Rory Cellan-Jones

Is blogging dead?

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 22 Oct 08, 18:12 GMT

As I was walking the dog this morning, I checked Twitter on my phone and saw that it was alive with comments about "the death of blogging." According to an article in Wired Magazine, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook make blogs look "so 2004". Oh dear. My response was to go straight home - and write a blog post.

The Wired article argues that fresh, genuine voices have been drowned out by a "tsunami of paid bilge", that blogs attract too many comments from net lowlife, and that the action has moved elsewhere. So is there any truth in the notion that blogging is dead? Well, in the words of the Brains Trust - a kind of 1950s radio blogosphere - it all depends on what you mean by "blogging", and by "dead".

If, by blogs you mean any online article or diary which allows interaction with its audience, then it's a phenomenon that is far from moribund - indeed it is growing every day. But its nature is changing. When blogging first entered the public consciousness it seemed the whole point was that it was amateur, a medium where anyone and everyone could distribute their thoughts, profound or banal. Now every major media organisation, most political parties and lobby groups, and a growing number of businesses have decided that a blog is a good way to communicate.

If I were asked to name the single most influential journalistic product of the moment - in the UK at least - it would be a blog written by a BBC colleague. Robert Peston's Peston's Picks has been the essential guide to the current financial crisis, and is read avidly in the City and at Westminster. It gets an audience of more than 650,000 on some days, and hundreds of comments from readers.

But the very success of the professional bloggers may be draining traffic - and attention - away from the amateurs of the "real" blogosphere. Does that matter? Well it certainly makes it harder for fresh new voices to be heard - can you name a blogger who's burst onto the scene in the last year?

But the argument that it's all getting far too noisy seems a little bizarre. If blogging is supposed to be a conversation, does it really make sense to take fright when too many of those taking part in the dialogue turn out to have little to say that is either articulate or polite?

The more powerful argument is that we are now moving beyond blogging - from the blogosphere to the Twitterverse. In other words, short-form social networking is proving a more useful way of communicating than the more long-winded and less intimate form of the blog. It follows on from the recent "Google is making us stupid" argument, that our attention span is now so short that we can't read more than the 140 characters in a Tweet or the one line status update you see on Facebook.

I do think that there is evidence that early adopters from the tech crowd have moved on, perhaps disappointed that their blogs are not reaching a mass audience - or discovering that it's easier to have a conversation in a smaller space, where the madding crowd doesn't keep butting in.

But what I think we're seeing is the development of a mixed economy, where blogging has many forms, professional, amateur, micro and mega. I started thinking about this post by sending out messages to my Twitter friends, who responded speedily:

"people will continue to blog in the same way that some still use typewriters, but Twitter, Facebook etc will kill blogging".
"social networking is *really* about community ... & the mega-blogs don't foster community in their 1000s of comments".
"I blog more now as twitter and Facebook has given my blog much more traffic."

But, of course, I've ended up blogging - and, with a bit of luck, thousands more will read this than will listen to me on Twitter or Facebook. Let me know what you think - if blogging really is still alive, then we can prove it by having a healthy debate right here.


  • Comment number 1.

    Blogging like every form of communication that has gone before it will go through a process of weeding out the rubbish. This is quite natural and should be welcomed .

    As for Twitter and its brethren , they have their uses but also their limitations .

  • Comment number 2.

    Only two years ago, the BBC called bloggers "sad, joyless people in their underwear who sit in front of their computers all day." Today blogs are the professional's tool of choice in the burgeoning social media world. However, blogs and blogging are increasingly unhelpful terms, as they still carry geeky, echo-chamber connotations and don't capture the richness of the online conversation. More here:

  • Comment number 3.

    When I heard your name on the TV or radio after a report, I used to think I was hearing "Rory Kettle-On Jones" which made you sound such a warm homely person. I thought what wonderful parents that man has to name him as such. Anyway, I think blogs tend to attract trite and tangential comment.

  • Comment number 4.

    Even for an amateur like me blogging is a useful way to put down my longer thoughts and useful pieces of information. It's proved valuable in three ways:

    1) It's a handy location for me to put detailed notes that I can look up later

    2) Other people have also found my notes useful because they leave me nice comments; and I assume for every comment there must be another 5-10 who also found it useful.

    3) A customer once told me that they checked out my block before giving me a contract (the address is on the back of my business card)

    The number of daily readers rarely goes above 100, but it's enough to keep me motivated.

    Twitter (et al) is something different -- I just like to keep in tough and feel more connected, plus not miss any of Rory's blog posts of course.

    P.S. If anyone want to give my ego a polish and boost to my figures today I also blog about about social networking (amongst other things) (Link to

  • Comment number 5.

    Articles, Blogs, twitters, facebook status, what's the difference exactly????

    They are all useful and all have their plae in the modenr world of communication, just s he tv clip, newspaper and reference book still have.

  • Comment number 6.

