Blogs are so over, Wired magazine says

by Mathew on October 21, 2008 · 73 comments

Hey, didn’t you hear? Blogs are so 2004. They’re dead now, says Paul Boutin (who also writes for Valleywag) in a piece he wrote for Wired magazine. Here’s his argument (such as it is) in a nutshell:

“The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths.

It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.”

Wow — that’s pretty persuasive, isn’t it? You can’t miss with a great environmental metaphor like that. I guess I had better stop blogging then. To tell you the truth, I’m kind of surprised that Paul didn’t put a headline like “Twitter and Facebook have killed blogging” on his piece. Things are always killing other things in the kind of world Boutin describes. And what evidence do we have that blogs aren’t the place to be any more? Just this: Jason Calacanis quit blogging and moved to an email newsletter, and Robert Scoble is mostly doing video posts and Twittering.

So there you have it. Case closed. Jason Calacanis, whose blog was intended solely to promote the entity known as Jason Calacanis, and Robert Scoble — a man who claims it’s possible to interact in a meaningful way with 10,000 Twitter friends and 50,000 Facebook friends. These are the people Boutin wants us to look to for guidance on how to live our lives online? At the end, just to make sure you haven’t missed it, Paul summarizes his point in a Twitter-style paragraph:

“@WiredReader: Kill yr blog. 2004 over. Google won’t find you. Too much cruft from HuffPo, NYT. Commenters are tards. C u on Facebook?”

I’m hoping that Boutin’s post took about the same amount of time as it did to come up with that Twitter message, because it has about as much value. Is everyone going to have a blog? No — and they never were. Facebook and Twitter are probably enough for many people. Not writing at all is enough for many people. But why does it have to be all or nothing? What we have now is the option to micro-blog (i.e., Twitter) some thoughts, post others to Facebook, share things on FriendFeed or through Google Reader, and blog things that take longer to think through. But I guess that’s not as catchy as a “blogs are dead, Twitter killed them” scenario.

Update:

Seamus McCauley calls Boutin’s post “flagrant flamebait,” which I think is probably true. And I fell for it :-) And so did Tish Grier.

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