Blogs are dying.
Long live blogs!
According to a New York Times feature, blogs as a cultural phenomenon have largely been displaced by Facebook and Twitter and other social networking outlets.
However: Blogs “remain a home of more meaty discussions.”
Elisa Camahort Page, a cofounder of the site BlogHer, told the Times: “If you’re looking for a substantive conversation, you turn to blogs. ... You aren’t going to find it on Facebook, and you aren’t going to find it in 140 characters on Twitter.”
This is the terminological breakthrough I’ve been waiting for!
Put another way: This is how I’ve thought of, and interacted with, blogs all along. [Check out a roundup of this month's best political cartoons.]
For reasons owing to lack of time and interest, I don’t do Facebook, and, unlike Betty White, I’m not on the Twitter.
But I was an early adopter, at least as a reader, of blogs. Unavoidably, I viewed them through an inside-the-Beltway prism. To me, blogs were the online presence of my favorite writers and thinkers; they were public outlets for interesting academicians; they were places where wonks debated policy and critics debated movies and books and music, and where informed readers could contribute, often meaningfully. [Read meaningful contributions to the blogosphere at the Thomas Jefferson Street Blog.]
Because my wife isn’t much of a techie and doesn’t work in media, her first—and, it would turn out, intractable—impression of blogs was just the opposite. They were digital excrescences, and bloggers themselves were purveyors of irrelevant fluff.
A typical conversation would go something like this:
Wife: “Hi, honey, what are you reading?”
Me: “Uh, I’m in my Google Reader, checking out some blogs.”
Wife: “How do you have time to read blogs? I barely have time to read the newspaper!”
Me: “Well, uh, I read the paper, too; blogs are kind of an extension of that. You know, they sort of overlap, and —”
Wife: “—who cares what some 22-year old is eating for breakfast?!”
Me: “No, wait, yeah. I mean, there are blogs like that. But I don’t read those. I wouldn't even know where to find them.”
And so on.
Yet the ever-evolving multimedia marketplace is apparently solidifying the distinction that every discerning blog consumer recognized. Now, instead of defensively saying, “I don’t read those,” I can confidently say, “You’re thinking of Twitter and Facebook. Those aren’t blogs.”
Thank goodness for the social media revolution.
Now I can not only ignore it—I don’t even have to be associated with it!