Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook Make Blogging Old-Fashioned

    Thinking of starting your own blog? Friendly advice: do not. And if you already have one, close it.

    Blogging no longer seems like such a good idea as four years ago. The blogosphere - previously an oasis for laid-back self-expression and clever thoughts - was flooded with tsunamis of paid nonsense. Cheap journalism and guerrilla marketing campaigns drowned out the sincere voices of laymen. It has become almost impossible to attract attention, except perhaps the attention of critics. And why bother? The time it takes to write subtle witty prose will be more useful to spend expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter.

    If you quit blogging now, you will end up in a good company. Jason Calacanis, a famous lover of banging, made millions on his Weblogs network. But he completely abandoned his blog in June. “Blogging is just too large, too impersonal, and it already lacks the intimacy that attracted me to it,” he wrote in his last post.

    He's right about impersonality: browse through the list of 100 best blogs on Technorati and you will find that personal sites are crowded out by professional ones. Many of these are essentially online magazines: The Huffington Post. Engadget. TreeHugger. An independent commentator will not catch up with a team of professional authors who issue up to 30 posts per day.

    When the blogosphere was still young, enthusiasts were on horseback, and their posts quickly found themselves in the top of Google’s search results for any request, fueled by cross-references from familiar bloggers. In 2002, a search for the word “Mark” passed the web developer Mark Pilgrim above Mark Twain himself. This phenomenon was part of what made blogging so appealing. But those days are gone. Today, if you are looking for, say, the last speech of Barack Obama, the first links will lead to a Wikipedia page, an article on Fox News and a couple of posts from professional sites such as What are the chances that your smart record will occupy a high position in this list? Almost equal to zero.

    Thus, your blog will attract only the lowest form of network life: debaters and brawlers. Pour out your soul on the blog, and some anonymous troll with the nickname r0rschach or foohack will quickly scribble under your post: “Bullshit. Why don't you just kiss McCain's butt? ” That is why Kalakanis hid in his personal newsletter. He can talk to his fans directly, without suffering from the idiotic remarks of anonymous spiteful critics.

    Moreover, websites with text content are no longer so popular. The reason blogs have taken off is because they made publishing text easy for non-techies. Part of this simplicity was the lack of support for pictures, sound, and video. At that time, multimedia content was too heavy to download and demanding on channel speed.

    Social multimedia sites such as YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook have made sharing pictures and videos as easy as typing. Even easier, given the time that most bloggers spend in caring for the quality of their texts. Take the example of Robert Scoble, who made a name for himself on the blogosphere as Microsoft's “technical evangelist” in 2003-2006. Today, he focused on posting videos and notes on Twitter. “I left mostly long texts for the blog,” he says.

    Twitter, limiting the record length to 140 characters, in 2008 is what the blogosphere was in 2004. You will find here Scoble, Kalakanis and most of their friends of that golden era. They argue: this is because Twitter is much faster than the blogosphere. And you can search for posts on Twitter through your own search, without waiting for Google to index them.

    Despite being a writer, I am entirely on the side of Twitter’s main virtue: brevity. Bloggers are now required to write smart and insightful prose to compete with the Huffington and The New York Times. Twitter’s limit on post size makes everyone equal. This allows amateur bloggers to stop worrying about the quality of their texts and move on to the core. @WiredReader: Kill the blog. 2004 is the end. Google will not find you - only trash from HuffPo, NYT. In comments jerks. See you on Facebook.

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