Several people have pointed me to the Guardian piece about blogs by Victor Keegan. Sorry guys but you won’t find me getting hot under the collar, I don’t jump up and down defending blogs any more (I got that out of my system years ago). Here, since people asked, is my (hopefully calm) thoughts.
If you read the article the points seem to be that blogging is mostly a spectator sport and that if you want to communicate with a peer group you might be better off with social networking. I agree.
Some people are just never going to be publishers of any sort. Others feel compelled to. The world takes all sorts. Every blog reader does not necessarily also need to be a blog writer. Blogs are an ideal medium for some things, not so ideal for others.
It seems some people need to see blogs commanding every possible facet of the web in order for blogs to not be deemed a failure. Comparing blogs against flickr, youtube, Second Life. Or mistake one type of blog as being all blogs can be. The people who are stuck in the mentality that blogs are diaries (as in the author of the article misleading people into thinking blogging is “the writing of online journals”), or that all bloggers want to be journalists.
Blogs are simply a means to publish. They are a type of content management system. Just like with a desktop publishing package you can create a newsletter or an invitation to your childs party, the tool is not what is important but what you create with it, and what you produce is entirely down to you. Most people who visit blogs do not even make a distinction between one type of website or another, and nor do they need to. What matters is that they get what they came for, entertainment, information, saucy pictures, etc.
Right now blogs are an excellent means to an end but of course one day something better will come along. Long after blogs, and the journalists who bashed it, are a faded memory people will still publish.