    > social networking is *really* about community ... & the mega-blogs don't foster community in their 1000s of comments

    Couldn't have put it better myself!

    All kinds of communications methods are used in different ways. Take mobiles. Those who text until their thumbs are sore. Those always on the phone to their friend. Those who charge and carry it for emergencies only. Those who carry two at a time.

    Perhaps blogging is maturing, not dying. The form is being taken advantage for.

    Getting back to community ... the big commercial blogs are using the convenient format and taking advantage of the ability to subscribe (through feed readers) and allow readers to comment - increasing the sites' stickiness. But the people reading it don't know each other. And neither do the smaller - but still significant - number folk who comment.

    I write a small blog. Largely touching on stuff happening in Belfast. Scarily, large numbers of the people who read it know each other. And many of the more active commenters know each other too.

    At a talk between two authors as part of the Belfast Festival tonight, one of the authors asked me afterwards about my car. He reads the blog. The other one turned and said, Oh you're Alan in Belfast. I read that. And the interviewer on stage does too.

    It's a small world. And when the small blogs disappear, then Wired can run a headline to say that blogs are truly dead. Until then, they're alive and well.

  • Comment number 7.

    The Wired article`s case is that: a) Amateur bloggers can`t now get noticed. (Quote `Bloggers today are expected to write clever, insightful, witty prose to compete with Huffington and The New York Times.`) The prominent blogs are now run as professional enterprises, with all that that entails. b) Those `amateur` blogs are ruined by drive by (troll) comments. c) YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook etc have since made publishing images and video as easy as typing text. The novice can post what they want more easily. d) `Twitter operates even faster than the blogosphere. And Twitter posts can be searched instantly, without waiting for Google to index them.` e) `Twitter`s character limit puts everyone back on equal footing. It lets amateurs quit agonizing over their writing and cut to the chase.`

    So does this mean that blogs are dead? No. It means that those that: that have a case to make, are good at developing a case, at informing others in ways that attract others, at being wordsmiths (writing in `long form` as Wired depressingly called it.) will succeed.
    Most conversations on Twitter, Facebook etc are between small numbers of people. You can`t search Facebook postings to see what people say. Comments on YouTube/Flickr are laughably short and `off the cuff`. And that`s being charitable.

    We`re seeing a shaking out of the dead wood from Blog 1.0. We`re now in Blog 2.0 if you like. The really successful blogs listed in Technorati`s top 100 have developed almost into Web 2.0 online magazines.

    And there are still minority interest or personal blogs that serve their function perfectly well, have found their audience and will never become mainstream.

    Long live blogs! And Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc. In diversity there is strength.

  • Comment number 8.

    Novels. Letters. Short stories. Shopping lists. Haikus. Plays. Post-it notes. Diaries. Dictionaries. Scrapbooks. Epic poems. Telegrams. Encyclopaedias. Sonnets. Annotations. Catalogues. Message boards. Magazines. Academic journals. Notebooks. Instruction manuals. Comics.

    Just because we're in an age of 1s and 0s doesn't mean everything is polarised, either/or, black or white, dead or alive. There's as much space as ever there was variety and co-existence, for all manner of communication forms and modes to live happily side by side, and to develop, grow, evolve...

  • Comment number 9.

    Fixing typo:

    ... There's as much space as ever there was FOR variety and co-existence, for all manner of communication forms and modes to live happily side by side, and to develop, grow, evolve...

  • Comment number 10.

    Blogging is definitely alive and kicking. Saying that blogging is dead is rather like saying that speaking is dead or writing is dead - it is just another form of communication.

    There's also another reason why blogging is very much alive and it's called Google. Without blogging, Google would be in a rather difficult financial position. It needs fresh, up-to-date results in the organic search listings. Without new results in search listings we don't return to search engines. And if we don't return, we don't click on sponsored links. Blogs provide Google and the other search engines with much needed new material to index and therefore provides more opportunity for clicks on sponsored links. Without blogs, Google would have made significantly less money over the past few years.

    So, if blogging were dead we'd have witnessed that in more ways than one...!

  • Comment number 11.

    I must confess to wondering about the future of blogging myself.

    The current US election is a good example. Many of the blogs I have read are just a copy and paste of an existing news article. Including some BBC items.

    This is not blogging by any stretch.

    Worse still is the nonsense that is pandered about, I have seen Obama accused of being a hypnotist and even the Anti-Christ, such is the depths of dirt some bloggers are prepared to go to.

    And then there is the comments, oh boy. The dross that you sometimes have to wade through in order to read an intelligent post.

    It does make me wonder what the future does hold because currently the vast majority of blogs are average at best and gutter bound at worst.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Rory,

    I think the asychronous nature of Twitter suits the social media broadcasters better than an unmoderated blog comments situation, as it doesn't allow for the hi-jacking of one's audience. If I post a comment on TechCrunch, I do so knowing full well that it may be read by thousands of people. The trolls who posts the nasty stuff are also more than aware of this.

