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      CommentAuthorSonny
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2010 edited
     (8724.1)
    ... Or least turning into the younger brother of itself? My weekly news mag turned in a story recently on new media and journalism; specifically, "when utopian ideals crash into human nature". The statistic I was most shocked with was the number of people calling themselves "active bloggers" dropping by nearly half from '06 to '09.

    It also mentions how more Wikipedia contributors have started to drop off from actively contributing than the amount just starting to contribute. The Wikipedia updater death rate is now surpassing the birth rate. Arguably, it's because the site is now complete. But anyone who goes to any semi-obscure artist's/writer's/band's page knows this isn't true.

    Now as far as the blogging thing, Twitter -- or "micro-blogging" -- certainly has an effect on the numbers. Hold up tho... a Harvard study points out nearly 90% of Tweets come from 10% of users.

    What's really taken a hit apparently is what the article is calling "citizen journalism": less than one out of ten Web users has created their own original news/opinion piece (no matter how trivial). And what was supposed to make news a two-way street, the comment field, is in heavy decline (amount of comments). The "reward systems" some sites have implemented work, but seem a bit classroom-ish. Many news sites are now "starring" or "badging" users who comment more than others. "You commented three times today Billy! Here's a shiny GOLD STAR!!"

    So what do you guys think? Have these previously thought Earth-shattering mediums hit their peak? Or did we just need a "everyone and their brother" stage to weed out the lagers? If the numbers go down, surely that means quality goes up. Right?
  1.  (8724.2)
    I don't honestly remember a time when comments on blogs were ever that popular. Seemed like more of a place for hit and run comments, not real discussions for the most part. It's the current fashion to cry it's the doom of this medium or that medium at any decline, however small. I don't think blogging itself is on the decline.

    If the numbers go down, it doesn't mean quality will go up. I think that's optimism, and I live in the land of realism, or perhaps merely jaded pessimism. I do think that a lot of blogging's initial popularity -the idea of sharing your stuff with the world- has been replaced by social sites and apps like facebook, twitter, and myspace, for a variety of people. But livejournal still is doing fine.
    It depends on what you count as blogging, where you're looking, and what the current New Thing for social networking/communication is.

    People are there, and writing.
  2.  (8724.3)
    I blogged some thoughts around this question almost a year back...
    http://undulatingungulate.com/2009/09/24/the-future-of-blogs-mediums-and-content/
  3.  (8724.4)
    Or did we just need a "everyone and their brother" stage to weed out the lagers?

    I think that’s pretty much it. I tried blogging and I suck at it. Better to leave it to people who can actually write something interesting. And there are probably millions of bloggers and Wikipedia writers who can write well but nothing left to write about. For example, someone who dedicated his life to Red Dwarf and could write all those Red Dwarf plot summaries for Wikipedia entries might not have anything else to write about.
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      CommentAuthorcosta_k
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2010
     (8724.5)
    Don't about 1/3 of people who join Twitter drop off about a year or so in?

    It's the nature of the digital beast and trends in general.
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      CommentAuthortim12s
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2010
     (8724.6)
    It's just natural when you finally realise that unless you're Cake Wrecks, or Shit My Dad Says, or Bad Cat, or whatever, THERE'S NO MONEY IN IT and people really don't give a fuck about what you had for dinner, or your new macrobiotic diet or how many miles you cycled in Marin.

    That, and if it doesn't fit on an iPhone screen in one sitting, you've clearly written far too much for the day.

    Maybe iPads and their children will re-invigorate it a bit. Or someone other than Wordpress (which is nice and wonderful and everything but oh, so tedious and everyone uses the exact same Web 2.0h-god templates with coffee rings and pencils and shit...) will come along and present new, shinier formats for people to fit their content into.
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      CommentAuthorbrycemidas
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2010
     (8724.7)
    That, and if it doesn't fit on an iPhone screen in one sitting, you've clearly written far too much for the day.


