Blogging is dead.
It has been for a while. Andrew Sullivan – my blogfather – wrote about it not all that long ago (in re the death of The Awl, a blog I don’t lament in the least)
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection attempts an autopsy of blogging – at least, of blogging as a cultural phenomenon and business model. Both were killed by the loathsome Twitter:
Social media really is a sewer, and I attribute much of the evaporation of the blogosphere to Twitter. It’s much easier to find an instant audience on Twitter than to build the relationship with readers to get them to come to your website. Twitter pundits are the worst pundits, counting their worth based on “followers” (many of whom are fake and purchased). The NY Times had an amazing expose on the purchasing of Twitter followers in order to create a fake reality of popularity that then can be monetized as an “influencer.”
The financial pressures also are real, as ever-increasing demand for clicks to drive dwindling advertising payout creates so much noise it’s hard to be heard. And yes, the financial pressures are real in this superheated media environment.
Monday will be my sixteenth anniversary as a blogger. I’ve never been especially sensitive to the ups and downs of the field; I never became a superstar like John Hinderaker or Ed Morrissey or Rachel Lucas. I didn’t go down in a wave of shame and humiliation, either, like Duncan Black or Oliver Willis or pretty much a anyone who ever blogged for “Minnesota Progressive Project”. It’s always pretty much just been me, with the odd contribution from First Ringer (and, back in the day, Johnny Roosh and Bogus Doug).
And it was about the time Twitter and its hordes of droogs took over the job of facile instant political analysis that people stared hitting the gates.
And, like the other highs and lows, I didn’t care. Twitter bores me stiff. I use it mosty to promote the show, and to gauge the cowardice of liberal politicians (the ones that routinely block conservatives are, in fact, gutless cravens).
But the “death” of blogging interests me not in the least. I got into it because I enjoyed writing. And while I’ve gotten the odd paycheck out of the deal – back in 2007, I think I was gettting $200/months in ad revenue, which has plunged to maybe $100/year lately) and my annual pledge drive always adds a nice bump to the vacation budget, I do it for the pure unadulterated love of writing stuff for people to read.
Dead, schmead. As far as I”m concerned, it’s just beginning.