A WSJ article (free online content) tries to debunk rumors of the demise of blogs:
Maybe you’ve heard: Blogs are a vanishing fad — this year’s digital Pet Rock. Or a business bubble about to pop. Or a sucker’s bet for new-media fame seekers.
Recent weeks have seen the rise of a cottage industry in Whither Blogging? articles.
I find it hard to believe that rumors of blogging’s demise have even surfaced. It strikes me as ridiculous to presume anything about whether blogging has peaked given how early in the game it is. The WSJ article debunks these rumors, but concludes by reaching some middle ground:
But blogging will no longer be a phenomenon. When people talk about it, they’ll often be referring to tools for putting up simple Web sites easily, or a certain style of Web publishing: brightly written, frequently updated and inviting reader conversation. That may feel a long way from the claims of blogging’s first heady days, but then that’s the way most such things turn out: Wikis aside, today’s Web looks very little like Tim Berners-Lee’s original idea for a kind of digital whiteboard. Blogging is easier, faster and more conversational than traditional Web publishing, but that doesn’t change the fact that relatively few people actually yearn to be publishers. Nor do they particularly care what category the things they read fit into, or what technological tools produced them. That may not sound like the stuff of revolution or VC riches, but it also doesn’t sound like a fad or a failure.
The author should have also looked at social network chat sites such as MySpace, Xanga, and Facebook. Members of the upcoming generation are living their lives online, and blogging is the way that many are communicating with each other. These sites are growing at a phenomenal rate. MySpace boasts 50 million users.
Hat tip: Bashman