    On Twitter I need to tweet something of value or interest for people to follow me at all - I can't tweet TechCrunch's followers. If I engage them in an interesting way, they may reply, but flaming them isn't going to get a response.

    I'm also baffled by the (mostly American) idea that moderating blog comments is somehow anti-free-speech, that it's censorship. To block someone from broadcasting their nonsense to my audience doesn't stop them from posting it on their own blog, it just denies them access to my audience if they refuse to be polite. I'm paying for the bandwidth on the site, I'm the one who spent the time building up a readership by being interesting and informative, and I set the terms of engagement on my blog. I'm happy with disagreement, but if someone says something I my blog that would make me leave the conversation were it said in a pub, I'll delete it.

    Problem solved, and blogs are alive and well :)

    Steve (

  • Comment number 14.

    Saw the fuss, and the Wired article yesterday, heard the piece at 0845, listened to the guests, then, when I tried to look up Kate Bevan on Twitter, that area was "temporarily out of order"!

    Blogging is alive and well, but, as mentioned above, is maturing - it is now part of an arsenal of personal media techniques that the lone, or corporate, blogger must use to keep up.

    Twitter and Facebook are part of it, yes, and their value has been the subject of much discussion by my own Twitter group, who have been recently persuaded to move over to FriendFeed to merge, and review, several sources of Social Media in one place. (Try using Flock as your browser too, instead of Firefox/IE!)

    The beauty of FriendFeed is that you can actually FOLLOW conversations - correcting the point Rory made above, a blog is NOT a conversation in itself, it is the statement, or pre-amble, that may lead to a conversation in the comments that follow. Even then the "conversation" can be disjointed by time.

    Many blogs are still informative, and can become addictive - just like Twitter - but with some 1.4 billion internet users out there, you can still hope to attract some attention for your opinions, and find like-minded companions, which, in the end, is probably what it’s all about – our deep down need to look, talk, discover, tell someone, then progress.

    Plenty more to say, but I'll curtail for now.

    Keep up the good work Rory (in both "Business" and "Technology"!) - I'll certainly be following you on the Blog & the TwitStream!

  • Comment number 15.

    Blogging is dead, blogs are full of lies, misinformation, and used a viral marketing tools by big companies (Microsoft, looking at you) to fool gulable/stupid into thinking blogs are factual news.

  • Comment number 16.

    Blogging isn't dead, it's just resting. If it wasn't nailed to the perch etc...

    I don't think blogging has even plateaued yet. It's still having ups and downs, and regularly reading a blog as a mainstream activity is still so very new. By contrast, the only people who I know fully use Twitter are journalists like yourself Rory, and of course Tom Watson MP. That means...and I mean this kindly...that you're not well placed to see the mass experience of these various media. Journalists are to some extent natural bloggers, and I would say that their working patterns and reliance on people networks for their jobs makes them natural tweeters. That's not true for most other people.

    I write a blog for the British Computer Society (, and it's never going to get 60k hits per day let alone 650k; it's not designed to. Instead, it is my attempt to interact with a community of interest on the topic, and I'm pleased with how it has developed. It has made me more effective at my job, and those leaving comments are almost always civil and useful, and significantly help my thinking on policy issues. The issues discussed are necessarily complex, and if anything my posts are more like short (or not so short - average 500 but up to a thousand words!) articles rather than the classic paragraph blog posting. This won't transfer to tweets!

    Blogging is a (still relatively) new and useful vector for mass communication, still in the process of finding it's minima to sit it on our undulating communications energy landscape. It's no more dead than standard journalistic articles, or meeting people face to face, and long may it continue to sit on its perch pining for the fjords!

  • Comment number 17.

    I am a blogger and have been for about 2 years. I blog about niche subjects within software development and feel I can get my voice heard by those who need it.

    I use my blog to share ideas, code samples, tutorials etc. I also rely heavily on others to blog about their experiences in particular how to overcome software challenges, the best way to do one thing, how to fix the next. Without the community of bloggers within my field my job would be a lot harder.

    Google any computer related problem and the solution will more than likely be answerd by a bloggers post.

    You don't even need large number of traffic a day to be ranked fairly highly by Technorati (The blog ranking service). My authority varies between 12 and 16 (number of blogs linking to my own articles in last 6 months) which according to them puts me in the top 1-2% of all blogs on line ranked between 300,000 and 500,000 and that is only with an average 250 pageviews a day. However blogging, even on a small scale that I do, has opened lots of oportunity for me, including my current job where my employer head hunted me through my blog.

    I think the key is to write helpful or imformative articles with original content. Keep it within a chosen subject area and make sure you promote it though Technorati, Feedburner and the likes of Digg.

  • Comment number 18.

    Hello Rory,

    Your topic suggests evolutionary pressures operating in technology choices of method!

    Interestingly the growing range of communication methods shows (for me) the depth and breadth of plurality we live in.

