Has Blogging Jumped the Shark?

Recently, I found myself engaged in a rather intellectual and even stimulating conversation with a fellow blogger about the future of blogging. Our discussion was borne from his concern that blogging has gone past its prime, or, in his words, “jumped the shark,” therefore he wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue with his blog.

I could see his point.  I’ve actually thought for some time that blogging has seen better days.  The excitement and enthusiasm we all had four years ago is not there like it used to be.  Many people we knew back then have disappeared into the mist, or moved on to other projects.  Many can be found on social networking sites like Twitter, Plurk, Jaiku and identi.ca.  Others stick to the worlds of MySpace, Facebook and even Friendster.

So why are so many people abandoning the blogging platform?  Is it because blogging as a platform has become so mainstream that it has practically replaced the normal website as the standard platform for relaying information?  Or is it because the “big shots” of blogging have become so big that there is no more room for the “little guys” that helped start it all?

I tend to think it’s a little of both, mixed with a glut of options in the social networking world.  Sites like Twitter, Plurk and Jaiku barely scratch the surface of what’s available out there today.  A visit to ping.fm, a global status updater for social networking sites and IM programs, shows a list of 21 different social networking options available, as well as 8 IM/other services.  That number is not even comprehensive – there are probably dozens more out there that are just starting up, or haven’t quite caught on yet.

One of these is tumblr.com.  Tumblr is a tumblelog site, much like Blogger or WordPress.com, that takes blogging and shrinks it down into bite-sized posts – larger than a 140-character Twitter or Plurk post, but shorter than a typical blog post.  Some people say that the future of blogging is in tumblelogging, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s not just another fad to add to the pile.  While blogging has absolutely caught on as a medium and is, in my mind, here to stay; it seems that the glut of new options will eventually consume the market so much that nobody will know what to go with anymore.

Besides, keeping up with these networking sites alone gets to be more of a headache than it’s worth.  At present, I have accounts on Twitter, Plurk, Jaiku, indenti.ca, MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and other services like Bebo and LinkedIn.  Additionally, I have accounts at AIM, GoogleTalk, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Messenger.

And then, of course, my blog.

That’s a hell of a lot of crap to keep up with.

So is blogging truly past its prime?  Or are we over-extending ourselves with options so much that we give up trying to keep up?

Maybe it’s best to just go back to the old fashioned way of journaling – with a notebook and a pen.

[poll id=”2″]

Advertisements

0 thoughts on “Has Blogging Jumped the Shark?

  1. I agree with your sentiments, if not the exact phrasing of them!!

    Jumped the shark implies it has not only stopped being cool but is doomed to disappear.

    What I think is happening is that blogging has stopped being “cool” and but rather than disappearing is just becoming mainstream. Personally, as a blogger of 7 years, I don’t think that’s too much of a bad thing!

    There will be other fads, some will become norms and others will disappear into the ether. And one day blogging will go the same way as the telegram.

    Fads attract a certain type of person and when they get bored they move on. That is what has been happening over the last 12 months in blogging… the end of the fad and the beginning of the mainstreaming of the platform.

  2. I agree with your sentiments, if not the exact phrasing of them!!

    Jumped the shark implies it has not only stopped being cool but is doomed to disappear.

    What I think is happening is that blogging has stopped being “cool” and but rather than disappearing is just becoming mainstream. Personally, as a blogger of 7 years, I don’t think that’s too much of a bad thing!

    There will be other fads, some will become norms and others will disappear into the ether. And one day blogging will go the same way as the telegram.

    Fads attract a certain type of person and when they get bored they move on. That is what has been happening over the last 12 months in blogging… the end of the fad and the beginning of the mainstreaming of the platform.

  3. I’ve been blogging for 10 years, and I desperately miss the heyday, before it became mainstream… back when I could tell someone I was a blogger, and they didn’t know what that meant.

    I think it started to decline, though, in 2004 when political entities and commentators took notice of it during the election cycle. That’s when people, businesses, etc., began to see it a marketing tool.

    Sigh.

    Yeah, I miss the heyday.

  4. I think that blogs will continue to be popular as online networking continues to grow. As more people choose to chat online rather than in person, they are more apt to read blogs to live vicariously through the lives of those who go out in the real world.

    The problem is that some bloggers have stopped going into the real world. When you can buy groceries, do your banking, and “have sex” with someone online, there’s no need to leave the comforts of home. Blogs become important reading, but writing them seems redundant as anything these people have to share with their readers are based on an online life that most blog readers are already very familiar with.

    So as long as bloggers maintain a healthy social life (choosing the gym over an online exercise plan, face-to-face meetings versus Facebook, and going to the grocery store rather than using Peapod), they will have material that’s original and worthy of being read by those who have lost touch with reality.

    It’s interesting that this blog entry began with an “intellectual and even stimulating” conversation with a fellow blogger. Was that conversation more of an online chat? If so, how did it get “stimulating?” I’m concerned because bloggers blogging about blogging is a sign that they’re moving away from the real world.

    Stay in the real world and you’ll always have fresh content to write and your readers will continue to read your blog.

  5. I’ve been blogging for 10 years, and I desperately miss the heyday, before it became mainstream… back when I could tell someone I was a blogger, and they didn’t know what that meant.

    I think it started to decline, though, in 2004 when political entities and commentators took notice of it during the election cycle. That’s when people, businesses, etc., began to see it a marketing tool.

    Sigh.

    Yeah, I miss the heyday.

