Retro: New Republic on the death of blogs

From Jeet Heer at New Republic in 2016:

At the height of the blogging craze, there were even utopian claims made on its behalf: Blogging would give us (finally) the Republic of Letters that the Enlightenment promised, a world where everyone could be a writer and find an audience—an interconnected network where, in true McLuhanesque fashion, a divided world would become a unified global village. Thanks to blogs,
journalist Trevor Butterworth wrote in the Financial Times in 2006, “power was shifting from the gatekeepers of the traditional media to a more open, fluid information society.”

A funeral for blogging itself feels not far off—or at least a mid-life crisis. Blogs still exist, but they lack the youthful vigor of 2003. “It seems like the new young people aren’t very interested in blogging,” Kelly Conaboy lamented Tuesday at The Hairpin. It’s not so much that blogging is dead, but that it’s splintered beyond recognition. Almost every publication you can think of has blogs, but the impact is very different than the blogs of yore. More.

Reality check: Was it just wishful thinking that blogs are dead? If so, people who gave up blogs for Facebook and Twitter may come to regret their choice. Unless they write for the purpose of airing Mark Zuckerberg’s opinions so he doesn’t have to, or something like that.

See also: Facebook traffic down due to its social activism

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