Blogging Is Never Going Away
It’s just always changing.
I enjoy studying digital content trends and changes. Over the years, it feels like online content has continually moved further away from text-based media and more toward audio and video kinds of content. This makes sense, doesn’t it?
Early on, “weblogs,” eventually just called “blogs” are what dominated the internet along with basic, static forums and chatrooms. This is because the early 2000s internet wouldn’t have been able to handle the bandwidth that our present audio and video media habits require.
As internet speeds improved and more technological advances were made around the internet, audio and video content began to explode. Podcasts came onto the scene and YouTube took online video from a niche medium to the seemingly dominant form of media on the internet.
Much was made around 2015 about the “pivot to video” when newsrooms and other media organizations laid off thousands of writers, editors, and other text-based employees because it seemed as though they would be doing a lot less written content and a lot more video content moving forward into the future. All of this sort of came crashing down when it was revealed that Facebook’s exorbitant video viewership numbers that seemed too good to be true were, in fact, too good to be true. Of course video content hasn’t gone away or anything—it has continue to grow in relevance—but text content also still performs very well online.
A lot of us in the Christian space have, over the years, wondered, “Is blogging dead?” Some have wondered if podcasting, especially, would kill the blog.
Though I am biased, because I am a writer and a words guy in general, I have long said that the blog will always have a place in online content. I’ve said, often with skeptical responses, that blogging is never going away.
But it’s true, and I’ve never been more sure of it: blogging is never going away. It will continue to change and morph, to be sure. But if you consider “blogging” to be “written content on the internet” as opposed to podcasting, video content, etc., blogging is never going away. AI will play a role in its next phase, to be sure. And all kinds of changes will surely come with the next few years. But blogging is never going away.
The best piece of evidence for this is the reemergence of the email newsletter. The email newsletter is bigger than it has ever been, despite being the first dominant form of internet media decades ago. Newsletters are full of text. No one is accruing tens of thousands of subscribers with video newsletters or podcast newsletters. Newsletters are the latest and currently most “successful” manifestation blogging.
Likewise, I was on TikTok a while back and came across this video on my For You page:
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Tons of views. Lots of engagement. And look at that caption! It’s a microblog on TikTok. Of course there is a video component, but so many of the comments are engaging with the microblog content in the caption of the video.
Likewise, any Instagram influencer will tell you that some of their best performing content the last few years has been microblogs on their Instagram account. Of course an image has to be posted, but often these images are simply posted out of necessity, and followers ultimately end up engaging primarily with the content of the super-long caption that functions as a microblog of sorts.
All of this is to say: the blog is never going away. It will change. It will maybe be written by artificial intelligence. But the pivot to video didn’t kill blogging, and nothing will.
I wonder if the blog's staying power is related to our drive for stories? I've read recently that our brains are wired for stories, and it's clear to any fiction fan (or avid moviegoer) that stories engage us on every level.
I'm convinced that words—and stories—have power. If God made everything through words, created humanity with an inherent drive for stories, and gave His revelation of Himself in written form, it makes sense that words have staying power. Video and audio have their merits, especially for learning, but they seem so much less solid and ephemeral than writing.
I'm a writer, so I may be biased. 😉 But the point stands.