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These days they're (becoming) just another way to publish. Nothing more that that, and that's good, really. So, blogging might just take off big time now, even if everything says that it has already peaked.
However, that "peak" is among the early adopters and people eager to try out new things fast. The majority is just starting to discover blogs.
For me, this has worked quite well. I really make little effort to monetize the blog, because most readers follow the links into the main site.
Not all blogs are great (most aren't - mine included), but I don't think the point is that all of them need to be quality. Not all websites are quality and still, they last and we've found some to be worthwhile. I'm sure early on someone asked:
Websites, the next big thing of pfffft
I read a couple of blogs, which are absolutely first rate. The nature of the format is the same as that of a daily news site - although it's called a blog, really it could just be another "website".
What's the difference, really? It's just a CMS.
--William Gladstone, speaking in Parliament 1888.
although it's called a blog, really it could just be another "website"
That's the thing really - we're just talking about another content creation method in the end. There's an extensive article in NYMag [nymag.com] talking about the Blog economy - good read, and makes the point that major media sources are already taking the whole medium over.
[edited by: lawman at 5:59 pm (utc) on Feb. 16, 2006]
when you have an outfit like boing boing, with only five part time writers, eclipsing the readership of wired magazine, you need to take a serious look at the possibilities.
ignore blogs at your own peril.
"Most people have a book [blog] inside them, and that is where it should stay."
I don't have my quotations dictionary to hand, so I can't tell you who said that (probably Wilde/Twain/Shaw!), but the point is that most people don't have much interesting to say, so making it easy for them to say it simply raises the noise level rather than the information content of the Web.
Of course that is NOT politically correct, and there are some excellent blogs (that I have been using for obscure CSS issues just last week for example), but they are a tiny minority, and the rest are simply the recorded wisdom of Paris Hilton without the obvious attractions.
Sorry, but people need to learn to THINK (1), and then speak (2), in that order. Editors normally ensure that that process has happened, blogs do not. Bv<
(Having said that, my client is leaving to go travelling, and I have suggested that he use a blog as a free CMS for his photos and words...)
<ducks for cover>
<hides inside top-quality PC-proof tin-foil hat>