According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, blogging activity has dropped drastically among young adults in the United States, a demographic that traditionally helps define the tenor of the online conversation. In December 2007, for instance, 28 percent of all 18-to-29-year-olds with an Internet connection kept some sort of blog. By the same time last year, that number hovered around 15 percent. Meanwhile, the number of teens who say they blog regularly continues to shrink, as the Web’s youngest users ditch the blogosphere for the frantic pace of the social-media world.
The study from Pew Research does nothing but confirm what we all have been noticing around us: amateur blogging is disappearing. While I don’t think it will completely die, it is clear that the big amounts of effort it requires and the little rewards it entitles are not the best ways to incentive blog writing. Only professional bloggers have enough incentives to keep on writing regularly.
Of all the blogs I follow, only the professional ones keep up the pace. A lot of personal bloggers have stopped writing or greatly reduced their contributions. Why wouldn’t they with Facebook and Twitter’s instant gratification and reduced effort? Why on earth would we have to consider that it is a problem?
Lets face it, most of the personal blogposts are exactly that, personal, and directed to a group of friends: they will be much better served in a less publicly scrutinized platform like Facebook, or Netlog, or Tuenti, or you-name-the-closed-garden-social-network.
The same goes for Twitter. If we translate it to our day to day communications in fisical-out-of-the-web-world with other humans, most of what we do is chit-chat, send and receive small bits of information. We discuss things we have seen and find worthy of an exchange and direct friends and colleagues towards them if they do not know them. We make a lot of small talk so that we get to know each other better and feel more comfortable for the day when we will have more profound / serious / long conversations. Doesn’t it sound a lot like what we do on Twitter and blogging?
Smaller effort and instant or almost satisfaction: sounds like a winning combination.
Social networking, just like Google, does not makes us stupid, it makes us more communicative and efficient in our communications. It is all about human relations. Technology just enables us to multiply our contacts with other human beings. Why would this be a problem?
What we are witnessing is just the adaptation of Internet communication to the inner needs of social humans.