Otto asks – “We’re reading almost the same posts on every top blogs – it makes me feel that either there’s nothing really new on making blogs and/or that blogs are past. So, what’s next?
Otto, I presume you’re talking about reading the same posts covered on blogs blogging about blogging? If so, you’re probably right on one level – there is a lot of posting on the same things in the niche of blogging about blogging.
One of the interesting things that I’ve observed lately is that the blogging about blogging space (and the ‘blogging for money’ space) has definitely become more cluttered. It seems that many bloggers go through a stage of being fascinated with the topic. Most watch each other and like in any niche their ideas and posts will bounce off each other also.
On one level I do get a little frustrated by it (it gets a little boring reading it all), but on another level I’m excited by the enthusiasm people have for blogging and I do learn by following what’s being written on the topic (there is some really original and worthwhile content being written).
I’m also always interested to see how long these sorts of blogs last. In my experience, most blogs about blogging tend to last about 6 months – I’m not sure if this is how long it takes people to realize its not easy to monetize it or whether it’s the time that people take to get to the end of their list of story ideas – but going beyond six months on the topic seems to be difficult (I suspect it is similar on other topics too).
Anyway – onto your real question – what’s next in blogging (or beyond blogging)?
I’d start by saying that I don’t think blogs are ‘past’ – but I would say that we seem to be in a period of consolidation and extension.
I see a lot of bloggers engaging in these sorts of activities at the moment:
- adding authors – group blogs are the new black
- clustering blogs around verticals – bloggers extending their blogs by adding sibling blogs on related topics
- networking – 2006 was really the year of the blog network but it continues to happen in both loose and formal ways. Many of the blog networks didn’t really survive but there are quite a few that continue to bubble away and sustain themselves
- adding services and features - whether it be video, podcasts, forums, job boards, classifieds, chat features, voting tools… many bloggers are beginning to add interesting features to their blogs that attempt to add value to blogs. I think what we’re seeing is bloggers more willing to see the limitations of blogs and wanting to blur the edges of what is and isn’t a blog.
I’m not convinced any of the above is what’s ‘next’ as such – it’s all happening here and now already.
I’d be interested to hear what others think the future of blogging is? Are blogs a thing of the past? What is next?