  6. Hmmm…”jumped the shark.” See, now you’re dating yourself. and me. and everyone else who “got it” withtout having to follow the link.

    Maybe all these options are just an overflow of all the options “that kids today” have gotten us all used to? When I grew up we didn’t have cable television til I was in HS. Imagine that 4 channels that came in clearly — and we were right outside NYC so it wasn’t necessarily part and parcel of the place.

    As I’ve aged, I’ve loved every new thing that’s come into play for us – technology especially. And I’ve watched my cousins and my friends’ kids amaze me with their unbelievably full schedules and constant “go, go, go”. I think all these options are just part of that need to have something “on” all the time.

    Blogs are here to stay, they’ll change and evolve, but their ability to provide useful content in an environment that encourages dialogue is hard to beat. Some long-time bloggers have their lives change, and their interests change, so therefore they change. Some are like our favorite TV show — after 10 seasons it’s hard to come up with “new stuff” to keep a show vibrant (heck, after 5 years) – and they have a team of writers and actors to share the burden. So I’ve no wonder that some bloggers stop or change gears. Even Steven King takes a break now and again!

    Nice post and thanks for the opportunity to think this through!

    Peggie

  7. I think that blogs will continue to be popular as online networking continues to grow. As more people choose to chat online rather than in person, they are more apt to read blogs to live vicariously through the lives of those who go out in the real world.

    The problem is that some bloggers have stopped going into the real world. When you can buy groceries, do your banking, and “have sex” with someone online, there’s no need to leave the comforts of home. Blogs become important reading, but writing them seems redundant as anything these people have to share with their readers are based on an online life that most blog readers are already very familiar with.

    So as long as bloggers maintain a healthy social life (choosing the gym over an online exercise plan, face-to-face meetings versus Facebook, and going to the grocery store rather than using Peapod), they will have material that’s original and worthy of being read by those who have lost touch with reality.

    It’s interesting that this blog entry began with an “intellectual and even stimulating” conversation with a fellow blogger. Was that conversation more of an online chat? If so, how did it get “stimulating?” I’m concerned because bloggers blogging about blogging is a sign that they’re moving away from the real world.

    Stay in the real world and you’ll always have fresh content to write and your readers will continue to read your blog.

  8. Hmmm…”jumped the shark.” See, now you’re dating yourself. and me. and everyone else who “got it” withtout having to follow the link.

    Maybe all these options are just an overflow of all the options “that kids today” have gotten us all used to? When I grew up we didn’t have cable television til I was in HS. Imagine that 4 channels that came in clearly — and we were right outside NYC so it wasn’t necessarily part and parcel of the place.

    As I’ve aged, I’ve loved every new thing that’s come into play for us – technology especially. And I’ve watched my cousins and my friends’ kids amaze me with their unbelievably full schedules and constant “go, go, go”. I think all these options are just part of that need to have something “on” all the time.

    Blogs are here to stay, they’ll change and evolve, but their ability to provide useful content in an environment that encourages dialogue is hard to beat. Some long-time bloggers have their lives change, and their interests change, so therefore they change. Some are like our favorite TV show — after 10 seasons it’s hard to come up with “new stuff” to keep a show vibrant (heck, after 5 years) – and they have a team of writers and actors to share the burden. So I’ve no wonder that some bloggers stop or change gears. Even Steven King takes a break now and again!

    Nice post and thanks for the opportunity to think this through!

    Peggie

  9. Your reason number two regarding the “big shots” is what made me want to quit blogging. If they can do it why can’t I, right? Not right. The “big shots” are blogging as their careers, a luxury we average folk can’t afford. And for me it was very demoralizing.

    Luckily I also spoke with a fellow blogger and he inspired me to go back to basics, and I’ve been totally revitalized. Thanks fellow blogger!

  10. Your reason number two regarding the “big shots” is what made me want to quit blogging. If they can do it why can’t I, right? Not right. The “big shots” are blogging as their careers, a luxury we average folk can’t afford. And for me it was very demoralizing.

    Luckily I also spoke with a fellow blogger and he inspired me to go back to basics, and I’ve been totally revitalized. Thanks fellow blogger!

  11. Yes. I felt a difference about a year and a half ago. Not only have people branched in a million directions, but too much negativity is encouraged, IMHO. I’ve joined most of the social networking thingies you’ve listed above. But, I never stick to them. Somehow, I’ve found my groove over the past 3 months. For me, it was reaching a point where I honestly didn’t give a shit what people thought of me or my writing; or if I even got one single comment. I write for me. There was time when I wrote for my audience. That’s what many of the big shots seem to do. And I think that’s a bad way to go, IMHO.

  12. Yes. I felt a difference about a year and a half ago. Not only have people branched in a million directions, but too much negativity is encouraged, IMHO. I’ve joined most of the social networking thingies you’ve listed above. But, I never stick to them. Somehow, I’ve found my groove over the past 3 months. For me, it was reaching a point where I honestly didn’t give a shit what people thought of me or my writing; or if I even got one single comment. I write for me. There was time when I wrote for my audience. That’s what many of the big shots seem to do. And I think that’s a bad way to go, IMHO.

  13. I am still relatively new to the world of blogging so so your comments are interesting to me. I enjoying writing and I do like it when I get feedback from people. I think that methods of comuunication will certainly change but that the need to express our thoughts and opinions will not.

  14. I am still relatively new to the world of blogging so so your comments are interesting to me. I enjoying writing and I do like it when I get feedback from people. I think that methods of comuunication will certainly change but that the need to express our thoughts and opinions will not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s