A decade ago, everyone was talking about blogs. Bloggers claimed they were going to make the mainstream media obsolete. The mainstream media dismissed bloggers as losers writing in their mom’s basement in their pajamas — while simultaneously starting their own blogs and hiring some of the best bloggers. Now, the distinction between “blogs” and everything else on the Web has all but disappeared.
Joyner writes primarily about professional bloggers in this piece. That is, those people who made a living writing anyway.
But a decade ago, when blogs were revolutionary, one of the most fascinating things was the sheer number of people who began to blog that were not professional writers, but shared their thoughts on their own areas of expertise.
It was possible for a one man blog, in the early days, to build relatively huge readerships. Of course, literally millions of people also started blogs, the vast majority of which consisted of a “hello world” post, a stream of steady posts for a week, and then tailed off to nothingness.
For technical and personal reasons, we were late to starting a blog, only jumping into the scene in June 2008. By that time, building a large readership was much harder. We’ve been quite successful nonetheless, and still enjoy the endeavor.
Part of the reason the one man operation is no longer terribly successful is the fact that so many professional bloggers abound.
Another reason is the sheer dominance of Facebook and Twitter (both of which we use, both to share our blog, and to find stories). Where one used to start a blogger account, or wordpress.com and then struggle to find readers, no one simply hits Facebook or Twitter, and uses their networking tools to build readership.
Blogs will be with us for the foreseeable future, but the heady days of 2003 where they were revolutionary are long gone.