The death of the personal blog
“Do you have a blog?”
I don’t think I hear that much anymore at a party. Sure, many businesses still have and maintain a blog. And for good reason. Blogs are an essential way for businesses to create and share long form content which comes with all the benefits of improved organic search rankings, demonstrated industry expertise, interaction with visitors, shared internal company culture, etc. Make no mistake, we still advocate businesses have an active blog.
But are individuals still cataloging their lives on standard blog formats such as Blogger, WordPress, etc? It’s not that we aren’t cataloging our lives at all. In fact, it’s obvious that we’re doing so at an incredible rate via Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. But is the good old personal blog dead?
I took a look at the Google Search trends for the keyword “blog” vs other social network terms. Blog, as a keyword, currently indexes at its lowest point since 2005. My thought on this data point is that people just aren’t searching for “xyz type of blog” like they used to because they find that niche content so much more easily on social networks.
So what happened? Why is the personal blog disappearing? Here are some key reasons I think the personal blog is no longer relevant and has met a swift demise:
- Blogs are not easily searchable by content type, whereas other channels have the easily searchable and more flexibly used hashtag
- No one wants to read your long life story (sorry). Through social media it’s all shared in a bite size, easily digestible photo and caption format that is more enjoyable to peruse. This is especially true when digesting content on a mobile phone.
- It’s easier to post personal content from your phone on FB, Instagram, etc. Writing a blog post on WordPress from your phone sucks.
Let’s face it, social media has made sharing our lives a much easier, tastier task than blogs ever were. Personal blogs are vinyl, social media is MP3s.
There are over 150 million blogs in existence currently (not including Tumblr, which is sort of a blog/social channel hybrid). I wonder how many are still actively posted to? I wonder if one day we’ll look back on all our old blogs like faded photo albums stored in our attic. Will we look back at them and smile? Be embarrassed? Will our grand kids look at them when we’re long gone? The personal blog is truly the first form of social media that has passed into the great blue yonder. Perhaps they give us a glimpse of how we’ll handle and perceive the outdated parts of our digital footprint in years to come.