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Is blogging dead?

I read a few articles today that claim the A-list bloggers have become main-stream media because they have turned into essentially small-shop online opinion newspapers. Teams of writers are used so that content can be added on a regular basis and lots of advertising graphics clutter the page in order to maximize profits. One parallel that was drawn is the death of PDAs and the absorption of the PDA functions into mobile phones. The analogy for the web would be Facebook, which has taken on a lot of the qualities that personal live-journal-type blogs had originally. Most of the blogs on the web are dormant: 94% of the 133 millions blogs that Technorati has indexed since 2002, leaving only 1.5 million blogs that have posted in the last seven days. RomanSturgis.com is one of them.

Read more here and here.

I think of RomanSturgis.com as part journal, part op-ed, part fiction publication. It’s the fastest, cheapest, least intrusive way I can think of to share my projects with the world, if anyone out there even gives a damn. Personally, I kind of like the idea that fewer people are blogging about their passions. It means that those that continue to do so are a little more special.

In that spirit, I’d like to share with you three blog links that I think are pretty neat.

The first is my friend Elliott, who gave up a high-paying job on Wall St. in January of 2008 to pursue his passion: cooking. http://elliottcooks.blogspot.com/

And this is my friend Jessica, who is a sound recorder who lives in her car: http://www.ayearinacar.com/ Jessica has actually been living out of her car for closer to two years, so she’s a bit like Thoreau, except her Walden Pond is Southern California and beyond.

Finally, my friend Jim, who is living in Southern Spain, and whose travel writing has continued to get better and better: http://jimsligh.wordpress.com/

One Comment

  1. Jim Sligh wrote:

    Roman,

    As, of course, with any broad declarative statement, “Is blogging dead?” is pretty easy to take issue with. No, of course not, in a lot of important ways.

    But I’m more interested in your observation that Facebook has taken the place of a lot of liveblog-type online journals, and the quotation from Rough Type: “Today, what blogs have in common is mainly just the underlying technology – the “publishing platform” – and that makes it difficult to talk meaningfully about a “blogosphere.”

    And from the Economist: “Gone, in other words, is any sense that blogging as a technology is revolutionary, subversive or otherwise exalted, and this upsets some of its pioneers. Confirmed, however, is the idea that blogging is useful and versatile.”

    This, to me, seems more like it. Format can’t substitute for content forever. At this point, the technology is a means to different ends. It’s worth noting that the “blogosphere” the articles seem to be talking about – the Top 100, the big-media blogs – isn’t the “blogosphere” (God, what an ugly word) that I live in. I read blogs with readerships far in excess of even an extended network of friends & casual acquaintances that could never touch the readership of, oh I don’t know, Gawker – but that discourse is what I appreciate my slice of the 1.5 million remainder for.

    I don’t know whether, in the end, blogs are just an unfiltered time suck – something to distract from more finished writing or more tangible miniature publications (blogs may be cheaper, easier, & more effective than a ‘zine, but isn’t there something nice about how handmade it is?) – but what I do think is that, as the articles say, it makes less and less sense to talk about what “blogs” are in any meaningful way. It’s like talking about what “filmstock” is, or talking about printed matter as though self-help guides, legal briefs, company mission statements, memoirs, reportage, novels & poetry were all the same medium because they happened to get printed up.

    I have to hop the bus back to the capital, but I’m going to post some links to blogs that I like to keep up with in the comments. And I wish there was a better word than this anagram for “glob”.

    Monday, November 17, 2008 at 7:44 am | Permalink

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