    Personal success resides in our personal choices and increasingly we have our noses rubbed in our need to make (or not make) choices in order to stay awake to the world around us.

    Finding your way around in the 'information fog' will always be a 'gold standard' skill. Now we have easy instant response, as with blogs etc., we increase the chances of information finding us before we start to search for scary!

  • Comment number 19.


    Check out the Technology "Hype Cycle" by Gartner.

    I suggest blogging is currently in the "Trough of Disillusionment" following the "Peak of Inflated Expectations", but will soon rise again through the "Slope of Enlightenment".

  • Comment number 20.

    How bizarre that people get incredibly defensive about the Government turning Britain into a Big Brother society, when they use Twitter to tell people about every aspect of their lives.

    Does the Government really need a log of every phone call made? Doubtful. Do I really need to know if someone has just made themselves a cup of coffee or stubbed their toe? I suspect not.

  • Comment number 21.

    Saying that blogs are being superseded by social networking is to grossly misunderstand the nuances between the two media.

    Blogging is about opinion. Social Networking is about communication. There is much crossover, but they do have their own realms.

    If I choose to write a long rant about why some politician should be elected or why some big brother contestant should leave the house then blogging gives me a forum for that without necessarily annoying my friends with it. It is there for anyone else who wants to access it, whether it should affirm or challenge their own view or not. Then they may post a comment (such as this one) to add their opinions and suggestions.

    Sometimes people choose to add irreverent remarks and I support the notion that these should be deleted. 'Chain' comments are often the worst. A radio show will vet its callers before putting them on air in the interest of editorial standards, as would a newspaper filter its 'letters to the editor'. This is not banning free speech, it is simply giving someone quality control for their own corner of the internet and if you don't like it, go get your own space. No one will stop you.

    In the world of information instantly available online, people still read newspapers because they respect the opinions and knowledge of its writers. I read my close friend's music blog because I respect her opinions on music and so if she discovers something new, I will probably like it.

    The same friend is also on my Facebook friends-list and if I want to, I can look up her mood, check out her pictures, and drop her a quick 'hello' - all in a moment. It helps us keep in touch. Blogging helps us share longer opinions. This is the fundamental difference.

  • Comment number 22.

    Blogs are a bit like the serial stories that you used to read in magazines - looking forward to the next episode or talking point. Contributors (like myself) enjoy reading the stories and sometimes getting to discuss matters arising makes blogging fun and informative - you'd be surprised at how much I've learnt since reading some blogs.

    I have twitter and facebook - I don't get to twitter much but facebook is a must for keeping in touch with relatives in far flung places, sharing music and pictures very quickly. friendships made online add to more real friends through facebook who then become true friends and a great support network for life's ups and downs.

    All I can say is that continue to write blogs (stories) and people like myself will continue to contribute and who knows may one day actually write a blog one day.

  • Comment number 23.

    Blogging seems to have allowed the cloak of opinion over what a normal article, might not allow.

    I don't want opinions from the professionals. I want their objective, critical analysis, that's why they are professionals.

  • Comment number 24.

    Obviously there are different reasons for blogging: As an amateur blogger I agree with other posters that it's a great way of putting down your thoughts. Others do it to see how many people they can attract, others for money. What ties these people together is a desire to express themselves in some detail. Twitter doesn't allow you to do this, and FB is too structured. Of the three you mentioned above I would say all will survive and grow but that FB is the one most likely to stutter; its early adopters are now moving on and away from it as its priorities have clearly switched from bringing people together to making money.

    Long live the blog!

  • Comment number 25.

    Bogging isn't dead. Only 3 people have ever read mine at (and 2 of them are my wife and brother) yet still i persevere.

    Its more for my benefit than anyone else's.

  • Comment number 26.

    blogs are useful tools which can sometimes provide insightful information on a subject. The best part of a blog such as this is not its content, but the ability for most people to discuss the topics, and talk about the bloggers opinion on things.
    However, blogs can also be an utterly pointless, ego-centric view on a persons life and values. There are many, many examples of written and even video blogs (youtube) out there, mostly exclaiming that they are the one true point of view on the web and that their ideas are new and exciting. No there not and no we don't want to hear about what sort of toilet paper you use or your defense of britney spears.

    By all means keep the good blogs written by professional journalists and people who actually know what they're talking about. Then let the rest of us comment on those opinions and not waste them elsewhere.

  • Comment number 27.

    Blogging is certainly not dead, as you can tell by the fact that we're all responding to this post.

    However, much as I enjoy reading many of the blogs by BBC journalists, I do find it a little disappointing that it tends to be a rather one-way exchange. True, most of the responses to blogs are inane drivel, but some of them are witty and insightful, and more to the point, deserving of a response. That response is seldom forthcoming.

    I'd enjoy the BBC's blogs a bit more if the owners of the blogs read their responses and replied to the interesting ones more often.

