One of the interesting sessions I went to at NorthernVoice was the Blogs are Dead; Long Live the Blogger session facilitated ably by Chris Lott. There’s a write-up on this wiki; as usual a lot of thought-provoking stuff was said, only some of which I’ve found recorded. I’ve noticed changes myself over the last few years of observing part of the blogging world (by necessity, only a small part).
I’ve noticed that lots of people aren’t blogging as much, or indeed any more, for varied reasons. Some spend more time on twitter, which scratches their communication itch, and effectively let their blog lapse. Some post no longer need to tell friends and family what they’re up to via a blog. A fair number of crafters are on Ravelry and post their projects there and don’t need a blog any more.
I’ve noticed changes in the blogs, too; maybe because many people whose blogs I read are using twitter et al for the more “trivial” discussions and thoughts, the blog postings tend to be about weightier subjects, or work-related. In many cases the tone is more formal and (dare I say it) boring; I’ve given up on quite a few blogs that used to be fun to read, even if the subject matter was inconsequential, because they now are more weighty and serious and not as entertaining. Or they’ve turned into collections of links. The occasional link posts, with comments as to why those links are worth clicking on, is fine, but I quickly tire of blogs that consist solely of links to other blogs and articles. I really can’t be bothered hanging on in the hope that the author will eventually come up with something original.
One big exception that I’ve noticed is the crafting blogs, which (notwithstanding the people who’ve quit now that they’re on Ravelry) have much the same type of content. I started a crafting blog after joining Ravelry, and I know others who’ve done the same. Many crafters see their blogs as a refreshing change from work, deliberately not talking about topics outside the boundaries, keeping the discussion focussed (more or less) on the serious crafting issues of types of yarn, whether the knitted object will fit once it’s finished, and the best way to create a particular design or concept. Or just posting “I did this this way and this is how it turned out.”
I don’t think the blog is dead; it’s just changing as the concept diffuses outside the circle of early adopters who are busy twittering at each other.