We’re Proof Blogging Isn’t Dead

There are all sorts of pieces about the future of “New Media” floating around these days from Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog” in the Atlantic to Wired‘s Paul Boutin proclaiming that blogging is dead.

Boutin’s assertion is flat wrong.  Blogging isn’t dead, it’s just matured.  Boutin claims that because blogging is no longer the next big thing that it doesn’t matter as much as the new next big things.  Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and other online mediums are supposed to be where it’s at now.

Boutin’s argument makes sense if a blogger is a lone person without all that much of interest to say.  But that’s true for any medium.  A boring talk radio host is quickly booted from the air, a boring blogger will never gain ground online. Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern aren’t famous because radio is the newest things (it’s a nearly 100 year-old technology), but because they are engaging personality, albeit for different reasons.

The novelty ran out for radio long ago, the novelty of blogging is just wearing off.  But that doesn’t mean we should jump to the newest novelty.  If you produce good content consistently and in a sufficient volume to maintain an audience, a blog can be a great outlet.  It’s true that you may not attract 100,000 visitors a day, but you could attract 100 visitors that make your effort very worthwhile.

What Boutin’s really saying in a roundabout way is that bloggers now have to earn their traffick.  They need to be good writers conveying something unique and something useful to their readership.  No one can rely on the novelty of a blog or being one of only a few bloggers for readership.  The market is now saturated.  That doesn’t mean blogging is over, that means it’s growing up.

CEI’s OpenMarket.org is earning traffick left and right.  We’ve gotten links from Techdirt, Arstechnica, the Drudge Report, Michelle Malkin, and InstaPundit.

Our analysts blog at other sites like TechLiberation.com and have sucess there as well.  Andrew Sullivan recently linked to a post by Ryan Radia, bringing a whole new audience to our work.

Social Media is supplementing this.  StumbleUpon brings us hundreds of hits per week, we now have 766 Twitter followers, and our social network for activists (Bureaucrash Social) has grown to over 800 users in just over a month.

But these social sites can’t stand alone.  They’re part of a strategy to get the word out, and they all need to be fed good content by that old standby, the blog.