Matthew Ingram, writing at GigaOm about the state of blogging in the wake of Andrew Sullivan's "retirement":
Clinging to a specific form like blogging is an anachronism, Ana argues — like wearing spats, or driving a Model T roadster when there is a perfectly good Porsche in the garage, or referring to driving as “Model T-ing.” And she has a point: publishing on Medium or Facebook is as easy as blogging ever was, and probably has the chance to reach orders of magnitude more people. Newspapers like the New York Times have done away with many of their blogs, and incorporated that content into the paper.
At the same time, though, I miss the days when you could reliably find the writing or thinking of a specific person in one place — their blog. And as I mentioned in a previous nostalgic look back at the “good old days,” one of the best parts of that era was that you owned your own real estate, rather than renting it from Facebook or Twitter or Medium. That’s why I enjoy movements like the Indie Web, which is trying to recover some of that, and the connectedness that the early blogosphere shared.
I was never that big a fan of Sullivan's stuff, and his role in promoting The Bell Curve is pretty unforgivable. Still, I have to admit a certain amount of respect for his role in the creation and growth of the political blogosphere, and blogging as a medium.
As for blogging as a medium, I tend to think that reports of its demise (like that of RSS) are exaggerated.
Ingram cites this bit from GQ's Ana Marie Cox:
She also says that she never really understood why there had to be a specific term for writing online. “A blog is a tool or a medium, it’s not a thing one does,” she says. In other words, it was just a term for a specific form or style of writing.
I suppose that is true, but only in the broadest, most naïve sense.
The thing that made blogging unique was the way in which it provided writers with a potentially global platform, without subjecting them to the tight editorial control of traditional news/media companies. That remains true today—sure, you can post your stuff on Facebook or Medium, but then you are stuck with trusting that they have your best interests in mind.By Pete Brown