  • Comment number 28.

    So blogs dont have a community angle in the way facebook, twitter, et al do? I'm not so sure, reading through the replies to your/darren's/maggie's blogs there are several communities that emerge..

    PC vs apple fans. Xbox vs ps3 (and to lesser extent wii). MS vs Opensource. even dare I say people who live in cities with fast broadband and those in rural communities who have to put up with clockwork BT dialup.

    The same is true in other BBC blogs, Nick Robinson's is full of people claiming he is in Labour's pocket, other than those who are claiming he is a Tory. As for Peston, many welcome his comments, yet there is a camp that blames some of his blogging for the mess UK banks now find themselves in.

    when we see a regular poster's names we know what they are going to say before reading, therefore there is a sense of community development. Anyone for avatars?

  • Comment number 29.

    The snag, it transpires, isn’t the amateur blogger such as myself its that people like us have been (arguably) drowned out by a “tsunami of paid bilge.” Well this is just typical really, everything creative, precious, at some point will be exploited -be it art, music, writing- by those keen to make money/publicity at the expense of the artist/musician/writer.

    In terms of art, sponsorship (and by default, exploitation) by the rich and powerful has largely been the norm. The Italian renaissance was funded by the Medici family for example (they even paid their artists advances) but plenty of artists die in penury at which point shrewd collectors make vast fortunes at their expense. More recently Charles Saatchi did a pretty good job of buying up mediocre works and giving publicity (and therefore value) to individuals who themselves went on to amass enormous incomes by exploiting themselves. Again, this isn’t new. Art has always been egocentric; ‘the starving artist in the garret’ could always have got a job after all…

    Music is a little more complicated, the corporate exploitation of the musician is much more recent and technology-driven, for example, a troupe of travelling Wilburys in the 17the century would’ve found it hard for to fall foul to some nob in the city slapping on of their choons it on a commercial for the latest pony and trap.

    Like the artist and the musician the creative writer is prepared to work for free, after all, being ‘creative’ isn’t a life-choice, it’s more of something ‘one can’t help’ but there is a slight difference in that any f*cker can write -not everyone can paint or play an instrument- and if they can’t (Katie Price anyone?) there will be someone prepared to do it for them.

    In the blog sense the issue here is more about the exploitation of the line that exists between writing as a means of communication (‘tsunami of paid bilge’) and as a form of creativity (me?). It’s particularly irksome when the former is dressed up as the latter but hasn’t this always been the case? Take ‘documentary’ style advertising on television, Advertorial in magazines, fake breasts.

    Blogging is here to stay as is the exploitation of creativity, as my old dad says, ‘there ain’t nothing new under the sun’.

  • Comment number 30.

    Let's talk about people really having voices to say what they feel. Not through blogs as such but through verbal interaction...... And this next makes Twitter look old hat. just launched yesterday, it's a British idea and it could well be the sign of things to come. Voice 2.0 anyone?

    Imagine video forums next....blogs really would become old hat, as will vlogs where responding is normally only available as a text option. It's a bit like re-inventing conference calls for the telephone but adding time lapse!! Those who want a voice can have one, communities will emerge (there is already a PC vs Mac debate ongoing, unsurprisingly!!!), those who find writing a chore or reading difficult, Internet shout lets them have their say.

  • Comment number 31.

    blogging i am fine with, particularly robinson/peston/gervais / huffington post etc. Besides, Robinson and Peston and the Huffington lot aren't really blogs, they are series of articles.

    "have your say" or "post a comment on this story", however - i.e. allowing the uninformed to submit their ha'penny's worth under news articles, should be stopped. they rarely add to the debate, more often than not detract from it (they are uninformed) and often descend into slanging matches (between the uninformed). In general they paint an extremely dim picture of the Great British Public: petty, uninformed, angry, bitter. Or perhaps that's just a picture of the losers who have nothing better to do but comment.

    Unfortunately that means this very comment must disappear in a puff of logic.


  • Comment number 32.

    The good blogs will out, becuase they provide content/information/opinion which people will look at and are interested in.

    I seem to remember 10 odd years ago everyone having their own homepage, regardless of if anyone was interested in it. Blogging/Facebook etc is a mere extention of this.

    Besides which in 2010 Facebook and Twitter will seem old hat and outdated as well, and we'll all be talking about the next big thing.

    At the end of day, if somthing provides content which people are interested in reading/viewing then it will do well, just the medium may alter from time to time.

  • Comment number 33.

    Blogging is for the ego driven narcicist.

    I'm thinking of becoming an ego driven narcisist myself. I was one once, for a short time, but very few ever read my great insights to human experience. But they should have, because I have this great ego driven narcistic need for attention.

  • Comment number 34.


    I like that youre complaining about people complaining about other peoples comments. Maybe there should be some sort of comments section for the comments section of this blog? Imagine how good that would be?
    However in your comment you seem to desire that only a select few should not only be able to write the blogs but also comment on them too. I'm sure robert peston and ricky gervais debating on rory's blog would be a good laugh, although they might have some vastly different ideas and im sure some moderating might take place!

