Who even reads blogs anymore?

Alec Couros recently lamented the loss of the social web, pointing to the loss of Google Reader as the day things started to slide downhill.  It prompted an interesting discussion, well worth a read.   But it also brought back to the forefront this question of whether blogs are even relevant anymore.

Back in the day, your aggregator was your daily reading list.  It was a big deal to be added in to somebody’s blogroll.  It wasn’t unusual to spend an hour or two just perusing people’s blog posts.

Nowadays, it seems to me like most people find their ‘articles’ via social media.   If you put up a new blog post and DON’T share it out through Twitter, Facebook or email, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to fly under the radar.   And even then, it seems like people have less patience than they used to for reading posts of any significant length (ref TL;DR).

Medium is in many ways the antithesis of the shift to brevity, but even then they kick their articles off with an estimate of how long it will take you to read it.   So before reading Audrey Watters‘ article on Virtual Reality in Education, you can decide whether you have 9 minutes to devote to the topic.   It’s a strange dynamic to say the least.

All that said, assuming your attention span hasn’t waned enough to surf away from this post already, do you even read blog posts anymore?   And if you do, what’s your process for finding the ones worth your time?   Do you subscribe?   Do you want for people to share them via social media?  Do you get curated lists via email newsletters?   What’s your typical process for finding the stuff worth reading?

By | 2016-08-26T09:53:48+00:00 August 26th, 2016|Musings|5 Comments

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  1. Matt 8/26/2016 at Aug 26, 16 | 10:25 am

    Must admit I scroll through twitter and read anything that takes my fancy or I retweet it with the intention of going back to it later. It’s almost like there is too much good stuff out there, can’t possibly read them all.

  2. Miguel Guhlin 8/26/2016 at Aug 26, 16 | 11:09 am
  3. Chris Prout 8/26/2016 at Aug 26, 16 | 2:27 pm

    I mostly use FlipBoard on my iPad to read blogs. Most of the feeds do come through twitter. I found this post through Facebook.

  4. Damian 8/26/2016 at Aug 26, 16 | 7:21 pm

    After GReader died, I moved to Feedly, and then to an RSS reader called TinyTinyRSS I host on my own domain. I remember a few years ago there was all this talk of “Twitter is the new RSS”, but as much as I loved Twitter for networking and connecting, I hated the idea that what I got to read would be decided by others. The primary reason I keep my RSS reader (and yes, I read it at least every other day, if not daily) is because I want to be able to see all of what my chosen resources have to offer, and then I can decide to read or skip as I desire, not as an external service’s algorithm decides for me (see Instagram, Facebook, etc.).

    All that said, I do think the prevalence of social media has wounded blogging, if not outright killed it. I see far more people engaging in discussions on Facebook, for example, than on individual blogs (barring the big corporate ones). I guess that makes sense and maybe it was inevitable, but I still like the idea of educators writing and reflecting and sharing in their own spaces, which is why I self-host and I continue blogging, even after nine years. I value the ownership I have over my words in my own space. I guess the tradeoff is much lower readership.

  5. Pam's Blog 9/7/2016 at Sep 07, 16 | 8:27 pm

    […] They became the new “us” (the ones who were sharing transparently) on Twitter, which became the new blogs, and in 140 characters of cognitive bliss they began to teach us […]

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