    That is an interesting observation. I have often been criticized for writing too much on my blog (at least, too much in one sitting) and have struggled to figure out ways to trim down my pieces. I just don't particularly like the concept of everything turning into a soundbyte or a tweet. The fact that we read so much of our information at the present moment is really exciting to me, however I would like to see a move toward people reading more and not just more often.
  4.  (8724.8)
    I'm always kind of wary of these "Is [foo] dying?" discussions.

    Ask the newspaper folks and blogging is killing them...ask the bloggers and the big news sites are killing them...who's actually dying?

    We're all dying. Everything's dying all the time until it grabs some audience/food/sunlight and stops dying for a couple more seconds.

    Then again, people are having a pretty serious identity crisis lately when it comes to working the Internet into life at large. I agree with a lot of the sentiment here that blogs can be stupid-reductionist and lead you to very polarizing conclusions. Cf. US politics.

    I don't remember where I saw it, but I saw an article yesterday about how our constant plugged-in nature is causing us processing problems because we no longer have downtime. Maybe it's not the instant gratification nature of the Internet that's shortening people's attention spans for these sorts of things, but instead the raw nature of the pipe and its deluge of information. Maybe, ironically, the Internet strangles blog content 'til it's as short as possible not because people are flighty, but because they're overwhelmed.

    Ugh, I think I'm arguing for content curation. Sorry guys.

    I wonder what would happen if you had a blog that only had two hours of uptime a day, and that was a feature, not a bug. Probably nothing positive, though.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2010
     (8724.9)
    Conversation is still alive and well.

    I kind of like Q&A web sites too, for specialized topics: where people ask and answer questions around some specific topics.
  5.  (8724.10)
    My view on this is similar to Fan's: people will always want to talk.

    However the problem that a lot of people have with writing, especially blogging, is that most people only have a limited number of things they want to say to the world at anyone time. Once they've said their thing then they've got no reason to continue.
  6.  (8724.11)
    As ridiculous as this sounds, I’m fairly new to the internet and have only been online for about 2 years giving me a somewhat uncorrupted take on the situation. I find blogs are really useful when I do any image searches and find more art and photos than I do anywhere else. However as for intriguing, interactive and undoubtedly current communications message boards (this one in particular) have proven far more effective. Getting tips and information from thousands of people at once seems to use the technology’s potential far more than any single individuals blog.

    I do keep an online journal though primarily for my own personal use. I try to add a picture and write something everyday just for the discipline and practice. This daily routine has never worked for me in a sketchbook or diary but I have been very diligent with the posts ( probably because there is a visible record of my entries.) It never really occurred to me that anyone might actually read it but I post lots of drawings for people to look at.

    At any rate as a new user I tend to find message boards more enthralling and use them far more frequently than blogs buy still view blogs aswell.
  7.  (8724.12)
    I wonder what would happen if you had a blog that only had two hours of uptime a day, and that was a feature, not a bug. Probably nothing positive, though.


    I have been told that, in Japan, there are websites that are only available during business hours, as crazy as that sounds. They turn off the servers when no one's at work.
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010
     (8724.13)
    I have been told that, in Japan, there are websites that are only available during business hours, as crazy as that sounds. They turn off the servers when no one's at work.


    ...That's scarily efficient. And very Japanese. Though I have to say, being Aussie, scheduled downtime on sites can be a major pain- because a lot of sites update or whatever at about 3 in the morning in the US, when over here, it's only about 7 at night.
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      CommentAuthorYskaya
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010
     (8724.14)
    I wonder what would happen if you had a blog that only had two hours of uptime a day, and that was a feature, not a bug. Probably nothing positive, though.

    I have been told that, in Japan, there are websites that are only available during business hours, as crazy as that sounds. They turn off the servers when no one's at work.



    I like this exclusivity thing: look now or its gone.



    That, and if it doesn't fit on an iPhone screen in one sitting, you've clearly written far too much for the day.



