It seems that many bloggers are doing fewer posts these days, and I’m not the only one to notice the situation, which many would be quick to tag as a fad. The Austin American Statesman recently had a front page article about how the number of new blogs is slowing and the number of dead blogs is increasing. In the article, Gallaga suggests that easily unloadable photos, video, and audio are where future bloggers will spend most of their time. It’s hard to argue with this notion as Flickr integration has been a part of my blog since inception, and the popularity of YouTube is undeniable.
But, the question remains as to whether plain old blog posts will go the way of the dinosaur. There’s no doubt that I’ve had fewer posts over the course of the past 3 or so years, including a one year hiatus where I only posted 1 or 2 times. From my point of view, the blogging world appears to be in a consolidation mode with bloggers grouping together to keep readers coming or with a few bloggers who have figured out ways to make money. For many other casual bloggers, the motivation to keep going just isn’t there.
The other slant on this story is whether the readers of blogs have become information inundated, causing a reversal of the chicken and egg. For instance, the motivation to write for many is knowing the content is being read, and as readers have become bored with weak content or too much content, they have slacked off on subscribing entirely. While a decent percentage of my techie friends actively maintain a blog and/or read blogs, 90% of my non-techie acquaintances have never blogged and claim that reading blogs takes too much time.
Blogging may not be going away any time soon, but as a Darwinistic consolidation increases, those who are left will most likely be the ones with the best content, which should lead to a resurgence in subscriptions. As for myself, I cannot yet image a situation where audio and video completely capture the market for freeform expression; thus, I predict a long life for blogs or some similar format.