NYT: Blogs “wane” as young set moves to sites like Twitter
In another example of how little the NYT knows about blogging (but fervently wishes for the day they’d just go away and the Times could get back to the good old days of deciding what is news or just flat making it up), it reports today that blogs are on the “wane”. Check out this paragraph:
Like any aspiring filmmaker, Michael McDonald, a high school senior, used a blog to show off his videos. But discouraged by how few people bothered to visit, he instead started posting his clips on Facebook, where his friends were sure to see and comment on his editing skills.
“I don’t use my blog anymore,” said Mr. McDonald, who lives in San Francisco. “All the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”
This is the lead for the story. It is clueless.
Some 17 year old who likes to make videos doesn’t use his blog to show them off anymore, but instead uses Facebook – and that sounds the death knell of blogs?
What this youngster wanted to do was show his vids off to a few (tens? hundreds?) friends at most. Facebook is a much better venue for that. In fact, it’s an even better venue than YouTube because your friends have to go to YouTube to find your vids vs. having them delivered to their Facebook page via your posting. It. Makes. Perfect. Sense.
But … it says more about the misapplication of blogging (for what the young man wanted to accomplish) than the demise of blogging.
Twitter – same thing. For some things it’s perfect. For others, a blog is perfect. Depends on what you want to do. Like say anything that takes more than 142 characters. Blogs, Twitter and Facebook are all networking tools that provide an application that helps accomplish what the user wants to accomplish.
The case the NYT is trying to make is blogs will die out as the younger demographic moves to different venues:
The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.
Well here’s a news flash – I don’t read “children” or their blogs and they most likely don’t read mine. But note the next demo – 18-to-33 year olds – suffered a whole 2% decline from two years earlier.
As of Feb. 16th, 2011, according to Wikipedia, there were 156 million blogs in existence. A two percent drop in two years is simply statistically insignificant. And, blogs aren’t just for “social networking” as the Times would like you to believe. Nor do they require writing “lengthy posts” unless you want too.
Blogs went largely unchallenged until Facebook reshaped consumer behavior with its all-purpose hub for posting everything social. Twitter, which allows messages of no longer than 140 characters, also contributed to the upheaval.
No longer did Internet users need a blog to connect with the world. They could instead post quick updates to complain about the weather, link to articles that infuriated them, comment on news events, share photos or promote some cause — all the things a blog was intended to do.
Phenomenal – I never had to blog to “connect with the world”. Nor was any blog I was a part of “intended” for comments on the weather or to just share photos.
I hadn’t waited on blogs to “connect with the world” – that had been available for years via email, first through bulletin board systems, then through Usenet and Google Groups. Blogs are just another method of doing so and may someday be supplanted by something else. But on the wane because of Facebook and Twitter?
All I can say is if Twitter is now the first choice of someone who was once blogging, they were never a serious blogger to begin with. And, if Facebook is now the choice of a blogger, they’ve greatly narrowed their outreach to only those who subscribe to them. The fact that they’re on Facebook, even with an open page, doesn’t mean anyone is going to read them any more than when they had a blog.
Obviously things are going to change and evolve in the online media and social networking world, but as much as the NYT would love to declare the blog dead and gone, it’s not even close.
And a little note for the editors and publishers of the Times – when blogs have finally gone the way of the dodo bird, the NYT will most likely have predeceased them by a substantial amount of time. My guess is Hot Air has as many or more readers than the Times does. HuffPo just went for 300 plus million to AOL. Point me toward the last major newspaper that sold for that much.