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Friday, 3 January 2014

The death of the blog?

"Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice...the nebulous information task the blog was fulfilling for  the past decade is now being handled by a growing number of media forms that are blog like but decidedly not blogs", writes Jason Kottke on Nieman Labs as part of a series of predictions' for the future.

Do you disagree violently? As a blogger myself, I was tempted to disagree too, but there is something in what Jason point out (and it's worthwhile to read his entire article to understand his point of view). The internet exists as a single go-to point for any kind of information. At one time,  the information was drawn in a passive one-way communication with search engines and websites. Then we began collaborating in groups and forums. With the era of self-publishing, people began pushing out blogs and websites of their own, and a colony of content creators was born in a sea of information seekers. People gravitated to blogs to get the perspective of opinion leaders and thought-leaders in their respective fields. 

Then came the social media explosion which is now a mainstream phenomenon, with only the laggards and late adopters coming on board. Suddenly, the information creation mechanism became distributed. You did not the ability to create content, you could publicly associate with, share and discuss content that you found interesting, with your friends. This phase truly boosted the consumption and distribution of blogs.

The next wave, powered by social, is aggregated media, or increasingly non-textual mediums like Instagram and Vines, or links shared on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit etc. What Kottke is saying is  that the blog is not dying, it's just that everyone has a personal weblog and the medium they use is not a post a day (or a week). It's pictures that you upload daily, or re-pin, it's the article you tweet, or  the tweet you retweet. It's your personal weblog. It reflects your views, your opinions and who you are. And you do not need to write a blog to keep it. And the more you use such media, the more it will rdefine your online personality, just as a blog would define the blogger.

With technology, we must expect rapid change. Even as marketers are increasingly approaching bloggers to endorse their brands, the trends have started to shift. Digital marketing requires us to keep one eye on the horizon and one on the current trend that may become history tomorrow. That's the fun of it. 

And yes, we do appreciate the irony that we are writing a blog post about the death of the blog!