inessential by Brent Simmons

Gopher dead, blogging lives

Gopher still exists, I think, technically. But it never caught on the way the web did, and it’s safe to say that it’s pretty much dead. WAIS too is an ex-parrot.

But blogging? I hear sometimes that blogging is dead.

No, really. It’s something people say.

I’m reminded of Internet World, Los Angeles, 1997. By the year 2000, said some people’s wisdom, there will be only a half-dozen or so websites. PathFinder and a few others.


Facebook, Twitter, the usual suspects, as always

When people say that blogging lost out to Facebook and Twitter (as they also say about RSS), I think they’re talking about those kind of personal, diary-style weblogs, where you report on your latest cocktail and post pictures of your shoelaces.

I think they’re also talking about the traditional linkblog, where you just post links with a sentence or so of commentary.

If those have moved from blogs to social media, does that mean that blogs are dead?

Those links that appear on Twitter or Facebook rather than on linkblogs — to what are they linking?

We’d have to invent them

New blogging systems like Posterous and Tumblr seem to be pretty popular, and they fill a nice middle ground: short content, easy sharing, social stuff. They’re cool.

But try to imagine replacing Daring Fireball, Scripting News, Apple Outsider, Shawn Blanc, or any of a number of great blogs with something like Twitter. You can’t. You’d have to invent blogs so that these writers have somewhere to write.

If blogs are dead, what are we reading in Instapaper?

If blogs are turning into places for more thoughtful writing, rather than as the only place to share stuff, I think that’s awesome. We have a more diverse, interesting, textured set of web-tools than we used to. That’s good.

Death of an idea

Here’s what’s dead: the idea that everybody should have a blog.

I’m totally cool with that. Makes sense to me. But that’s a long way from meaning that blogs are dead.