Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blogs are for old people.

Here are I am trying to be technologically hip by thinking of something insightful and interesting to share with an unknown audience on a fairly regular (maybe not so regular; it’s been a while) basis, and I keep reading that blogging is dead. Okay, “dead” might be a little strong, but it’s certainly not hip or cutting-edge anymore. The latest nail in the coffin came from The Economist. The magazine noted that blogging has gone corporate. Every company has at least one, and they use their blogs as another way to reach and influence customers. I’m not blazing trails; I’m just one of the pack.

The early blog adopters have moved on to twittering and other emerging means of communicating. A similar migration is happening with Facebook. Once mom and dad join, the kids flee (my son recently unfriended me). Who can blame them (I’m not really in the 17-year old peer group)? As Walmart, Proctor & Gamble, and other staid corporate entities develop their Facebook presences, I may follow. The problem is, wherever the trailblazers go, mom and dad and the corporations will follow. You can’t really escape for long.

So what happens when new becomes old, when cutting edge turns into mundane, when the digital natives leave and the immigrants (like me) move in? Will enough people with sufficient energy stay in the neighborhoods to keep them vibrant? Which neighborhoods will survive and which will whither? It’s going to be very interesting to watch what happens. The speed with which new services arise, grow (or not), and disappear reminds me of biology experiments with fruit flies. Their lifespan is so short, the passing of generations so quick, that you can see the effects of evolution unfold in real time. Keep your eye on the web, but don’t blink. You might miss the life and death of a transformative service.

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