Did I show up for the party too late? I am hearing that country song in my head, “Turn out the lights, the party’s overrrrrr…” I just started my blog recently and since then I have seen some comments that the blogosphere may be imploding, exploding, or otherwise meeting its demise. I got worried when I heard this opinion being voiced by someone I admire, Dr. Carol Simpson. In a recent LM_NET posting, she stated (and I did get permission to quote): “Frankly, blogs are going to go the way of newsgroups, to which they are related. Newsgroups died because email software got better at filtering and organizing.” Her assessment is based on the facts that blogs are difficult to search. Tagging is supposed to be the solution to this, but so far it has not lived up to the promise, or so say blog critics. Further, a blog is something you have to GO TO, and many ask who has time for that, even with RSS?
I went looking for people who agree with Dr. Simpson and find them I did, as Yoda would say. Many are from the business world and, efficient types that such folks are, they also bemoan the difficulty of searching. Consulting the SHSU periodical databases turned up several articles promoting this view.
BUT THEN, I read a quote from someone else I admire, David Warlick! He is quoted in Steve Hargadon’s blog as saying, “He (Warlick) is still the most excited about blogging of all the technologies, because it is all about "conversation." Teachers keep telling him how excited students get about writing. Assignments stop being "assignments," but become engaged conversations. And it's so simple--get to the conversation quickly without a lot of preparation.”
Can they both be right? Maybe so. I think that in the blog world, there is a lot of chaff and much less wheat. Those people who have important or enjoyable sites will survive. So will some of the sites with limited appeal, that are directed at small audiences, like reading club blogs, family blogs, student blogs for various content discussions, etc. I know that, speaking for myself, I am willing to go to certain blogs, and I am not so much going for a specific topic as I am going to hear what that person has to say, period. For example, I will go to Doug Johnson’s blog without knowing what his current topic may be, just because I am interested in his take on just about anything. The same is true for Teri Lesesne’s blog, and others.
Where does that leave me? The jury is absolutely out on that question. I held off starting a blog until I thought I had some definite ideas and time to make entries at least twice a week. I see my blog as a way to explore in more detail topics of interest from listservs or from my own columns. I know LM_NET sometimes seems to need a place to spill over to when a topic gets a lot of discussion, and tell myself I might be able to assist with that. Right now I am enjoying the experience so will continue as long as I feel it is worth the time and effort. Wonder what everybody else thinks?