The Pew Internet and American Life Project released its latest report today documenting how different generations use the Internet, and most of the findings won’t come as a surprise. Across generations and almost across the board, we’re spending more time engaged in online activities, as watching videos, listening to music, and reading the news, for example, become inceasingly popular. The one notable exception: a decline in blogging among teens, with only half as many blogging today as did in 2006.
Blogging also declined slightly among adults aged 18-33. Its popularity did increase among older generations, and as a result the result for adult blogging overall went up, from 11% in late 2008 to 14% this year. “Yet while the act formally known as blogging seems to have peaked,” reads the report, “Internet users are doing blog-like things in other online spaces as they post updates about their lives, musings about the world, jokes, and links on social networking sites and micro-blogging sites such as Twitter.”
Wired’s Ryan Singel has a great analysis on whether or not we’ve reached “peak blogging.” Singel points out that blogging has long been hard to define, “other than from a simple technical perspective: Any web publication that publishes information easily in reverse chronological order is a blog.” But the “spirit” of blogging, one that encourages everyone to express themselves online, lives on in a variety of other ways – “blog-like things,” as the Pew report describes.
I can’t help but think of Mark Zuckerberg’s introductory remarks at Facebook’s recent messaging announcement, in which he described high-school age students’ response to email: it’s too formal, it’s too slow. Does blogging suffer from the same stigma in their eyes?
Interestingly, Millennials rank “reading blogs” higher than any other age groups. All ages, in fact, ranked reading blogs above blogging. So I guess it’s just incumbent upon some of us to keep writing, if not blogs then “blog-like things.”