Saturday, March 19, 2005

Blogging: Flightless Fad?

My reading today included some contrasting metablogging. Seth Godin compares blogging with ostrich farming, which turned out to be a fad, or, perhaps, a kind of pyramid selling scheme that laid an egg. He hopes that blogging does not turn out to be like ostrich breeding and, in doing so, implies that blogging on the current scale may be as short-lived as was the ostrich farming boom.

In support of his implication, Seth points out that "more than 20% of blog readers are also blog writers." If he were to find out that more than 20% of people who listen in conversations also speak in them, would he be comparing conversation to some tulip trading or some such bubble from history?

In other metablogging, Jeremy Wright addresses the "Is blogging a fad?" question that he apparently gets asked every other day. He points out that blogging is a communication medium, that it has become mainstream (50+ million bloggers, 200+ million blog readers) and that:
mainstream communications mediums don't die out. They stagnate, or they evolve or they get replaced by something that does the same thing only better. Because the reality is that once people learn to connect in a new and meaningful way they are loathe letting go of it.

I am more convinced by Jeremy's view of blogging as communication than by Seth's view of blogging as bird.

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Anonymous seth godin said...

I think you missed my point.

Many bloggers are hoping for more than 4 or 10 readers (the way, for example, a conversation might work). Given the relative big hump at the top 300 of the Technorati list, there's still an old publishing model here.

I have no doubt that blogging is here to stay. I am wondering aloud, however, if all the intense development of TALKING techniques (blogs, flickr, podcasting) is outracing the LISTENING end of things. Just like the ostrich example.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks, Seth, for stopping by. A few possiblities occur to me. I missed your point, and it was silly of me. Or I read your post in the context of Jeremy's, and assumed that you were posting about fads. Or it's not one of your better metaphors...

12:01 PM  

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