The blog is dead, long live the blog


Maybe it’s because I seem to be coming down with a cold but I’m still wondering what he actually wanted to say in that piece. The so-called social media are the dominating format right now?


Blogs succeeded beyond expectations: they pushed the boundaries of mechanised (and mechanisable) content, helped define standards that became useful as generic internet plumbing (atom, rss), popularised the idea of a “read-write web”, and brought online a lot of very good content. They instigated the creation of tools like WordPress, which went on to be used as generic infrastructure for zillions of websites.

However, they also failed spectacularly: their standards have been mostly forgotten (pingback/traceback), are dying (rss) or have been perverted to be used as raw generic plumbing (atom). The semantic-web dream did not take hold in the general public, and is now largely ignored by web professionals as well. The blogosphere tried very hard to be Facebook before Facebook even existed (remember FOAF and blogrolls?) and just… failed. Connecting loosely-coupled services via standardised social interfaces is still too hard. News aggregators are an unmonetizable niche. Pushing content to readers in an intelligent way is still too hard.

Whatever the future holds, it will not look like our beloved blogs.

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Most of the examples he uses are things I would consider blogs. I don’t care if they don’t call themselves that. Gawker is a blogging platform. Tumblr is a blogging platform (there’s a reason they called them tumblogs).


That made a lot more sense to me than the original piece, thanks!

Death of blogs… posted on a blog.

Mind Blown

In all fairness one of the above posters has it right in that blog standards have basically been ditched or made not worth using. Personally I’d use the whole social media thing more if:

I could just wrap my head around twitter.

Google+ wasn’t laggy as all get out on my laptop (yaaay netbook.) I like google+ for the fact it provides formatting (though I do wish they’d follow the same formatting standards EVERYONE ELSE uses instead of trying to roll their own (go with wiki formatting and we’ll call it good.)

This is not a blog. It’s a forum! At least, that is what it is to me. I come here for the colorful commentary by the always interesting and sometimes enlightened community. BB begs to differ, tho, every time I have to click past the accursed Big Mac to get to the comments section (better wait for that Ad to load because it will move itself under my pointer as I click if I’m too hasty ), I’m reminded.

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John Scalzi had an interesting response to this on his blog.

Yes I usually discover things via social media (whereas I used to rely more on my RSS reader), but still, they often end up directing me to, you know… blogs.

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For a given and highly restricted usage of the word “blog”.

Facebook timelines are blogs. Twitter is a blog. Tumblr is a blog.

The headline (The blog is dead, long live the blog) is nonsensical. The phrase it references is “The King is dead, long live the King”—which means ‘The (old) King is dead, long live the (new) King’, and is meant to show that the accession is unbroken.

“The blog is dead, long live the blog” would be implying that there is a new thing that gets the title “blog”, which will replace the old thing with that title. Which isn’t what this post seems to be about.

Yes, yes, pedantry and all that. :slight_smile:

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Isn’t that exactly the point, though?

What we have thought of for a decade as being “blogs” are steadily losing importance in the daily information stream, and are being replaced with things (Facebook timeline, Twitter feeds, etc) that are very similar on the consumption side (see @Daemonworks above), but are constructed very differently in terms of content generation.

The blog (individually-sourced DIY data feed) is dead, long live the blog (collectively-sourced commercial feed).


I completely agree that a lot of new things in the article are blogs. Look at it this way: how is Tumblr not a blogging platform?

I’m totally blogging this. If I can just remember my Diaryland login. (shakes fist) damn you 1999!

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Given that BB’s editors seem to be scattershotting their attention into fifteen other trendy (and worse) media and haven’t been doing a great job of maintaining their own blog, I think there’s a certainly amount of selection bias inherent in claiming the blog is dying as a medium.

The author is angling to be the Fredrick Jackson Turner of the digital frontier. They should publish a paper entitled “The Significance of the Blog in Internet History”.

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