Monday, February 28, 2011

Facebook and Twitter Killing Blogs

A week ago NY Times published a story "Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter". This article cites surveys and anecdotal interviews showing how younger people are giving up blogging in favor of Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. I guess most of what these young internet migrants have to say to the world fits into 1-2 sentences. Or less:
"Kim Hou, a high school senior in San Francisco, said she quit blogging months ago, but acknowledged that she continued to post fashion photos on Tumblr. “It’s different from blogging because it’s easier to use,” she said. “With blogging you have to write, and this is just images. Some people write some phrases or some quotes, but that’s it.”"
No offense to any of you tweeters or fb'ers out there, but I personally cannot get into Twitter or Facebook much. As a matter of fact, I often find them depressing because they make a lot of the people I know seem a bit dull even when they're not. I mean, how much can one say in 140 characters? One little poop-pellet of mundane boringness, most likely. Unless you're a brilliant poet. I haven't friended any brilliant poets on Facebook yet. In the mean time, I don't care what my 3rd-grade friend had for lunch.

Another thing I don't like about Facebook is that I can't be anonymous there. Ironically, I feel like I can be much more anonymous on my blog. On Facebook I have to worry about a strange and uncomfortable mix of family, professional colleagues, and weird friends mingling around my posts. I really don't want my mom or co-workers reading about my frenzied alcohol-fueled nights of pretending I'm an elf. Here on Cyclopeatron only a few weird friends and Canadian strangers read my crap. I know this because I have Sitemeter. Is it healthy that I prefer babbling to strangers? Probably not... But I guess this is preferred by all you other geriatrics:
"While the younger generation is losing interest in blogging, people approaching middle age and older are sticking with it. Among 34-to-45-year-olds who use the Internet, the percentage who blog increased six points, to 16 percent, in 2010 from two years earlier, the Pew survey found. Blogging by 46-to-55-year-olds increased five percentage points, to 11 percent, while blogging among 65-to-73-year-olds rose two percentage points, to 8 percent. "
I won't name names, but several blogs that I've enjoyed in the past have gone silent, but I still see the (ex-)bloggers posting all over FB (pictures of ferrets in one case, perhaps? ;) ). Too bad...


  1. That reminds me that I need to adjust my blog settings so that I don't feel like I'm being overly verbose when I do anything more than a pithy little blurb on an item.

    It's a bizarre psychological effect that the design has on me. I appreciate how your site is set up, with plenty of width to accommodate the meaty text.

  2. I don't use Twitter as a social function but as a news-link collector (I've purposefully limited myself to less than 10 feeds), although I also "follow" the feeds of a few of my favorite funny people.

    Facebook is a very convenient way to exchange silly bon mots with the family and some friends. I suspect it gets about 3 minutes' worth of attention any given day. Twitter: figure four or five minutes to follow the main feed, and perhaps another half hour if anyone links news articles worth pursuing.

    I blog for reasons above and beyond anything to do with being social.

    I've noticed at work that I occupy that age range of people who do not "text" on breaks. If you're in your 20s or younger, you're texting every chance you get.

    Stranger days ahead, I'm sure.

  3. CRPGs are killing TTRPGs too. Or so it is said. Blogging will be here to stay, just in smaller numbers to those who have the longer attention spans and deeper thought.

    Ironic how folks are worried about the demise of blogging... which didn't even exist that long ago.

    I also blog anonymously and for different reasons that I use FaceBook, much as you have said.

  4. I hate Twitter with a passion, but then I'm an evil Luddite.

  5. No-net Fridays, James?

    It's more like you're an OSRthodox Catholic and blogging is red meat.

  6. I must be one the weirdo 20-somethings who only uses facebook to organize his D&D games, and spends a lot more time poking about the blogosphere. I do the text messaging thing a lot though, I got to admit. But I also write a lot on my Iphone. Regardless, nobody's ever had a really profound facebook status update.

  7. Agreed, as above. Please continue.


  8. Never had a FB account, but I have three twitters - two automatically publishing links to the new posts on my polish RPG blogs, third doing the same thing with posts from Terminal Space.

  9. I just don't get Twitter. Is what I'm doing every second of the day just that damn important? no. And FB becomes weird if you open it up to more than just a handful of family or friends.

    I like blogging as it keeps me practicing my writing skills. I really wouldn't get that with 120 characters.

  10. Apples and oranges. I am barely on Facebook (got on to reconnect with some college friends and now it's a mix of them, some other friends, and family, and a few colleagues and I barely go there at all. But a lot of people use blogs as if it were FB and they are right move on! Blogs are for longer, or rantier, posts and a place to share ideas. FB is ok for quips, and sharing photos or mentioning events but much more ephemeral. (Twitter I don't use but I guess I think of it as even more ephemeral...).

    I kind of missed the boat on making my blog anonymous (although I hope it's reined me in a little), but I don't encourage non-gaming friends or relatives to read it either, or mention it at work!

    I think it's probably a good thing if more people stop blogging and go to FB/Twitter if they have that kind of thing to post. Leave blogs to us cranky nerds with too much to say to fit it 140 characters, and who don't need to form lasting 'relationships' with our fellow nerd readers.

  11. Facebook is good if you want to be a jerk to internet acquaintance's moms....

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  13. I deleted my FB account not to long ago. As it turns out, I'm not really into reconnecting with and staying in touch with everyone I've ever met ever. As for twitter, I admit that I don't get it.

  14. Hey, I'm not Canadian...does that mean I'm a weird friend?

  15. I'm always disappointed when these sorts of polls are going around.

    I tend to enjoy the frustrated looks on the Survey takers face at the mall..
    "Does this movie, staring ashton kutcher look Entertaining?"
    "No, it has Ashton Kutcher in it "
    "Would you go and see this film"
    "does some one have a gun to my head?"
    "Are they going to pay me at least 100$?"
    "Will it save a kids life for me to watch it?"
    "Then.. No.. Now wheres my 2$"

    But then I also don't own a Cell-Phone, use facebook, or have a Twitter account.. pay all my bills with checks, like the kind you have to mail off.. using a stamp.. and use my library card frequently and I'm only 26..

    To Weird to live, To Rare to die.

  16. Same as Aos. FB is an interpersonal abyss.

  17. Admittedly pictures of Ferrets and delicious bacon take much less time than a full blown blog post.

    But yeah... it's sad.

  18. Twitter: 140 characters
    Facebook Status: 400 characters

    Balls to that! I need room to breathe and get a run up on an idea. Also a blogroll: gotta see what direction the grogherd is stampeding in today.

    "1...2...3...4... Doh!"

  19. Twitter and Facebook are probably only killing the blogs written by people who were more into the attention of blogging than blogging itself.

    Isn't it weird when you find out someone you know in real life reads your blog? I'm usually taken aback when I find otu.

  20. I won't name names, but several blogs that I've enjoyed in the past have gone silent, but I still see the (ex-)bloggers posting all over FB (pictures of ferrets in one case, perhaps? ;) )