A blog post about a blog post about the decline of blogging

image of Mark Twain created by Flickr user DonkeyHotey

Image cc license from Flickr user DonkeyHotey

“The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” — a misquotation of a Mark Twain quotation

During grad school, I wrote a paper on e-books and why they had not risen to popularity as quickly as anticipated and why the technology had not progressed more rapidly. I think I probably referenced this quotation in that paper because my conclusion was that, though e-books had not yet taken off as trend-trackers had expected, they should not be discounted. They were not dead yet.

In the last year, there has been a whole lot of discussion on the Internet regarding whether print books are dead and whether libraries are dead.

Earlier this month, a report from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research stated that, for the first time, an overall decline in blogging has been registered in the 500 fastest growing organizations in the U.S. In announcing the report, Information Today Europe produced an interesting post entitled “A blog post about the decline of blogging”, which in turn inspired the choice of title for this post.

Fortunately, Information Today Europe and the Center for Marketing Research didn’t catastrophize and begin walking around the streets carrying sandwich boards announcing, “the end of blogging is nigh!”  The report simply says that a decline was measured for the first time since 2007, when the Center first began conducting studies on the use of social media by the 500 fastest growing organizations.  It is not entirely clear what is considered blogging as the term is not defined in the 2011 report, but according to the full report a decline was noticed for blogging as well as video blogging.

It would be a bit premature to say that blogging is now passé or definitively on the way out; it’s more accurate to suggest that this report supports the proposition that blogging is no longer the primary social media used in the business world in the U.S.  Frankly, this doesn’t seem a particularly surprising revelation. As the report says, new tools replace or supplant the older ones.  This rings true in this case — blogs started in the 1990s, while LinkedIn only launched in 2002, Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005, and Twitter in 2006.

The report says that blogging is in a decline for a cross-section of blogs worldwide.  It doesn’t say that blogging is dead or dying. Such a statement would be an exaggeration. As is seen across the blogosphere, organizations and companies, individuals and small groups all continue blogging, at varying frequencies and for differing purposes. Even as older blogs fade or suddenly cease, long-running blogs continue and new blogs spring up. Blogging goes on.

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2 Comments on “A blog post about a blog post about the decline of blogging”

  1. John Masura says:

    A very interesting article. I believe the decline may be attributed to the fact that many business no longer allow the employee to be indiscriminatly at social networks on their computers at work. Employees have also been given more work, so they do not have the time to blog anymore.

    • KRED says:

      Thank you for your comment! You make very good points — less interest by a business, budget cuts and staff cuts can result in no longer having staff dedicated to managing social media and blogging and/or expecting staff already overloaded with work to write and post content. Also, as you say, between not allowing staff to use social media or blogs from work and not empowering staff to use these for work, a decline is not unanticipated.


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