My colleague Jeremiah Owyang sure ruffled some feathers with his post claiming that the Golden Age of tech blogging is over. Aside from being a mentor and a tireless analyst, he’s also a long-time blogger. His words over the years helped blaze the trail for blogging and ultimately the micromedia bonanza that he believes is contributing to the erosion of long-form social prose. In his article, he quotes good friends Loic Lemeur, Ben Metcalfe, Ben Parr, Francine Hardaway, Chris Heuer and Dave McClure. Their perspective is always interesting. And, his post also drew telling comments from some of the best known names in tech blogging including Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable, Sarah Lacy, Marshall Kirkpatrick, and Dylan Tweney, executive editor at VentureBeat.
His points are worthy of consideration. Kudos to him for sparking this conversation…feels like old times.
I believe that in brevity there’s clarity. While a chapter in the ongoing development of tech blogging is certainly coming to an end, in the overall story, it’s (finally) growing up…as it should. See, tech is more important than a locale. It’s more important than funding or personnel shifts. Its impact on culture, society, business, and human evolution is more profound than the pundits who usually cover it. Evolution is a good thing…and I believe tech blogging is merely undergoing a form of digital Darwinism of sorts.
I recently wrote about my thoughts on the state and future of blogs, which is of course far grander than the world of tech blogging. And as you can see, blogging is alive and clicking.
Yes, micromedia, video, and social transactions/actions are breaking through our digital levees and causing our social streams to flood. And, yes, Flipboard, Zite, and the like (get it?), are forcing our consumption patterns into rapid-fire actions and reactions. You have a choice. You are either a content creator, curator or consumer. You can be all of course. But, think about this beyond the mental equivalent of 140 characters. What do you stand for and what do you want to become known for? The answer is different for each of us. But, content, context, and continuity are all I need to learn, make decisions and in turn inspire others.
I can assure you that the right voices will find the right platforms to escalate the genre and continue to influence all forms of media and those who create it. Watch what happens in 2012. It’s part survival of the fittest and survival of the fitting. I’ve got my eye on some of the names you know as well as many that you don’t (but soon will).
This part is important…If we assume that human beings can only process bytes instead of depth we are confined to competing merely for the moment. That is a game for the AOL’s of the world. What’s changing right here, right now is the players, not the game.
In fact, this is the time to compete for attention by not just feeding it forgettable snacks here and there, but enrapturing it through value, direction, and insight. Do the work no one else can make the time to do. There’s always a market for intelligence…it’s just a matter of which market you decide to pursue.
I believe the next Golden Age lies in syndicated context (yes it’s a play on words) and like a multidimensional chess board, we will compete for attention on several different fronts (playing their game, their way) while expanding reach in the process. There’s tremendous value in trusted content. The secret lies not in character count, but in perspective…seeing what others can’t and doing what others won’t. Just don’t lose sight of who you are and why you’re here. You’re part of the reason we’re here in the first place.