This month marks my fourth year of writing on this blog. I have posted 265 times, created 147 categories and made 725 tags for all this content. This pales by comparison to tens of thousands of others, and I’m not even talking about the pros. For me this has been and continues to be an enjoyable and helpful activity. I looked back at my notes from four years ago where I scribbled what I wanted to accomplish. There were essentially two buckets. One for personal expression/growth and the other for amplification/readership. I would give myself a sold B for the first one but am at a C- on the second count.
Is it just me or does the term blog sound old now? Certainly this platform has been workmanlike for some time and Word Press has done a spectacular job of adding features and functionality along the way. But I wonder how long it will be before we see blogging and visits to blogs wane. Maybe I’m hoping this will happen so I don’t have to commit all this time. Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook, Google+ have absorbed a lot of content that might have been earmarked for a blog post. Blogs are singular in nature. You sit and write. That’s really hard. Blogs are also a lonely place no matter how many people drop by to read or comment. Blogs are not networks even though links to posts are shared out by the millions everyday. It becomes harder and harder to leave the real time stream of social consciousness experienced in Twitter, etc. and engage with a blog. It’s kind of like zooming down an expressway, grooving on some tunes, then suddenly you find yourself maneuvering city blocks. Photos, videos and even status updates that can be recorded real time and instantly posted with a small caption are more meaningful because they often contain essential context like location and time of day. You go to a blog but the social streams come to you. Yes I know they are different and serve different purposes, but I am thinking more about this these days and am confident a structural shift is in the making.
Sound is going to be bigger than video… ‘Record’ is the new QWERTY.
— Alexander Ljung, Founder and CEO, SoundCloud
I really like this quote, but I would swap out the word sound for voice. It’s the voice that becomes the new keyboard in the evolving digital age. Apple’s Siri, available on the iPhone 4S, has made us aware how powerful the voice is. It’s speak and you hear back from another voice, but it’s paired with visual content and links. Their TV spots frame out most of the actor’s eyes, leaving the lips as the focal point.
Siri is a modern day Sherpa. Let’s hope we keep her safely tucked inside her box and away from the atmosphere, and not repeat the mistakes we made with HAL.
Remember podcasts? In 2005 there were dozens of predictions about how podcasts and podcast listeners would experience explosive growth. The 200 to 2009 Pew Internet Study on daily internet activities has the podcast third from the bottom on usage, barely moving up a percentage point in 8 years. So it’s not sound or voice, it’s interaction that makes things much more interesting. I digress a bit.
Blogging is still enjoyable for me and I’ll probably keep going for quite a while. But some day, it will cease to exist, like so many other content transmitters of the past. My thoughts and ideas will simply find new ways to be expressed. Until then, I’ve still got this blog.