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The Sciences

Is Blogging on the Wane?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyFebruary 22, 2011 7:59 PM

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There's a big New York Times piece on how, a decade after the original blog revolution, Facebook and Twitter are crowding out blogs--even as the growing popularity of Tumblr underscores its ability to merge the blog and social media formats. I have also felt a change afoot in the balance between blogs and social media--and that it is shifting in favor of the latter. But I am skeptical that this means the end of blogs, or anything like it. Blogs are still the best place for posting long, thought-out arguments, ruminations, analyses, etc. That isn't going to change because you can never do such a thing on Twitter (or Facebook for that matter). I also think there's a point that the article pretty much misses. If people are growing tired of blogs, it's because they are so easily mobbed by anonymous commenters and spammers. The nastiness and incivility that can ensue has been a big turnoff for many onetime blog readers. This is less of a problem with Facebook and Twitter, where for the most part you are telling people who you actually are. People tend to behave better as a result. It's closer to an actual social interaction with a flesh and blood human being. In other words, what really seems to be happening is that it took about a decade to figure out how our new media would interface with human nature. Blogging won't vanish as a result of these revelations, but we've learned to view it very differently as the result of experience.

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