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Blogging Killed by 140-Character Monster?

Andy Serwer is the managing editor over at Fortune magazine. Now, so you are aware I have a bias toward Fortune because I think that is just a good magazine. Simplistic? Yes, but I need it that way. In fact, that’s what Andy is alluding to in his Captain’s Blog post from May 20. He suggests that we communicate so much that maybe blogging is going to be replaced by Facebook and Twitter. I agree to a degree.

Twitter Bird With Music Notes

Image by Salon de Maria via Flickr

Serwer postulates that maybe blogging is too slow and clunky. After journalism was pronounced dead due to blogging now it may be time to pronounce blogging dead due to Twitter and Facebook and the new “140 character or less” culture. I was part of the “sound bite” generation that was introduced to MTV and the shortening of attention spans to a mere 30 seconds or so. Giving anything 30 seconds or more in today’s world is the equivalent of reading War and Peace “back in the day.”
So is blogging going the way of the dinosaur? Is it too much to ask for someone to sit through 250-600 words? (Or more in some cases–many more words with me because I can’t seem to explain something unless it is battered, bleeding and near death, but that’s for another day.)
Here’s my take. The introduction of social media in short bursts has actually created more interest in blogging in some ways. It also, however, has fostered less tolerance. In other words, bad blogs and posts don’t stand up anymore (thankfully although that may hurt me a bit). A very well respected blogger in the Internet space, Lee Odden responded to me on Twitter today as follows
@FrankReed I agree, blogs are the social thing that Tweets and FB
content points to. However, many are blogging less, that’s for sure
So maybe the 140 character limit on conversations that is becoming de rigueur is helping to simply separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Maybe less blogging is simply due to the fact that it is easier to ‘”relate” to someone with 140 characters vs. putting together a cohesive line of thinking in a post.
As for you “real journalists,” I suspect you are gagging at that last statement, since most bloggers, like myself, aren’t going to put together a newspaper-length report any time soon. No reason to, really. There are newspapers for that. Well, at least for now there are but don’t blink because the daily paper concept is quickly fading away.
I don’t think blogging is dying, but I do think it is evolving. Business evolution is quick to kill off the ineffective, until of course it is fashionable to bring it back. Blogging is very safe for now because it will attract the people that really want it. Others that can’t sit through a 15-second commercial without squirming can delude themselves that they are “relating” with and learning from others of their ilk in the fast-paced shallow pool of Twitter, Facebook and others.
There is a place for all of it. The one reality is though that no one is capable of doing all of it. We are at the point where we need to decide how we will use our time. Whether you tweet or blog or whatever, we all have one thing in common; we are only human. While we hate to admit it we all have limits. What are yours? Please let us know in 140 characters or less because there is so much to do.

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