    On trimming down: I think the lenght of pieces has everything to do with the intended audience (10.000+ or your mom and/or loyal followers) and the subject 'frequent wave emitters' or 'Britney Spears' (apply intended audience rule) and how verbose you are as a writer.

    On the scale of coffee:

    Wussy tasting -non coffee but affixed 'coffee' on it's name- flavoured sugarpuff
    espresso
    Coffee
    Warren Ellis' blood (filed under lethal substances by blogging wordcount: coffee, caffeine & red bull)

    'most people only have a limited number of things they want to say to the world at anyone time. Once they've said their thing then they've got no reason to continue'

    'We're all dying. Everything's dying all the time until it grabs some audience/food/sunlight and stops dying for a couple more seconds.'

    I'm going to make this into a kraken scripture.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010 edited
     (8724.15)
    I've been having similar thoughts lately about location-based apps and personal / very very local area networks. "Blogging" is a conversation trying to find a wide audience, or at least a narrow but deep one. However, I think the conversations are just moving increasingly local and amongst smaller groups.

    Imagine liveblogging, tweeting, what have you, that is limited not just by time but by area. We've already seen those clumsy screens you can text messages to, and some awkward efforts with bluetooth and GPS, but the total package has yet to materialize. Image, say, a tavern wants to cultivate an atmosphere, so they engage a local writer or character to sit anonymously at the bar and offer up private works to the regulars. A "Gossip Girl" that is so underground it is transmitted by proximity, from direct cell to cell proximity. Information and networks that you literally have to be in the inner circle to produce or consume - adult play action in the back by exhibitionists offered up for direct cam to phone consumption to voyeurs at the front of the house.

    Local is the next big and muchly hyped thing, and I think microcommunications like this are just increasingly blurring the line between "online" and "offline" conversation, and for many will satisfy their need for interaction enough to take away the need to sit down and express themselves in large hunks of text destined for a wider audience.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010
     (8724.16)
    I don't really write my blog with the expectation that anyone will ever read it. It's more because I like having a place to put down thoughts. I'll probably keep doing it for some time to come yet.
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010
     (8724.17)
    Having a conversation in a bar last week about Foursquare and why it's important (admittedly with a guy working for a tech PR company); getting to know my new smartphone (owning my first GPS-capable device - fuck); the PR guy opening up his iPhone and pointing to a girl downstairs and finding her Facebook profile; looking around me in augmented reality. These things are starting to happen. Yeah. What Finagle said.
  8.  (8724.18)
    Blogging's dead. Newspapers are dead. The novel is dead. Hip-hop is dead. Punk is dead. Declaring a medium or genre dead on spurious grounds in order to get some attention is very much alive.
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      CommentAuthorMrSmite
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010 edited
     (8724.19)
    Indeed.
  9.  (8724.20)
    How much does age and economics factor in when people who were in college or highschool and actively maintained an online presence three years ago suddenly have to start a new job, or move, or go to grad school and so on?

    Age is not a factor because there’s always another generation of people coming up to fill the ranks. It just seems like an issue now because so many people are all giving blogging up at once, but they also all started at once.

    And with improvements in technology in the last few years, I imagine it's a great deal easier for a government to track down and detain an unsanctioned blogger.

    Technology and its widespread adoption makes it easier to avoid the government every year. Governments have not been ahead of consumer technology for years with the exception of specialized encryption and reconnaissance that only a select few nations can afford and have the ability to develop. Everything is is just specialized versions of existing products being installed in existing networks—the government is really just playing catch-up. Meanwhile the open-source world runs circles around government with stuff like TOR because they can always find new holes in the system to work around. Years ago Bill Gates said that the reason Microsoft complies with all China’s crazy surveillance and censorship regulations was because companies like Cisco and Microsoft can never add blocked or monitored words as fast as the Chinese people can think up new ones, so the net result is more freedom.