Last week I got all hot and bothered by the fact that Trackbacks were almost gone, and commenting seemed to be taking a downturn now that everyone has their own Blog. The name of that posting was, Blogs As Conversations Are Dying - Trackbacks Just Might Be Your Only Saving Grace.
There were some comments. I know people did trackback to it (although this Blog does not have trackbacks enabled because of the spam madness). It sparked more internal dialogue for me and made me realize that maybe I was just looking at the symptom and not the real problem. Maybe the real truth is that Blogs are dying.
Let's face it, most people are not writers. Most people prefer to snap a picture, film a video or even record some audio instead of the dubious task of actually writing. Maybe that's why platforms like SMS, Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce and other more "short bursts of text" environments are thriving? I mean, honestly, out of the seventy-million-plus Blogs that Technorati tracks, how many of those Bloggers would actually admit that they love to write?
Maybe we were Blogging for the past little while because that's all the technology really allowed? As the tubes (of the Internet_ remember, the Internet is a series of tubes) open up and our ability to receive high resolution images, audio and video files gets easier and easier, maybe we'll toss the typewriter for the television (it's not like THAT did not happen before).
I'm certainly not down on Blogging. My background was in Journalism. I love to write. I also know that I would probably be terrible at doing a video and I have a hard enough time taking out the M-Audio MicroTrack to record audio for Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast, let alone a camera. I've actually gone on vacation and forgotten my camera at home.
I love the written word. I hope Blogs don't die. The great ones have great writers (err_ Bloggers), but I do think that as the communication channels open up, more and more people who keep Blogs will let them lapse for newer channels or ones that offer more celebrity. I also think that we're right at the beginning of this wave right now, because there will always be more money in video than there is in words.
So yes, Blogs are dying (for some people). For others (like me), I think this is just beginning. We're going to start seeing a higher level of quality come to Blogs as we stop poaching Google News for content because we feel pressure to continually produce fresh content. The fact is, Blogs can be repetitive with similar content (different perspectives) and while there's nothing wrong with that, my guess is there will be Blog Fatigue and consumers will move to other channels like audio and video Podcasts.