The Next Generation is Better than the Original

#Picard4Life

Blogs are dying. PCs are dying. The next generation is functionally illiterate.

Do you know what the upcoming generation’s great crime is? They have a choice, whereas we did not. Do you think the New Blogger Initiative failure rate of 73% is a new phenomenon? It is not. In fact, I was pretty surprised the number that survived was that high. Blogging is hard. I probably spend ~2 hours writing each post, with pictures eating up extra time. The only rational response to an unpaid part-time job that has nothing to do with job advancement is to run away.

Or shrug and stop.

In the Olde Days, it was a choice between blogging, forum posting, or… nothing. I don’t actually remember there being more blogging going on 5+ years ago, but let’s assume there was. So what? The overwhelming majority of those blogs failed too. The only difference today is that the people who just wanted to fire off pithy quips can do so on Twitter instead. Or if you just want to post screenshots or memes, you can use Tumblr. If you just want to keep in touch with friends, you can use Facebook – which didn’t exist prior to 2004, by the way. And that was nine (!) years ago.

Smartphones and tablets “cannibalize” the PC market because those individuals did not actually want or need an entire PC. Twitter and Facebook and Youtube “cannibalize” the blogging market because those individuals did not actually want or need a long-form writing space. Personally, I do need space to write, and I do it because it’s something I enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy it, that does not reflect poorly on you.

Now, MMO blogging going away is another story. Then again, I am not entirely sure whether a hyper-focus on a single MMO is even all that good anymore. I got started by writing about the WoW auction house, which is a niche of a niche of a niche. But even back then, I recognized that tying my identity and voice to something so specific was a bad idea. If I quit WoW… then what?

Besides, I think it’s pretty clear that the days of playing just one game for years is going away. Not that you can’t play one game for years, but that you probably aren’t going to just be playing that one game. Maybe you will lose some readers only interested in your latest Secret World escapades, but odds are that if they enjoy reading what you write about X, they will probably read Y too.

Things aren’t worse; things are different. To some, maybe different is worse. In which case, you probably chose the wrong genre of game to write about in the first place.

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Posted on July 19, 2013, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Excellent post. I fully agree with that last bit – well everything really, but that especially.
    I wrote elsewhere that I personally favor today’s diversity among bloggers. and even if MMO blogging becomes smaller, that doesn’t have to be worse, either. do we need 100% growth for growth’s sake? or could it be that the blogosphere grows closer together that way, making for better discussions at times? all things pros and cons.

    This was always a niche and as you said too, blog ‘failure rates’ were always high. maybe the biggest contribution to this topic from our side is to not stop blogging just because we believe others stop blogging. ;) my personal blogosphere corner is only marginally smaller than ever.

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  2. I’ll grant you the title, but The Sisko > Picard.

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  3. To be fair, I never said blogging was dying. I said it was fading.

    Obviously there are still people posting interesting stuff on a (semi-)regular basis. Obviously there are still comments. Obviously we still get into interesting discussions about the crisis du jour. Obviously there are still a few old-school people still posting on the same blog with the same layout as ever. My RSS feeds are 90% MMO blogs, and I can barely keep up with them.

    But, blogging is no longer as popular. MMOs… well, let’s just say that as a professional I’m concerned. Mix those two together and it seems obvious that blogging isn’t quite the force it used to be.

    Is it dead? No. Is it fading? I think you can make a good argument about that. The point of my post was to get people to think about the topic. As I said, I like blogs because I wrote long-form, and I want a more persistent store for my design theories. So, I’m not going anywhere, either. :)

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    • True, I simply linked to your post because you started the topic rolling, at least in my blogroll. And to be honest, you basically already said everything that I said here (and what most other people ended up saying too) – the rest of us simply rearranged the words to get our own feeling out there. Which is why I’m not particularly worried about blogging going away: if 20+ people all take the time to say the same thing 20 different ways, the number of potential posts (and the motivation to write them) is practically infinite.

      I’m not even particularly worried about MMO blogs. Now, focused MMO blogs are probably on their way out. But ones in which someone writes about whatever MMO they happen to be playing at the time? I think those are hear to stay.

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  1. Pingback: The MMO blogosphere is here to stay – if you want it to | MMO Gypsy – Wandering online Worlds

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