In 2004, blogging was so hot that the people at Merriam-Webster declared “blog” the “word of the year.” Just two years ago, a survey found that half of all Internet users read or wrote a blog. Nowadays, you’re more likely to meet people like Michael McDonald. He’s an aspiring filmmaker who says he recently stopped using a blog to show off his latest video creations. Why? Because all the people he’s trying to reach are on Facebook. In fact, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are often blamed for the 50% drop in blogging among young adults! Many people say Facebook just makes it easier to do all the things they used to do in blogs – like post pictures, rant about the weather, or write about their day. Others say it’s hard to stay motivated writing page-long blogs, when people are more likely to read 140-character “tweets.”
Lee Raine is director of the Internet and American Life Project. He says this new trend doesn’t mean blogs are on the verge of dying. They’re just changing with the times. His thinking is that blogs first became popular because people wanted to tell their stories, and share their lives. Now, we’re still sharing. We’re just doing it in other places, and doing it more than ever before! For example: Millions of people use Websites like Flickr and Tumblr to share photos. Those sites are technically known as “micro-blogging” sites. However, most people don’t think of them as blogs, because you don’t have to write anything – you just snap a picture and post. Raine says people looking for opinionated writing styles will continue to use traditional blogs, and smart bloggers know to embrace Facebook and Twitter, not avoid it. Why? Because if you really have something compelling to say, you can use Facebook or Twitter to promote your blog to a bigger audience.