I had a ‘water-cooler’ conversation with my colleague Chris and we discussed a meeting that he had with an editor of one of the UK’s IT publications. The journalist had said that they were turning their back on blogging as a mainstream media. The journalist talked about his publication getting rid of blogs as he felt that they had little if any editorial value. There were now apparently too many blogs and it was too hard to find good content.
Interesting perspective, can’t say that I agree with it.
There is are tens of billions of web pages out there, and tens of thousands e-commerce sites, but thanks to Google and other search engines I can find appropriate items or content. In fact, I probably use the web more now than I did a decade ago. I am not trying to pretend that search can’t be improved but I am not convinced by the argument that the prevalence of blogs really prevents access to quality content.
Secondly, if you look at newspaper articles and news services like the BBC there is an obvious blogification of the media. Articles increasingly have a comments section under the copy. This blogification of the media has become widespread presumably because many of the journalist’s peers found that it added editorial value. (If not, why on earth did they go to that much trouble?) The media are also making use of secondary blogging traits such as facilitating bookmarking tools like Delicious to allow content sharing and recommendation engines like Digg.
If you look at the front of The Register (one of the most widely read English language IT publications in the world), the stories appear in the order in which they have been filed (very blog like) and can be sorted into categories (just like WordPress). Admittedly The Register took this approach under the guiding hand of Mike Magee long before I (and most other people) had ever heard the word blog.
Blogging may be disappearing in a slightly different way however. It has now become so ubiquitous so as to become the norm, it will be no longer different and distinct because of its very influence into every part of informational web design. In a similar way that we no longer gasp in amazement at electric lighting or the horseless carriage but instead only notice them when they don’t work or we are being charged a king’s ransom at the petrol station.