  • Comment number 35.

    I have had a blog on my local football team, Wolves FC posted on the local newspaper's (Express and Star) website for a couple of years now.

    I get a healthy response and I do take a couple of hours to carefully write 600 - 1000 words.

    It is something I really enjoy doing, but there is perhaps an element of personal narcissism or perhaps egotism.

    I always relish the opportunity to get my personal view across to a few thousand readers and spark debate.

    The posted comments on the blog can range from the intelligent to the insulting. As long the blog creates a healthy debate, I can take the mud slinging with a pinch of salt.

    I firmly believe the blog is alive and well. The readership of my blog has quadrupled since it's inception. I am known by some as the Wolves Blogger, and I quite enjoy that!

  • Comment number 36.

    It seems slightly odd that when the BBC is putting so much into blogging, when a former leader of the Conservatives is accusing a blog of wiping billions off the stock market, and blogs (such as Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes) are reporting rising traffic and respectable hits, the Today programme is heralding the death of blogging.

    And aren't twitter and social networks (as Rory suggests) part of the same landscape, rather than being directly in competition with one another?

    (Shameless plug ahead)

    In fact, for the last few months, The Orwell Prize has been blogging George Orwell's diaries ( The blog form is a great way of sharing information in a manageable, immediate way, and thus reaching people who might not otherwise have had the opportunity or the inclination to wade through the whole thing at once. It can also - despite not being perfect - encourage debate and discussion around history, politics and everything else.

    (Another shameless plug ahead)

    That's why last night, we announced the launch of a Special Blog Prize to reward those bloggers who match George Orwell's ambition 'to make political writing into an art' (

    Surely it's better to celebrate the best of the blogosphere, rather than reporting the greatly exaggerated death of it?

    (Shameless plugging ends)

  • Comment number 37.

    I recently started a blog, which is attached to my company web site. I find it is a really useful way of communicating updates to the free accounting software (Earnings Tracker) that my company produces.

  • Comment number 38.

    I have been writing a blog for about 4 months, and to date it has had about 400 hits. This is a small amount of hits compared to a lot of blogs out there, but I do it for me, so I really don't mind.

    Mostly it's about North Wales (where I live) and any thoughts about politics, current events etc. I suppose it's my equivalent of a diary.

  • Comment number 39.

    Another factor of blogging is that it has effectively erased most of the opportunities for free-lance writers to earn a living.

    With so many free blogs - free to the publisher and free from the author - writers can no longer attract an audience for their material when so many are prepared to give away their - often pap - expressions for gratis.

    Publishers are over the moon at this trend, naturally, since not having to pay authors means greater profits and there is no shortage of those 'vanity' writers to fill the pages.

    The quality of writing goes down, but what the heck, who cares?

  • Comment number 40.

    As you said, it all depends what you expect of your blog. I use mine to keep my friends and family up to date of what's going on in my life and as such I still keep blogging and will do for the foreseeable future. It never even entered my mind to use it as some kind of promotional tool!

  • Comment number 41.

    I think that a great deal of blogging and discussion boards have over-extended what was previously pub-chat and pub-politics. It has also made many subjects far more important than they should be - take the finances of football as an example. What happened to just going to a football match and enjoying the game?

    Discussion boards are now being introduced everywhere that some extra revenue can be made. I noticed a certain well known holiday park company have their own discussion board. So saying goodbye to "that couple" you were trying to avoid for 2 weeks is going to get harder. There is also the subject of employers reading your blog or enemies faking your ID so maybe people are choosing to regain their anonymity again?

  • Comment number 42.

    OK, I'll come clean - I don't know what Twitter is, but I don't like the sound of its brevity. Surely the whole point of blogging is the hours of procrastination it offers?

    Blogging may not be for the (very) young who are constantly dancing ahead of the game, but it suits me fine. I've only recently discovered it. But then, I have a mobile phone that is just a phone. It doesn't have a camera. It's a phone. And I still have a box of videos (can't play them any more, the telly only takes DVDs...)

    Then again, how did authors cope with the editing process without computers? I wouldn't fancy that. So perhaps I should stop whinging like a grumpy old woman (and stop procrastinating and get back to my editing...)

  • Comment number 43.

    if you dont want to see blogging go
    my blog is

  • Comment number 44.

    I love all these articles on the death of blogging that are on the blogs. Ironic, isn't it?

    Even better is the fact that the story was originally posted on Wired's blog and written by Paul Boutin, a blogger who writes for the popular Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag.

    So, essentially this is a gossip blogger writing about how bad blogging is because there is so much gossip and crap on blogs.

    Anyway ... The only way Paul Boutin thinks that the playing field can be leveled is by limiting everyone to 140 characters. So much for considered debate and thought. So much for thinking. So much for good writing skills.

