Is social media killing off the blogosphere?

The continual evolution of social media is making the blogosphere a less attractive prospect for young people, according to the New York Times.

Research by the Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center “found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half,” says the newspaper. “Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.”

Feeling marooned by the diminishing importance of the blog, young people in particular are realising that sites such as Facebook offer equal, if not better opportunities for creativity and, more crucially, exposure.

The paper says that blogs are no longer useful for showcasing young people’s work, and older erstwhile bloggers are uninspired by a lack of readers.

However, the study concluded that blogging is shifting with the times and “morphing onto other platforms”.

While the Google-owned Blogger network failed to grow in the US last year, unique users were only down by two per cent, to 58.6 million. Worldwide, the network swelled by nine per cent, to 323 million.

Another blogging service, LiveJournal, has worked to emphasise online communities in an attempt to circumvent the “lonely occupation of writing out into the abyss”, it says.

And some networks such as Tumblr and WordPress have avoided decline. “Serious bloggers” use WordPress, according to its owner, Automattic.

Older bloggers are sticking with the practice. Its popularity grew with 34 to 45 year-old people by six percentage points in 2010, compared to two years earlier, according to the Pew survey. It was up five percentage points with people aged from 46 to 55, and two percentage points with people aged 65 to 73.

In any case, many bloggers are harnessing the power of Twitter and Facebook to promote their blogs from the harder-to-reach expanses of the web.

(Source: New York Times)

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