At some stage in the last two years we should have been writing posts noting that blogging has died. “Twitter will kill blogging” we were told by self-appointed “social media” experts, and yet today blogging is still very much alive and kicking.
Twitter hasn’t killed the blogosphere. It has changed it, but not in the way you think. Most will automatically point to the use of Twitter as a tool for blog promotion, and while that is an aspect that is notably different in the blogosphere of 2009 vs the blogosphere of 2007, it isn’t the key change.
Twitter has changed the blogosphere by fundamentally shifting the appeal of casual sharing from blogs to Twitter itself. Where as once upon a time everyone wanted or eventually had a blog to share their thoughts, today much of that has shifted to Twitter.
Link sharing, a key feature of the earliest blogs from the likes of Dave Winer is now conducted primarily on Twitter, or at the extension of that, Facebook, which managed to clone much of what Twitter offered to retain relevancy. Short notes and mussings on the days events use to be the domain of blogs, and now it its the domain of Twitter, and again by extension Facebook.
The pessimist notes that this is reflected in a “decline” of blogging as the number of active and new blogs does in fact decline numerically. That’s a glass half empty approach to the numbers that I don’t share, because the glass half full in this case has switched from a $3 bottle of Pasion Pop to a mid range bottle of Chandon. Sure, it’s not Moet Chandon Vintage yet, but what’s there tastes a hell of a lot better than it did before.
You see, the blogosphere has shrunk for the better, and those left standing have never been better poised to take advantage of a space that is notable for the dying corpses of the heritage media around it.
There’s still plenty of competition, as there is still numerous survivors who meet the criteria of old, but the mix is becoming more polished, more appealing, and stronger as a whole. Some dinosaurs in heritage media might still like to talk about bloggers in their pajamas, but the reality is very different. We are now at the dawn of a golden era of blogs, and Twitter has much to be thanked for delivering it.