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Is the blog dead?

Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways

Over the past five years blogs have become a massive force on the web as even the non web savvy have been able to add content to the Internet. For those in the industry however blogs have been a way of promoting new ideas, technologies and as a form of self promotion. But has 2008 seen the start of the end for blogging as we know it?

Over the last year I’ve personally seen a decline in the amount of fresh content many experts in the industry have been posting to their blogs. Previously these would be the go to guys and gals to quench the thirst for new information, but recently these people have posted less frequently, written less, and posted more personal or off-topic information. Of course for many these are personal blogs and they do with them as they wish but in the industry as a whole this has limited the flow of information that many beginners may have depended upon.

So what’s happened?

Is everyone too busy?

For many bloggers their previous blogging exploits have led to a level of fame that has brought with it many other commitments. Blogging is what made many of these people the industry experts and as experts they are increasing being approached for speaking engagements, offline writing or leading workshops. All these extra-curricular activities have to be undertaken in conjunction with normal work, so with less free time available many find it difficult to spend the time blogging, especially if like me they can spend a couple of hours thrashing out a post.

Is it the credit crunch?

The economic climate of 2008 continuing into 2009 has put many businesses, employees and freelancers in a worrying position. Unsure of what the future holds many have began adjusting their policies on accepting new work. In the past some may have been in the position to be selective over the work they took safe in the knowledge that work should be available in the future. Now many accept all work asked of them unsure of what may be available in the future. With all these extra projects many spend more time working and less time blogging.

How about Twitter?

Blogging was the best way to promote something to a large group of people, but compared to Twitter it is a complicated and time consuming process. Twitter, the micro blogging service, allows the almost instant publication of an idea or link to a large number of people. Although a Tweet doesn’t have the same longevity as a blog post it provides a quick method of expressing an idea in an environment that also encourages quick responses.

So what do we do now?

If you’re writing your own blog then do nothing, just keep posting while ever you have the time and enjoy doing it. There are always people that can benefit from what you’re writing, and even if there isn’t by writing about your experiences and knowledge you will help your own learning and development.

If your favourite blog writer is writing less then still stick with them, they’re the experts for a reason and many do still post, just infrequently. Why not look into their blog roll and find who they link to; these people may post more often and even if they don’t they could still be writing informative and engaging posts. Never restrict yourselves to only a few feeds, make sure you follow as many people as you can manage.

Don’t forget to follow community blogs that publish blog posts from many other websites. This allows you to absorb information from a wide range of websites that you may otherwise not have come across.

Then of course there is Twitter. If the experts are moving to the micro blogging service to communicate then it is here where you find the gold nuggets of information to expand your own learning. As conversations unfold you may also find new people to follow who may also have blogs you can add to your RSS feed.

The main thing is to not restrict the number of people you follow. Instead make sure you open yourself to as much of the conversation as possible, this is the only way you can learn and discover new concepts in such a fast paced industry.