A friend recently announced that her online presence would shift from her blog to Facebook. That got me thinking. Could it be that the plethora of social networking tools and self-publishing options might actually increase rather than decrease the quality of the blogosphere? All along, I’ve assumed and observed that with so many ways for people to write about themselves, and the insatiable need for 15 minutes of fame, so many blog entries would be about life’s minutiae, of interest only to those close to the poster, if that. But consider this: Facebook is well-suited for keeping lightly in touch with others since it encourages frequent, short updates and it is a place where everyone can post. I, for one, put minor life updates there, and am certainly blogging more meatier posts here (when I have time to post). Or consider Google Reader: first I used to email interesting links to friends, then I used to post them on my blog, but now I just share them on Reader; the result, once again, is that my blog now consists more of my own content.
Thus, if people buy into the ease of these tools and migrate their minor updates and shared links to social networking-enabled sites like Facebook and Reader, there will be fewer blog posts that are self-centered or only contain links to other information. Only the more interesting, content-containing blogs will persist. That’s one theory, anyway.
I think a metaphor with transportation is apt here: like the automobile, blogs were all the rage at first and everyone aspired to have one. Now, as we become more conscious about money, exercise, and the environment/time, community, and ease-of-use, some people, at least, are migrating to public transportation/social networking sites.
Of course, for all I know, the interesting people who have interesting lives, like my friend, might be the ones migrating, and the people who blather on and on might choose to take up residence both in Facebook and the blogosphere. Luckily, I don’t have to read them.