Social Media Beatdown: Are Blogs Dead? They Are (Or Are They?)

“Blogs are dead!”

The conventional wisdom nowadays is that blogs – whether personal, corporate, or otherwise – have been replaced by microblogging/social media, which are easier to manage and can reach an intended audience more effectively.

“For the future of blogging, I think general ‘Mom blogs’ are going down,” said veteran Utah blogger Cynthia Bee. “I think it’s almost impossible to start and build a new and fabulous blog NOW. Generally, blogs will continue but the space between the ‘everyday blogger’ and the large, widely read blogs will continue to grow.”

Many of the tools that helped people build their blog’s following in 2009-2011 are no longer in use (such as Blogger Friend Connect), no longer effective (link parties) or have been replaced by easier technology (Pinterest), Bee continued.

People who say blogging has died may have simply seen their own blog die, says this blogger, pointing out, “The truth of the matter is blogging requires a committed effort, which many find to be unsustainable.”

But businesses – that can dedicate more resources to a blog than a mom – are also blogging less. This article reports that in 2011 “only 37 percent of Inc. 500 companies maintained blogs, down from 50 percent the year before.”

That’s a steep drop in just one year, but many maintain blogging is hardly dead – it’s just been reincarnated.

“Blogging isn’t dead at all – its focus has simply been watered down,” said prolific Utah blogger Connor Boyack. “Social conversations are split between many channels for the same content. Some may comment on a blog post, some may comment on the Facebook thread where that post was linked, and others may chat about it on Twitter or elsewhere.”

And in fact social media hasn’t killed blogs; both enjoy a symbiotic relationship with each other – similar to the relationship between blogs and traditional media.

“Twitter has especially kept blogging alive,” said LDS blogger Eleesha Tucker. “With Twitter, you provide a short hook and a link that leads the interested user to more content than the 140 characters allow. For people who want substance, the sound bite nature of social media can engage interest, but doesn’t suffice. These users want more developed ideas. Blogs provide that forum.” 

So indeed saying that Twitter killed blogs would be like saying movie trailers killed movies. One writer even insists that blogging “may become an act of resistance against the dumbing down of culture and political discourse” caused by social media. 

This recent post cleverly points out that if you search “blogging is dead,” you will probably be directed … to a blog. He then uses the transitive property to show why sites like blogger, wordpress, or blogspot are dying:

The reason Tumblr is spanking long-form blogs is pretty simple.   Tumblr = pictures.  Blogs = words.  Pictures > Words.  :. Tumblr Wins.  End of Story.

Indeed, the biggest “blog builder” is also becoming a “blog killer”: Pinterest, Bee observed. Also given the ease of filming, editing, and uploading video, vlogs are very popular. Note that no one ever predicts the death of YouTube, which had more than 1 trillion views in 2011.

So it sounds like blogs are going to die hard. And since I haven’t used any pictures or video, your reward for the last 550 words is this trailer of the next Die Hard movie:

Yippee ki-yay, mother blogger!