Hugh MacLeod is not just a wise man who draws cartoons on the back of business cards. He's also got a great Blog on the Social Media space called, gapingvoid that I constantly check out (you should too). He had a fascinating Blog posting yesterday called, cheapeasyglobal. It would seem that some in the Blogosphere enjoy tossing about sayings like, "Blogs are dead."
"So forget about blogs and bloggers and blogging and focus on this - the cost and difficulty of publishing absolutely anything, by anyone, into a global medium, just got a whole lot lower. And the effects of that increased pool of potential producers is going to be vast."
But, there is a sub-story going on here that speaks to the human condition. I commented on Hugh's Blog posting, but thought I would re-post and add more thoughts here.
Blogging takes effort. I think you need to have a passion for writing and communicating in the written form to really make it work.
As a former Journalist, I quickly realized that most people Blogging were doing it for the same reason a dog licks itself (because they can). After a short while, I started seeing the "chinks in the armour" - a lack of substantial content, no new insight, and what turned into a "look how cool I am" series of postings that looked more like personal press releases than a Blog.
As photos, videos and apps like Twitter came along, it was easy to see who was going to make the defection.
I think the people saying "Blogging is dead" are those who are not passionate writers by nature, and are simply focused on the next shiny object.
There's a huge benefit to Blogging that includes Search Engine Optimization and really seeing how The Long Tail can help your business or your personal goals to get your message "out there." There's also another side - it's a personal journal where you can publish what you're thinking, when you're thinking it, and you don't have to rely on what we've come to expect from mass media print publications as metrics for whether or not what you have to say is successful. This includes not following a regular print schedule or the creation of an editorial calendar - you can, pretty much, just wing it - build your own voice, style, flow and feel.
Blogging is great and will continue to be because, as Shirkey states, it's a cheap, fast and an effective way to get a message out there.
The challenge is that it's a lot of hard work and it takes time, so when something comes along that takes less work and less time (like Twitter or uploading photos from your digital camera), people are quick to jump... much in the same way people jumped on to Blogging at first because the barrier became a lot lower from what publishing was (refer back to Shirkey's quote).
Blogging may be dying for those who were just waiting for something faster and easier, but for those who like to write and share their ideas, Blogging is still fresh, new and extremely powerful.
BTW, I'm sill reading Shirkey's, Here Comes Everybody, and loving it.