Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
Why Twitter’s restrictions won’t usher in a resurgence in blogging
Daniel Jalkut1 tweeted a very interesting response to the news that Twitter has revoked Tumblr’s friend-finding privileges:
All this rage against Twitter will ultimately bolster blogging: the distributed, DNS-backed social network Twitter was allegedly displacing.— Daniel Jalkut (@danielpunkass) August 23, 2012
I would love nothing more than for more people to write on their own domains. I’m fully on board with the “own your data” movement, and I’m obviously a fan of blogging in general. The problem is that Twitter and traditional blogging are at complete opposite ends of what I’ll call the “publishing barrier” spectrum.
The web is a battlefield of dead blogs. So many people start one up with the best of intentions, only to realize that “If you build it, they will come” does not apply at all. Once they figure out that it’s exceptionally hard work to post frequently and build an audience, since nobody wants to read your sh*t, they abandon their efforts.
And where do they go? Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. Tumblr. Where there is no pressure to write coherent paragraphs and then convince people that they should try to remember a URL they can’t pronounce2. The expectations for content on these sites are low, so the barrier to publishing is all but removed. Here’s how I’d plot some different publishing platforms on the spectrum:
We could probably argue about where to put the dots, but the basic point remains the same. The reason we won’t suddenly see a mass resurgence of “distributed, DNS-backed” blogging is that people are lazy, and we’re all looking for the path of least resistance that will make us feel like “content creators”. If Twitter does end up losing its way, we’ll find somewhere else to fill that need. We are, after all, becoming a post-literate society.