It is tempting to believe that blogging has lost momentum over the past couple of years, not least as the number of alternative platforms continues to expand.
Even established bloggers, who have provided valuable and informed commentary over almost a decade or so, seem to be less prolific in offering substantial, structured posts, rather choosing to engage through Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
A technical reason might be the demise – at least in an overt form – of RSS and newsreader platforms. When the best way of informing readers of a new post is though Twitter, or through Facebook, it seems natural to provide the content through these channels, too. Also, the technology for making available photos, videos and graphics has evolved rapidly, leaving the text-dominated traditional blog structure looking dated and inflexible.
There is also a temptation to follow the readers – if people want to read blog posts through Facebook, why not post there in the first place?
And, of course, it is simply easier and lot less effort to dash off a few Tweets, and Retweets, or Facebook comments than spend what can be a significant amount of time composing a structured, researched and readable blog post.
There are a lot of reasons for believing that blogging has inherent values not offered by other platforms. One has to be that reasoned posts do require some thought and consideration. Posts have a substance and worth that is more than the sum of a fragmented collection of tweets. They can be reflective rather than just responsive.
Last year Fredrik Wass set himself the challenge of breathing new life in his Bisonblog by posting every day for 100 days. This year over 500 people have pledged to take up the same challenge, #blogg100.
Fredrik explains more about this great initiative in an interview with another blogging veteran, Hans Kullin, the man behind the invaluable Media Culpa:
Do you think this initiative will have any long term effects on the blogs that participate or on the Swedish blogosphere in general?
Well, if everyone finishes the challenge there will be 50 000 blog posts published at the end of it. So I guess that’s one big footprint that we would make. But I think the greatest effect from Blogg100 is the sense of community amongst fellow bloggers… I’ve started a Facebook group for all the bloggers in the challenge and the discussions are really active and intense. One can feel the engagement that a lot of us have for blog related questions and issues. It’s beautiful.
At the end of Blogg100 I’m planning to arrange some sort of meetup. I think it would be interesting to talk about blogging today compared to 6-7 years ago when it really hit big in Sweden. Blogging today is much more integrated in other services and platforms…
It would also be interesting to talk about the blog as a tool for change in societies, and how it could be used for activism.
From a NEMO perspective, #blogg100 offers the prospect of a very rich research corpus, particularly where the conversation is concerned with blogging as a tool for activism change. If you are interested in doing something along these lines, please contact NEMO project leader philip.young(at)isk.lu.se
Good luck to all who take part!