It’s a Sunday morning here in Vegas. I’m drinking my coffee, going over the RSS and Twitter feeds and I’m wondering if blogging as we know it is dead. This isn’t a big discovery, it’s a topic that has been discussed by many bloggers and just as many have concluded that, yes, it’s dead.
But by dead we don’t mean no one is blogging any more, but rather that the medium and perhaps the message has changed (you win again McLuhan!).
Five years ago, you had all your favorite blogs bookmarked and you checked them regularly to see what was up and get commentary on the news of the day. Then RSS feeds came into their own and you got a RSS reader that updated you when there were new post on the blogs of your choosing. Then Twitter took off like a rocket and you started following the Twitter feeds of your favorite bloggers (and celebs, politicians, comedians, think tanks, Bigfoot, etc.). And if you’re like me, before long you realize that you’re spending less time blogging and more time reading Twitter and offering up 140 characters of insight rather than the several thousand you might normally serve up on your blog.
While cable and satellite TV providers refuse to offer up channel a la carte, the Internet is rather different. You set up your own viewing package. If you’re like me (have I said that already? what a wordsmith) you’re constantly working on your Twitter subscription list to get the perfect lineup. If a tweep is blathering too much or getting into Twitter fights with someone, you drop them. You try to keep your subscription number low so that you don’t miss anything, but you also weed out those that don’t Twitter enough…and on and on and on (and on?).
The point is, “blogging” is getting faster and smaller. It’s hard to imagine in World War I, folks in the United States would have to wait a week before getting the latest information from the front. Then, when I was growing up, you’d get basic news 24 hours later in the newspaper, or if it was really big, on the TV news that night. Eventually, we got 24 hour cable news and the term “breaking” was ridden hard and hung up wet. Now, if I have to wait a nanosecond for an update on the latest story, I fly into an impatient rage.
Media theorist like the late Neil Postman would call this the end of humanity and something that needs to be stopped. I disagree. While there may be negative effects of high-speed media, progress simply cannot be stopped any more than you can stop the laws of physics. We’re going to keep getting faster and faster until we either learn how to convert our very beings to pure energy or we destroy ourselves in some kind of cataclysmic war.
Heavy stuff for a Sunday morning.
Physicist Michio Kaku says someday the Internet will be available on a contact lens. Blink, and you have your Twitter feed. Another blink, Google search, and so on.
So is blogging dead? Not as such, it’s just morphing into something else and will continue to do so until the “end.”