    Let's all just text each other for now on, ok? All this because according to Paul Boutin, continuous partial attention forces all thought to be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

    If Paul Boutin had it his way, we'd become a planet that communicates with emoticons.

    Isn't that pathetic!?! >:(

    More here:


  • Comment number 45.

    I'd say that the Wired website ceased to be relevant some years back, somehow morphing from a reasonably mature high-brow tech website into a "to cool for school" shallow "youth culture" site.

  • Comment number 46.

    I don't think the blog is dead, I think the likes of Twitter will co-exist with blogs for at least another few years.

    I think this because they're for two different things, or at least I use them for two completely different things. I use Twitter just to post quick summaries of things like interesting things im doing or an interesting thought I have. I use my blog for more in depth things. For example I posted on Twitter something like 'The iPhone App Store needs to open itself up' and then I later made an in depth blog post about why I thought this.

  • Comment number 47.

    The blog is far from dead and the rise of other social media such as Twitter will continually breathe new life into it. While the number of potential avenues for social media continues to grow, I still see a blog playing the central role for companies looking to engage with their customers using these methods.

    For example, microblogging is great but a little restrictive and so focuses more on making people aware of other sources of information; social networks come and go (some quicker than others obviously); podcasts and video have their own key sites like YouTube but seldom achieve a real identity or forum on their own.

    A blog, however, allows a business to bring all of these other elements together, creates a focal point for a community of customers, provides the company with its own social network hub whatever else goes on in the market and allows it to expand on the information disseminated on Twitter, YouTube or iTunes.

    All the other elements are great but you still then need to have somewhere to "invite" friends back to online rather than always meet in proverbial bars / coffee houses. That's where a blog comes to the fore, bringing all the other elements together as well as contributing in its own right.

  • Comment number 48.

    blogging dead ... I don't think so cos I don't see anything that can replace it. I don't disagree entirely with the article cos there's so much rubbish out there and more importantly too much information out there. For example, I've only read the first two comments of this blog and too impatient to read the rest ... so I don't expect anyone to read this being so far down the list but I don't care. You can't really compare Facebook to blogs of this nature. One's a discussion and the other is a 30 second update.

    Bottom line, if both the abstract and intro are good, I will always participate in the discussion.

  • Comment number 49.

    @ comicbubbasparks

    If you want to participate in a discussion, try which is a true two way conversation.

  • Comment number 50.

    These BBC "blogs" don't really feel like blogs to me - they are generally opinion pieces with the possibility for readers to comment. I read them because they are generally more interesting than the actual news articles.

    Do you actually have a personal web log, Rory, detailing what you get up to in everyday life? Well, I have no interest in reading it. To that extend, blogging is dead, for me at least.

  • Comment number 51.

    Oh dear ! - it died ? well since the bbc still hates the internet and everything it spawns, but then claims that a fellow msm'er blog is better then everybodies it comes down to this.

    If blogging for the bbc means big viewer numbers and who you know then I am sorry as blogger that i don't know anybody famous and thus am boring.

    Personally i don't care what the bbc or what some journo thinks while blogging in the nude (which is the bbc perception of bloggers). Yes theres a lot of splogs out there but then there are other broadcasters out there too.

    While you big media outlets duck and cower when some legal firm says that you cannot report about a certain Ubezistan zillionaire please do remember that some of us bloggers do fight censorship

    It might not be huge but some of us have guts.

  • Comment number 52.

    The points about a lack of interaction and community feel (versus Twitter, Facebook etc) and the generally poor quality of content are interesting. These criticisms could also be levelled at television or the print media, both of which are far from dead. The same could be said of a number of the other points discussed here, regurgitating content from elsewhere, more comment than fact - TV and the print media are often guilty of these lazy habits too.

    I would also argue that people don't ALWAYS want to interact and be part of a community. Sometimes we just want to read/watch something interesting or entertaining and then move on. I know I do on those evenings when a hard day's work is over and I can just pop the TV on!

    Entertaining and sometimes interesting things can be found at and you don't have to interact unless you want to...!

  • Comment number 53.

    Like everything thing else, blogging will go through phases, some of which may be unrecognizable to a few.
    There's no doubt however that it is here to stay. Offshoots may develop alongside blogging as currently known, but I do not doubt for a minute that this is here to stay.
    In short blogging is most definitely not on its last legs. There is still plenty of mileage yet and you can either swim with the tide or sink.

  • Comment number 54.

    @ 20 GlebeGarden7

    If I choose to explain I've just cut my toenails, or exchange texts with someone, or blog about how awful my job is, or that I adore Bill Gates... those are my choices. I am choosing, knowing the permanence of web comments, to do so. The govt. snooping on my email/phone/web habits has no element of choice, and fundamentally - to my mind - alters the presumption of innocence. I would Twitter (but no one I know does), I do post poetry, I blog, I facebook, I text... by choice, choosing what's public and what's between me and the recipient alone. I object to that choice being removed from me.

