Lambert here: Imminent death of the blog predicted. To answer the question, no; see Naked Capitalism here for a proof by example (linked to by blogger Brad DeLong). Granted, that post is from 2013, but if you want to hammer away at a set of ideas in long form, there’s still nothing like a blog. They’re ubiquitous. It may be that Andrew Sullivan — whose exit from blogging prompted this bout of navel-gazing — is the sort of person who thinks that any scene in which he no longer participates is dead, by definition. But reports of our death in his absence are greatly exaggerated.
By Jérémie Cohen-Setton, a PhD candidate in Economics at U.C. Berkeley and a summer associate intern at Goldman Sachs Global Economic Research. Originally published at Breugel.
The Golden Age of Blogs
Jason Kottke writes that blogs are for 40-somethings with kids. In the past few years, the blog died. Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs. The primary mode for the distribution of links has moved from the loosely connected network of blogs to tightly integrated services like Facebook and Twitter.
Ben Smith writes since 2008 that ecosystem of links and blogs decayed and, in many places, collapsed. Few blogs drive the traffic they once did, and reporters hope their stories will be widely tweeted, rather than linked — though that doesn’t drive the same kind of traffic. In retrospect, the golden era of political blogs stretched from 2004 to 2008. The tech blog golden era started earlier and ended later. While the blogosphere has now been dying for as long as it was alive, Andrew Sullivan’s decision to shut down marks a kind of final punctuation to the era.
Ben Thompson writes that a big problem with this entire discussion is that there really isn’t a widely agreed-upon definition of what a blog is. For Thompson, a “blog” is a regularly-updated site that is owned-and-operated by an individual (there is, of course, the “group blog,” but it too has a clearly-defined set of authors). And there, in that definition, is the reason why, despite the great unbundling, the blog has not and will not die: it is the only communications tool, in contrast to every other social service, that is owned by the author; to say someone follows a blog is to say someone follows a person.