The Future of Blogging

Posted on Sunday 18th March 2007 at 00:00
Almost every week now I hear someone say that 2007 will be the year of the blog, that this year there will be more active blogs than at any point previously. The internet will come into its own at last and that more people than ever will have a very personal connection to the web, in the form of their own page of writings. This is the year when the number of blogs will level out at last, after years of unprecedented growth in popularity.

Is this really true though, and if so, what does it mean for the future of blogging? It can't have gone unnoticed by those with an ear to the news that every year since blogs were first invented has been the 'year of the blog?. That being the case, how do we know that this will be it and that growth in this sector of the internet won't continue to increase further next year and the year after? How do we know when we'll have reached the point where everyone who is likely to start blogging has already done so?

While statistics and trends interest me about as much as soaps and football, what has actually got my brain twitching with thought is what will happen after the 'year of the blog? has come and gone. What will it mean for all of us?

Well, I see two possible futures. In one, the level of active blogs will become a regular value, as those who are going to give it up do so, and everyone else sticks at it as a regular hobby. In this future, blogging ceases to be a novelty, but settles itself into the role of a popular pass time. The shape of the media world and the internet will change to incorporate blogging as a standard source of news, opinion and gossip, in which a large portion of people blog, but not the majority. Instead, far more people read a group of successful blogs, whist a dedicated and talented minority keep those blogs going, thus providing an entertainment in a similar role to newspapers or TV today, with the latest posts on popular blogs becoming talking points in staff rooms up and down the land.

In the other future, blogging emerges as nothing more than a passing fad. Now, instead of levelling out, the number of blogs sharply declines as people realise that the current number of blogs is unsustainable. More and more popular blogs will close, as their writers feel that 'it's time to move on?. Those that remain will get less and less of an audience, as people who read but don't write blogs decide they've got better things to do.

In this future, when you let slip that you are a blogger, people will no longer react with interest and curiosity, but instead will look sympathetically at you for a moment, before secretly striking you off the list of people they wish to be seen with.

Of course, all this is speculation. I have no idea what the future holds for blogging, and for those caught up in this crazy new phenomenon, but it'll certainly be interesting to find out the answer.

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