Last of the Mohicans?

The latest post by John Quiggin got me wondering.

I started this blog about 14 years ago in mid-2002, when the world of the Internet was young. On a whim, I thought I’d look at the Wayback Machine which archived the site (then hosted on Blogspot) in July 2002… I’ve been a bit slow lately, but it looks as though I’m the last of my kind.

In somewhat similar vein an old blog-mate Davoh posted revisiting previous posts to which one commenter responded:

…I used to check my stats obsessively now I don’t care (much) if I only have a handful(or less) of visitors. I’ll keep on blogging for fun, for clearing my mind, venting emotions, reporting on what I’m working or seeing.
What did we do before the internet, when the only communications were verbal ones or written-on-paper ones? Just got on with our lives, whatever they were, uncommented upon. Blogging, facebooking and other social media have done a lot to facilitate worldwide communication but the downside is that they also created an insidious popularity contest. As if the person with the largest number of commenters/followers/”friends” etc. is the most interesting, worthwhile person and the rest of us are “losers”. It’s like being in school all over again!

Yes, post photos, write about your daily life, whatever you want to write about.

Well as you know some of us are still going strong with substantial pieces: Jim Belshaw, for example, though lately his workload has slowed him a bit. Then there has recently been that quite amazing series of personal posts by Happy Antipodean. But I, you will have noticed, have done quite a few retro posts in recent years, some of them reaching back to 2000-2001 via the Wayback Machine. Partly this is to give a brief new life to things now buried in the mass of data out there, but it may also well be a sign that this blog is nearing its end…

Remember when…

newbie

pblog

So, where does blogging stand just now. I saw somewhere that WordPress.com now hosts about 63% of all blogs, and here are more amazing stats.

Number of people who view WordPress blogs monthly: 409 million.

Number of pageviews on WordPress monthly: 22.3 billion.

On the other hand: The Decline of the Blogosphere.

Is blogging dead now? The year 2002-2006, years when the blogosphere was at a rise. Teenagers, professionals and people with niche interests started their blogs and gathered as many followers as they can without using much of social media platforms. Their content was good, to the point and what they wrote inspired and interested many. Google awarded them with decent organic traffic, it was all good, SEO was just a buzzword and not many had to care about it as long as their content was unique and read-worthy!…

So Is blogging dead for real?

Truth is that conventional blogging as we knew it in its basic forms is almost dead. This is because of the fact that most of the people today have a blog, there are too many voices out there and it has become overcrowded. People are overwhelmed with the amount of content being put out daily. It has become a tedious chore to keep up with the tons of content put out there. Most of the time the good content gets buried deep under the pile of superficial content with click bait titles. So in order to stay relevant either you need to hire large teams of content writers to keep up with the big publishers and keep churning out relevant and latest content….

See also Requiem for blogging: Daily Dish decline marks the end of an era.

Personal blogging for a mass audience has pretty much gone the way of the dodo.

These days, if you have something to say and it won’t fit in a single tweet (or a tweetstorm), you have so many more compelling options than blogging. You can post on Facebook if it’s just for friends, or Tumblr if it’s image-based, or on Medium if you want a think piece shared more widely, or LinkedIn, or any one of a hundred other sites and services that are thirsty for content.

What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Last of the Mohicans?

  1. Well, I hope you don’t give up Neil, because yours is one of my half-dozen go-to sites each day. Mind, I don’t always agree with the thrust of your commentary, but then I expect you would not mine.

    You say there are too many voices out there, because everyone has a blog, and maybe Facebook and Twitter are the go. Possibly, but I think more it is a problem of too much ‘data’ burying too much ‘information’ – in the proper sense of those words. So, you have to choose; you have to apply your own filter to what you wish to allow to consume your time. And then you have to remain aware always that whatever ‘sources’ you choose, they themselves are inevitably the result of curation by so-called ‘gatekeepers’.

    I read somewhere the other day (Guardian I think – yes, here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/12/how-technology-disrupted-the-truth) this comparison:

    If you want a stark illustration of the new realities of digital media, consider the first-quarter financial results announced by the New York Times and Facebook within a week of one another earlier this year. The New York Times announced that its operating profits had fallen by 13%, to $51.5m – healthier than most of the rest of the publishing industry, but quite a drop. Facebook, meanwhile, revealed that its net income had tripled in the same period – to a quite staggering $1.51bn.

    We have thereby lost analytical journalism somewhere in all this; we now have click-driven data monitors. I have no great respect for the obvious political bias of the NYT, but I think there is a place, and there always should be a place, for longer form writing, delving into the issues that concern any of us. And blogs are also very much part of that – Twitter far less so (sometimes farcical in its superficiality – French Flag background, anyone? – do please show your concern de jour)

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