Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Blogs are dead...so why are you here?

A writer for the New Republic makes some good points about the death of blogging. But if that's the case, why are you still reading Attytood?

Blogs are dead...so why are you here?

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It's kind of remarkable how quickly blogging went from cutting edge to over the hill. This site is truly now a dinosaur:

We will still have blogs, of course, if only because the word is flexible enough to encompass a very wide range of publishing platforms: Basically, anything that contains a scrollable stream of posts is a "blog." What we are losing is the personal blog and the themed blog. Less and less do readers have the patience for a certain writer or even certain subject matter. Instead, they use social media to efficiently pick exactly what they do and do not click on, rather than reading what a blogger or blog offers them. In part due to his melodramatic intellectual style, Sullivan's blog was almost like a soap opera pegged to the news cycle—which I mean as the highest compliment. Smith's blog, too, had its specific scoops (Jewish politics, labor politics). And Media Decoder frequently brought a Times-type sensibility to media stories not big enough to merit their own staid articles in the ink edition. A necessary byproduct was that even if you were a devotee, you were not interested in about half of their posts. You didn't complain, because you didn't have an alternative. Now, in the form of your Twitter feed, you do, and so these old-style blogs have no place anymore.

I've talked this over with a couple of my fellow blogger friends recently, and we all pretty much agree that the whole blog concept has been obliterated by Twitter. I can only speak to my own experience, but 5-6 years ago i tripped out on blogs because newspaper websites still mostly updated just once a day with that's day's dead-tree stories, while blogs -- which updated 5, 10, 15 times a day -- were where the excitement was. Today, with a Twitter post flying at you every couple of seconds, blogs suddenly look like Ryan Howard trying to run the bases, and if you follow enough Twitter people, you'll get a wider range of information.

Attytood has changed a lot over the years. For example, I maybe post on the Phillies 2-3 times a year now, versus 2-3 times a week back then, both because of lack of time (some of that time being devoted to Twitter) and because with real sportswriters writing real blogs on the team, my uninformed insane fan ranting would look even more insane. The toxic environment on a newspaper website is also a factor -- if I'm going to make one of my lame jokes, I'd rather do it among friends on Twitter or Facebook.

That said, I don't think blogs are really dead. I hope not. There's a lot of things that need to be said in more than 140 characters. And call me crazy, but I think there's a place for personality on the Internet. Isn't that how we all got here in the first place?

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About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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