That’s a question people have been asking since about five minutes after blogging became “a thing.” It feels like blogging peaked in 2008 – 2012. Interest, both from bloggers and from readers, has declined fairly steadily, dropping as much as 40-50%, since then. Podcasting seems a likely replacement, but interest in that appears to have peaked even earlier – prior to 2007. Interestingly, listeners appear more interested in discovering new podcasts than readers do in finding blogs or books to read. There’s increasing interest in finding new ideas for YouTube videos, which feels a bit like the millennial version of writer’s block. Are YouTubers finding it harder and harder to find novel topics and ways to present them? Struggling to capture viewers’ interest with novelty and personality?
If I were going to start something new, it would probably be a podcast. People can listen while running, exercising, driving, or riding the commuter train. They don’t have to focus their eyeballs on the content to be a part of the “conversation.” Visual appeal may be trumped by the desire to multitask – and a need to keep an eye on the road.
As a writer, I’m not exactly mourning the waning popularity of blogging as an exercise in making money online. It’s similar to the sad sigh of relief as self-published authors who cannot be bothered to edit drop out of the market entirely when sales don’t meet their expectations. But trying to convince readers that some blogs aren’t just the written equivalent of a boring infomercial is becoming as challenging as getting readers to click a link.
Did You Click It?
Go on, I dare you. Do come back – and tell me if you prefer links that whisk you off the page and take you elsewhere, or links that open in a new page, so you can easily find your way back, but have to close extra windows in your browser.
Flogging a Dead Blog
I visited a friend this past weekend, to catch up on the last three episodes from the most recent season of Outlander. Appalling as this clip is, it made me giggle – it seems to capture, perfectly, my biannual habit of killing (and resurrecting) my blog for sport.
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