My posts here have become infrequent, to say the least. After a record-low number of posts this academic year, I’m thinking about pulling the plug on this blog, which has been in existence since 2005. But is blogging still relevant? Google recently terminated Google Reader, the RSS aggregator that fed my blog (and many others). In the heyday of blogging and RSS (2005 or 2006), blogging meant reading, commenting, and linking to other blogs, using RSS to find interesting feeds. The success and explosive growth of Facebook and the iPhone pretty much spelled the end of this kind of particular way of reading/writing.
For its part, Facebook has has essentially fenced in the web, sucking in a huge proportion of web traffic. I suspect many people never leave Facebook, or if they do, they only follow links that are posted in their news feed or, more rarely, appear in the tailored sidebar ads.
Smartphones, too, have contributed to the death of blogging. More and more users access the web with these devices instead of laptops, and as they do so, they are constrained to communicate with short texts or tweets rather than longer blog posts. Instead of RSS readers that grab free syndicated content (though there are a few out there still), apps monetize content via subscription.
So, does the lowly personal blog live on, or is it time to abandon what was once the vehicle of the 2.0 web revolution?