Some weeks back, the Inestimable Borepatch wrote a short entry on Supply Chains, saying that he actually had a longer one in mind with far more detail and root cause analysis, but he was thinking better of spending the time because one never knows how many will read it, mentioning of course the by-now well known call for many that blogging is a dying communication tool.
In one sense that is hard to argue, of course. The Graveyard of Lost Blogs to the right is a small indicator, but going out and looking at any blog roll will find a set of blogs that extend into the sunset: 1 year, 2 years, 4 years ago, the last entry will read. Sometimes the author lists what has happened, other times there is just a hard stop with no explanation. The market is certainly not with blogs anymore; bite size snippets that manifest themselves as social media or article postings on sites with endless commentary rule the day.
At one time - perhaps still - video blogs were going to replace the typed electronic word; this was the promised land. In some ways I think it may be - but it has begun to manifest the same issues as blogs: 10 minute vblog entries will lose out to 30 second Tick-Tock videos of jumping dogs and stupid people tricks. And for some - at least me - videos do not replace the written or typed word. The word I can go back and ponder or think on relatively easily; videos I have to try to run back to the point in time for the thing I want to review.
Of course, I get why in some ways both sets - bloggers and vbloggers - give up. For 99.9% of us, we earn precisely nothing doing this. We spending hours of our days - be it daily, weekly, or monthly - creating entries for an unknown public. A few of us - the clever ones - use it as a platform to help market their own products (as they should, and we should buy more from them - we too often shout "small business" but never put our money where our mouth is); the rest of us seem to draw some sort of odd pleasure from the posting of our writing for the world to see or the rough and tumble of posting something and then getting smashed for it.
But I would argue that blogging still matters.
I cannot answer for the complete political, social, and economic spectrum, but from my point of view and the point of view of the blogs I follow, I cannot get a better or more varied view on things than the home grown blog. Corporate blogs are, well corporate: they inevitably are trying to sell me something or promote a point of view (often without discourse); blogging is the actual inheritor of the concept of the Agora or the Marketplace, where ideas are brought forward and discussed (maybe not always politely, but there are ways of dealing with that as well). Some of the best, most original thinking on things like political issues, social issues, conservation issues, and just "issues" happens out here on the fringe of InterWeb, where we are not illegal (yet) but maintain a precarious existence by paying for our lives in other ways and writing.
I do not know if Borepatch will post his thoughts on Supply Chains eventually (I hope he does; he is fun to read), but I do hope that he - and indeed all of us - continue to find the time and energy to blog. In some meaningful ways, blogs represent the sort of original and thought-provoking content that can actually change a mind - or change the world.