New blog

Pick the odd one out: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Blog.

Or perhaps, as some would say, pick the dead one out.

Jason Kottke, a prolific blogger himself, recently wrote:

Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice. Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs.

Instead of blogging, people are posting to Tumblr, tweeting, pinning things to their board, posting to Reddit, Snapchatting, updating Facebook statuses, Instagramming, and publishing on Medium. In 1997, wired teens created online diaries, and in 2004 the blog was king. Today, teens are about as likely to start a blog (over Instagramming or Snapchatting) as they are to buy a music CD. Blogs are for 40-somethings with kids.

John Scalzi posted an insightful response to Kottke’s post:

This isn’t to say that a blog can’t be useful for the people who have a need or interest in them — they absolutely can be. For the people who want to be able to write longer posts, keep a permanent self-branded outpost, and (importantly) have much more substantial control of their online persona, blogs have no real substitute.

So, yes, traditional blogging is not what the cool kids do these days, but it will always have its uses; hence, my new blog.1

Also, I have always thought of Facebook and Twitter and other social media services not as a threat but as a complement to blogging. Twitter, in particular, seems to me like a giant, crowd-sourced feed of interesting blog posts (among its other uses). Nothing, though, beats a dedicated feed reader for leisurely scrolling through a stream of recent posts from your favorite blogs. (Yes, I am still mad at Google for pulling the plug on Google Reader, but I am also grateful that CommaFeed exists.)

So here is my new blog, the demise of blogging notwithstanding. Let’s see where it takes me.

  1. My old, personal blog—the one where I kept blogging for over 8 years, and which let me taste the freedom that comes with hosting and writing one’s own blog—is still there, but retired. My new “voice”, so to speak, needed a new blog, so here we are. [Back]