew study that came out yesterday? It put a big fat exclamation point on what a lot of us have come to realize recently: blogging is now the uncoolest thing you can do on the Internet. It’s even uncooler than editing Wikipedia articles or having a Second Life avatar. In 2006, 28% of teens were blogging. Now, just three years later, the percentage has tumbled to 14%. Among twentysomethings, the percentage who write blogs has fallen from 24% to 15%. Writing comments on blogs is also down sharply among the young. It’s only geezers – those over 30 – who are doing more blogging than they used to.

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Perhaps there is a natural settlement or refinement associated with blogging, just as there is with most things. Sustaining the level of quality found at Never Yet Melted and a few other blogs is just astounding. Preparation for any presentation of value requires care, hard work, organization, and intelligence often missing in most people. The discipline required to present consistent, good work must be staggering.

The data should not be surprising. Hard work from skillful people remains a scarce commodity. Good blogs are an art form requiring substance. Talking heads are often just another pretty face.


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