In 2007 ReadWriteWeb posted Is Blogging Dead?. In 2008 Wired wrote Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004 and in 2006 Daniel Gross at Slate wrote Twilight of the Blogs. Are they over as a business? here we are in 2010, almost 2011 and Mashable writes an article called Everyone Uses E-mail, But Blogging Is On the Decline [STUDY]. Mashable seems to have read the stats of the Pew study though muddy glasses. Blogs are still not going anywhere. Blogs are a belly button and navel gazing has a long tradition in culture so there is no reason to be upset at periodically rising the question of when a form of communication – the short story, the land line dial phone, crush notes written in lipstick – have out lived their usefulness. It is probably also important to differentiate subtle shifts and the end of the line. Short fiction has changed between the wit of O. Henry and the metaphysical science fiction of Philip K.Dick. People generally move on to less pretentious writing medium than lipstick – though it does come in handy for lady spies and is less obvious than a shoe phone. Why Blogs (Still) Aren’t Dead…No Matter What You’ve Heard
Since that post was published last week, it has been re-blogged dozens of times (often with alarmist headlines about the demise of blogging: “victim of Facebook?”), emailed to us here at Regator several times by well-intentioned friends and users, and Tweeted hundreds of times. But we’re not at all worried. And you shouldn’t be either. Here’s why:
The Big Picture
Let’s start by looking at the full report at the original source—always a good place to start when the waters are murky. The Mashable article’s (current) headline states: “Everyone Uses E-mail, But Blogging Is On the Decline.” According the study Schroeder based the post on, this is false. As the handy-dandy chart below (from the same Pew study) shows, blogging is on the decline in Millennials (18-33) and G.I. Generation (74+) but on the increase in all other age groups with an overall increase from 11 percent of internet users in December 2008 to 14 percent in May 2010. In general, blogging is on the rise. One more time for those who are still freaking out: Blogging is not in decline. Put away your shovels and call off the funeral.
There used to be, and there still are, lots of blogs consisting of I just bought a new MAC, I just broke up with my boy/girl friend, celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary. Many of those people have moved over to FaceBook or Tweet instead of blog. I was tempted to say these people have moved to where they should be, but they should be at a social networking site or a text messaging app or back to blogging or back and forth between whatever works for them. It is the net. It is less free and open than it was a week ago, but people can still choose to go and do what they think works best for the way they want to communicate. Blogging is still a good tool and maybe the best to use for citizen journalism, for long form writing, for thinking out loud that requires more than 140 characters, publishing preliminary findings from researchers, displaying different kinds of art and photos, showing video with commentary and analysis, for extended family to have ongoing conversations and remembrances of their lives and a host of other activities. Blogs are paradise for the amateur specialists. There are lots of people who do not have a string of letters after their names who have dedicated themselves to learning specialized areas of history, the environment, philosophy, pottery making and every other field of interests; FaceBook and Twitter are not well suited to handle that form of communication and documentation. I would not be surprised if FaceBook did not create a separate blogging platform eventually or include blog-like templates as an option in their current iteration. Blogs will continue to evolve. Bloggers will start and drop out. The same as 2004.
Jimmy Carter has been called our best ex-president. I’m not sure that of all our presidents and their careers, and public service, after leaving office whether Carter is the best, but if it’s a contest he deserves great credit for trying – Jimmy Carter’s Fight Against Guinea Worm Approaches Victory
Makoy points out to the women the fingernail-length worm-like creatures whose tails flick back and forth. Then a pond-side health lesson begins on a spaghetti-like worm that has haunted humans for centuries.
This fight against the guinea worm is a battle former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has waged for more than two decades in some of the poorest countries on earth. It is a battle he’s almost won.
In the 1950s the 3-foot-long guinea worm ravaged the bodies of an estimated 50 million people, forcing victims through months of pain while the worm exited through a swollen blister on the leg, making it impossible for them to tend to cows or harvest crops. By 1986, the number dropped to 3.5 million. Last year only 3,190 cases were reported.
Today the worm is even closer to being wiped out. Fewer than 1,700 cases have been found this year in only four countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Sudan, where more than 95 percent of the cases are. The worm’s near-eradication is thanks in large part to the efforts of Carter and his foundation.
The guinea worm page at Wikipedia. The pictures there are not as bad or gross as some I’ve seen.