    On a wider level, traffic seems to follow traffic, and that sheep effect has a dispiriting effect I feel on many who start to blog or contribute to other online communities.

  • Comment number 55.

    I wrote a blog for a while. But then I made the mistake of writing an article praising the then new law on smoking in public places. I said that if it had happened 20 years earlier, I would have given up smoking earlier, and maybe my father would not have died of cancer. I also said that I thought Forest were disgraceful the way they were fighting the ban with misleading science.

    Bit mistake

    I my little blog got ferociously attacked by Forest supporters and possibly members. I had personal attacks and threats from them, one person threatening to stalk me, and so on.

    Talking to others who blog, they had suffered similar problems, to the point that they gave up blogging, as I did.

    Blogging is not dead, you see. But the reasons to blog are.

    The internet is just one messy, ill humoured, abusive, cesspit - the inevitable conclusion of anything that is unregulated and "free" from the tyranny of organisation. The Geek's vision of an electronic utopia lacks understanding of basic human psychology. When 13 year old kids commonly talk about loving a particular game because it has "great beheadings in it," you know we are hitting bottom.

    Even the BBCs Have Your Say has just become a feeding frenzy of right wing extremism (very carefully disguised, but obvious all the same.)

    And no, Facebook hasn't taken over, it simply is presenting the same rubbish in a different way.

    I am disappointed with how the World Wide Web has turned out. But not really surprised.

  • Comment number 56.

    I cannot agree that blogging is dead! As for me, I am in blogging not long ago, but already feel all the importance and potencial of this area. Sure thing, here. as well as everywhere else there are some troubles, but nothing serious, I believe. I will be glad if you seach [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] for some of my blogs and make your own conclusions.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    Twittering, or micro-blogging, often gives an interesting heads up, or lead in, to a fuller article the reader can follow if they wish. In this way there is room for both - for example on my Uk based technology blog I post full articles but also provide a much briefer post to twitter.

    The platforms, languages, and levels of interaction may change but discussion is alive and well and its great to see you blogging about it.

  • Comment number 60.

    If it goes along that with mass goes with it excess, if only there was a way to filter or find quality... a possible dot-com exploit in the works?

  • Comment number 61.

    Or... a new feature for Google to consider.

  • Comment number 62.

    'Blogging is dead' - ive been hearing this on and off for the last ten years - its patently untrue. In the end it really boils down to what you want to achieve - if you feel that Micro-Blogging enables you to converse more clearly with your friends/audience then fair enough. Rory is correct in his analysis that blogging is now a multi-dimensional activivty. I have a blog set up mainly for humour/fashion interest purposes at and this serves my particualr needs perfectly - i haven't even attempted to broach the twitterverse yet. There are certain platforms that are beginning to look a little creaky around the edges (hello Blogger) - i think we may see many of them evolve/fall by the wayside, but blogging itself will not 'die'.

  • Comment number 63.

    I think that whilst twitter and facebook statuses for that matter are all great because they encourage snippets of information to be published quickly however for some real meat behind a post you'll notice that even twitter users make use of tinyurls to pass people across to blogs and articles where some real meat is required.

    For me the future is to omit blog coments such as this in favour of tagging an article to a twitter like system where a persons global coments can be reviwed and the appropriate comments taged back to the refering site.

    Lets hope that twitter doesnt continue the orwellian 'newspeak' style communication associated with texting in the early 2000s because i hate it wen ppl txt lik diz :/

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 64.

    I think the basic need for people to express themselves in an open forum will never die. However, the web has opened a plethora of opportunity and mountain loads of content. An endless wall for elaborate graffiti now exists and a lot of graffiti artists have tuned in to the thought that they could get paid for what they write. Not unlike the great barrier reef in Australia, diversity will still exist, but the vibrancy has mellowed and is dying off due to pollution, or people that are just out to make a quick buck.

    I wish there were an honesty test prior to every blog being created or post.

  • Comment number 65.

    I find it incredibly intriguing just how over the last few years blogs have morphed from being deemed for those who have no friends or nothing better to do to a cool, trendy medium for keeping friends (and even mere acquaintances) informed of your Status. It is so important to keep up these days that you can access anything, anywhere thanks to the improvements of mobile technology and the introduction of the iPhone gone are the days when you have to be stuck indoors with a prehistoric pc. Yet it seems that these applications are only at the beginning of their life span with various people suggesting that they themselves will also evolve over time one example of this view - - I dont believe blogging is dead but will we kill it by overloading it? We will have to wait and see.

  • Comment number 66.

    I wouldnt say that blogging is dead not yet anyway.

    What i would say is that it needs to be used in conjunction with websites like twitter.

    On your blog you can say as much as you like while twitter you are limited to how mch you can say each time.

    So you can use twitter more as a tool to drive more people towards your own website


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites