Blog Archives

The Next Generation is Better than the Original


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.