Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Keep Blogging!

Oregon's Willamette Week had a recent cover article about Matthew Haughey, founder of MetaFilter, who they called the Blogfather. Since I blog, I was intrigued, and was interested to see what he had to say about blogging and the future of blogging.

He talked about sites like Facebook and Twitter, and the trend toward shorter and shorter posts. He saw that there used to be more blogs, more thoughtful and longer postings by people. With the advent of websites like twitter and Facebook, there has been a move to shorter and shorter bursts of expression.

Here's what Matt Haughey said in the Willamette Week...

"Yeah, like I have an interesting thought in the morning and think, 'can I whittle this down to one sentence? I can!' Then tap tap tap, done. I feel bad because Twitter is so ephemeral. All the people I know who were blogging in 1995, all have blogs where the last post was six months ago. I have a friend who says if you don't blog it, it didn't happen. Twitter's too ephemeral. But it kills blogs dead."

and he was asked...

"Where do you see blogs in 10 years' time?
"In a really weird space, because of Twitter and Facebook. There's definitely been a decline in the last year or two, but I sort of see a resurgence of people who want to be serious writers be like, 'Why am I dicking around with writing things in single sentences?" So I think serious blogs might come back, but I don't think raw numbers of people blogging will ever get up again. Because Twitter and Facebook are so much easier.

"It's funny: [Twitter co-founder] Evan Williams, who I worked with on Blogger.com, was very into making ideas as simple as possible. We started with a byzantine project management app, which grew to huge groups working on massive projects for months, and one part of it was, every project had a blog, and then we were just like, "Why don't we just spin this off as a thing?" And then that became Blogger. And then "blogging's so hard, why don't you just make that a sentence?" It's a logical progression, but then what happens to culture? It's kind of a bummer."

I know that I sometimes get frustrated with the brevity of Facebook. (I don't twitter. or tweet.) I find it hard to reduce my thoughts to one (hopefully brilliant or insightful or funny) sentence or phrase. He's right, blogging takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. AND, it more suits me. I don't know what the future of blogging is, I just know that I like it.

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  1. I think that Mr. Haughey is right and that, while Twitter, FB etc., certainly have their place they are no replacement for blogging.


  2. In my experience, it's harder to write short than to write long. Five hundred words is harder than five thousand, and fifty harder still. Twitter, though, is just too short. I most enjoy Twitter when it's set up as a feed alongside a blog I already enjoy. I don't feel it stands up well on its own.