Really really dead. The first time I heard about its passing was ten years ago, in 2008. Some blogger dude or other decided that blogging was “so 2004” and wrote… a blogpost about it, which was then picked up as “blogging is DEAD!!eleventy!!”.
He did kinda have a point about blogging not being the same anymore: where in the early days of blogging you had to have decent programming skills to start a blog, blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress and here in The Netherlands the Dutch Web-log.nl enabled everybody and their mom to start a blog. This led to the birth of some amazing blogs, but also enabled the publishing of… not so great things.
Then there was the rise of “pro-blogging”: what was first considered a (nerdy!) hobby, suddenly got the attention from companies, who realised that money could be made. And while it was of course great that some people could realise their dream of turning their hobby into a job, it did lead to a lot of uninspired sponsored content. On top of that, a lot of early adopters quit blogging due to lack of interest, lack of time, lack of interest to spend time on it.
However, the fact that things change, does not mean that they are dead. Punk for example, is still not dead, and neither is jazz (it just smells funny). Even zines, despite everybody expecting that they would cease to exist due to the rise of blogs, are still alive and kicking. Not to mention other things that have been declared dead, like “paper” (to be killed by computers) and “books” (to be killed by e-readers) that are still abundantly around – and not just on my desk.
Do I believe that starting a blog in 2018 will lead to thousands of visitors, hundred of comments, that all kinds of companies are lining up to sponsor your entire life and that it will be a one way fast track ticket to fame? Of course not. But, and maybe this is me being naïve and not knowing how things actually work in the world, is this THE reason for all the billions of people with blogs to start one? Sure, there must be people who started blogs for that sole reason, they are probably the same type of people who jumped onto the YouTube hype and then tried to become Instafamous. I think that the majority of people who start a blog however, just want to share things, make contact, want to be seen and/or read.
It is my reason for blogging. I need a place where I can have a nuanced and elaborated on Opinion about things, where I can share things that inspire me, where I can use text and video and images on the same page, where I have more link options than “link in bio”. A place where I have time and space, where I am not dependent on a limited amount of characters, like on Twitter, or the willingness of my viewers to also read the caption, like on Instagram. A place where I can use the name that I want, where I am not forced to use my “real name” that they then (despite sending them a copy of my passport) refuse to spell correctly. For those now expecting a post about my deep dislike of Facebook: I am currently writing it. Next week though will be a fun post: an interview with… me!
Blogging is dead, long live blogging! See you next Wednesday!