is blogging already obsolete?

Posted: March 11, 2009 in blogosphere, my thoughts, technology

My wife just joined Facebook this week.  As “tech savvy” as I may be (which is definitely in the moderate range…I’m more tech savvy than maybe the average joe, but not as much as one might think), blogging is my only real cyberspace medium.  I have not joined Facebook.  Let’s just say this … when I joined My Space about 20 months ago, I was fairly quickly booted from it.  Legal reasons.  Most likely would encounter the same fate with Facebook, so I’ve made no attempt to join.

However, in the brief time Erin’s been on Facebook, just in helping her get some stuff set up, photos uploaded, etc….I’ve been able to see how it actually works for the first time.  And it’s making me think that blogging may soon be … if it’s not there already … obsolete.  I still want to blog.  I enjoy writing about the random thoughts in my brain, dusting in a little humor here and there, giving occasional updates on life, work, and family.  But I feel like my readership – or the “reach” of this blog – has likely peaked.

If you’re curious, that pans out to, from what I can gather, about 20 – 30 legitimate readers per day on average.  My “view count” would say it’s more than that, but it’s not accurate…it includes up to 125 views per day from people that have found my blog by using random Google search terms….for the last 2-3 months, I’ve had a tremendous amounts of search hits from the Google terms “Hillary Clinton Cankles” and “Foreign vs Domestic Cars”, which are two things I wrote about months ago.  But these viewers are not reading anything.  They open the blog, realize it’s not at all what they were searching for, and immediately leave.

But it’s difficult, and sort of selfish, to “market” a blog.  You can’t really put it in people’s faces.  They have to know you exist and actually want to take the time to open you up and read.  Facebook, Twitter…and I’m sure other sites I’m not aware of…are much different.  You communicate in snippets, and what you communicate is there for everyone to see, quickly, almost invasively in some ways.  It’s a constant, CNN-like message board of friend updates.  It’s easy to create readership by simply making LOTS of friends…which is sort of why Facebook exists, which means it’s very EASY to create lots of friends.  No one really wants to deny a friend, because it’s simply not cool.  A blog is much more static.  It exists in its own vacuum, waiting to be found, twiddling its thumbs, hoping to be read.  It’s not as real-time or busy-person-friendly.  A blog is like a VW Mini-Bus, taking you on a months long cross-country journey, stopping at interesting points along the way.  In comparison, Facebook is more like speed dating on a pogo stick, hopping from person to person to person, never really encountering a need to hop off the stick.

I’m not knocking Facebook or blogging.  Facebook obviously works.  It’s grown like wildfire, overtaken My Space, and is currently the ultimate friendship and community site.  (Although it is still run by a guy with lots of geek-sense, but little business-sense.  If Facebook bombs, it’ll be because they’re not making money, not because it doesn’t work on an end user level).    Blogging is still here.  It hasn’t gone away.  But why record shows on a VCR when you can afford a TiVo?  If history hold true, by about 2014, Facebook will have become obsolete as well, having been shown up by a newer, faster, more tantalizing and amazing social networking site than any of our minds can comprehend.  And all the while, this little blog will keep cruising, sometimes speeding and sometimes sputtering.  It may get a new face plate, replace some worn out parts, and receive some factory updates along the way.  Maybe one day it’ll finally break down on the side of the road for the last time.  But for now, the journey will continue, and the VW Mini Bus will roll on.  I’m just hoping to keep as many passengers as possible.

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Comments
  1. Shelley says:

    Funny thing about blogs, I have this friend whom I’ve never met in person, but hope to one day. I pray for him and his family on occasion. I wear a silly T-shirt from him.

    Facebook works for what facebook is, but I still love the deeper blogs, its different, and I hope will never go away.

    ps, I don’t have tivo.

  2. Leeann Sobek says:

    Facebook is great for what you said. Little snippets of conversation, a ‘hey how are ya today?’ kind of thing. It’s also good for staying in touch with people you know, but aren’t great friends with, and yet don’t want to completely lose touch. Just check in and out periodically. Blogs are awesome in that someone is actually taking the time to completely think out and record a thought, feeling, or idea. That person is totally putting him/herself out in the wide open for all to support or trample. It’s a much higher risk, especially emotionally. Both are great tools, but for their own specific purpose.

    I am a committed reader of yours and I will share your blog with anyone that comes along that I think will receive something from it, if only the humor. 🙂

  3. jeph says:

    I don’t think blogs are obsolete. But I don’t think Facebook is the new ‘blog’ either. Most people don’t have the desire to write thoughtfully about life’s comings and goings, so things like Myspace and Facebook sort of provide the abridged version. But it’s kinda apples and oranges.

    I used to do both, but blogging became weird for me because I don’t have the desire to write for my friends more than I desire to simply write and the only real readers were my church buds anyway so it wasn’t worth it to me to keep it up. I’m working on a blog right now that will be a ‘writing’ blog more than anything. Essays, not posts. Stories, not worship song sets. And I’d rather it be anonymous because then I would feel more free to compose and I would see if there’s any real attraction to my writing besides, “that’s the guy who goes to my church”.

    But enough about me. 🙂

    Your blog is a fun read. And if keeping up with life is better for you in this venue, then do it! It will never be obsolete because the content isn’t obsolete. The medium serves its purpose and won’t go away any time soon. Never fear. But, Facebook is really cool. Maybe try to have a ‘duel’ facebook account with your wife like some do.

  4. Carrie says:

    Hey I blog! (okay only sometimes) I’ve been on a roll recently. Don’t hold your breath. 🙂 Keep blogging. I enjoy your thoughts.

  5. jeph says:

    By the way, Magnificent may be the best song on U2’s newest album, but there’s like 5 others that are really, really solid!!

  6. Jason says:

    I will keep blogging and I thank you all.

    Shelley – sorry you won’t be getting a pregnant woman shirt.

    Leeann – it only took you 1 week to become a committed reader, and I thank you.
    Of course, knowing me since I was about 12 yrs old doesn’t hurt either.

    Carrie – I stopped holding my breath months ago. Please blog more.

    Jeph – I knew I spoke to soon about Magnificent after commenting. Just like their last album, I’ve had to listen to this one about 4 times through to finally start appreciating the other songs. I agree though…even though they don’t compare, there are definitely some other great songs.

  7. Derek says:

    yeah, keep on blogging. I like it a whole lot more than facebook, and I enjoy checking in on people’s blogs every so often just to see what’s up. It just seems like there is a personal aspect to a person’s blog that is lacking with facebook.

  8. betsy says:

    keep blogging! what’s carrie’s site again? i lost track because i thought she quit…

  9. Jason says:

    thanks derek and betsy.

    Derek – I’ve made your homemade scalloped potatoes thing at least 3 times since you posted it…totally love it.

    Betsy…carrie’s blog is http://perky-jacobstwin.blogspot.com/

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