Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Death of the blog...

Killing Time? Now first and second on Virgin Media for "where to get paisley underpants" searches, 59th on Google Belgium for "fruit associated with Harold Wilson" and 39th on Microsoft Live Search for "japan young ladies breasts show in streets". Pretty impressive, huh? Very few people actually arrive on these shores looking for me - which is understandable but very psychologically damaging. But does any of it matter? The Guardian, in a small, space-filling, throwaway story based on a press release bunged out by Gartner, report the death of the blog today in G2. Rich, appearing in any newspaper, what with their ever-declining sales and imminent journey into obscurity, to be replaced by 14-year-olds and their bedroom-based news organisations. And coming from a paper with dozens of bloggers. But The Guardian point towards 200m abandoned blogs that are out there somewhere but no longer updated. So, who, of these 200m, have they highlighted? Well, celebrities and MPs, two blogging sub-groups that, as those of us that use the internet on a regular basis knew already, are notoriously slack at posting trivia about their lives, unless they're the 'model' and future Prime Minister Jodie Marsh. Am I bovvered, as actor Tony Blair might say, that Theresa May MP hasn't posted since December? Do I give a damn that Melanie Griffiths abandoned the good ship blog in March 2005 (hey, that's news!) or that Mariah Carey has even been obliterated from the Google cache? No, I couldn't give a flying proverbial - these people have nothing to say so it's no surprise that they're gone. The Guardian, although rather adept at moving with the times, does seem to mock the new media world that it is attempting to lead. Almost every Saturday in the guide there will be some drivel about how evil the internet is. This Saturday, Tim Jonze attempted to start flame wars on various messageboards in an effort to show the levels of personal abuse that exist out there where people are fond of their anonymity (what's new there? The same thing was very prevalent back in the days of IRC. Don't know what I'm on about? Look it up). But why would anyone read that rubbish, when they can just spend a few hours on a message board themselves and experience it all first hand? Ditto, the same publication's what we learned on the web this week - an utterly pointless exercise because what net users are interested in is what they themselves learned on the web. The G also send people towards blogs they recommend on a regular basis and, guess what, the bulk of the time they are either people that work in the media that set up their blog yesterday or blogs that survive for two weeks after the shower of publicity. And it's not just the fine liberal Berlinersheet that seems to like rolling out bad PR for bloggers and independent websites - other traditional media also like to knock and circulate scare stories about this relatively new kid on the block, repeatedly. Why? Because it serves their interests to predict the death of us, especially if you're savvy enough (I'm not!) to nibble into their potential advertising revenues. Now, if Richard Herring or Johnny Billericay or Mark Shenton suddenly stopped posting I might think there was something in it. But death of the blog? Nah. At the foot of the article, there's a suggestion that, if you did set up a blog and let it fall by the wayside, it's time to dig out the old password (pointless, even blogger delete unused accounts) because companies are now switched on to the benefits of blogs and, if you promise to write about their things, they will send you free stuff, such as cinema tickets and gadgets (this from Drew Benvie, a "blogging expert" and media adviser). So, come on, you 200m blog abandoners, get back up and running reviewing stuff and let's see the free stuff land on our doormats - together we can bring down capitalism!

4 comments:

JonnyB said...

Fuck... no pressure, then...

bazza27 said...

Wow, you have famous people visiting your blog.

Music Man said...

I only started blogging after reading an article in the Guardian that suggested it was the route to fame, fortune and frequent casual sex. Now they decide it's not. I feel duped.

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