You probably missed this little dust-up while you were still recovering from your holiday revelry. Jeremiah Owyang wrote a post – a very insightful post IMO – about the change happening in tech blogging. (If you already read all of this yesterday you can move along.) Of course @jowyang used the ever popular tactic of declaring something “over” this tactic is second only to proclaiming something “dead,” which Jeremiah, thankfully did not do.
[Update] Jeremiah has a follow on post today going into more detail: A Taxonomy of Tech Bloggers –Who Will Lead Beyond The Golden Age?
There are several key takeaways from Jeremiah’s post:
- Trend 1: Corporate acquisitions stymie innovation
- Trend 2: Tech blogs are experiencing major talent turnover
- Trend 3: The audience needs have changed, they want: faster, smaller, and social
- Trend 4: As space matures, business models solidify –giving room for new disruptors
Basically what Jeremiah describes is the same thing that’s happened for the last 7+ years. But I especially think his comment about shorter content is important. I also think we’re seeing a backlash to this with @Nero’s new long form project, among others.
Of course the best part about posts like this are the comments and commentary. And there are some really good comments on the post. But there are equally good commentary around the Web (which is dead according to Wired). Interestingly but not surprising almost all of the commentary (made by tech bloggers) miss Jeremiah’s point and disagree with him, but really just backup what he was saying – that tech blogging is changing.
Since it’s been a while since I’ve done a 10 Links post, I thought I would do one now for those of you just getting back from holiday break but follow the echo chamber that is tech blogging.
One of the more interesting bits of rebuttal has to come from Jeremiah’s colleague, fellow Altimeterite, author and king of self promotion, Brian Solis.
I believe the next Golden Age lies in syndicated context (yes it’s a play on words) and like a multidimensional chess board, we will compete for attention on several different fronts (playing their game, their way) while expanding reach in the process. There’s tremendous value in trusted content. The secret lies not in character count, but in perspective…seeing what others can’t and doing what others won’t. Just don’t lose sight of who you are and why you’re here. You’re part of the reason we’re here in the first place.
The post that seemed to get the most attention and probably escalated Jeremiah’s post from interesting to controversial, was Sarah Lacy. It should be noted that Sarah, an author and former part time writer at TechCrunch, left to start her own venture. Most think it’s going to be a new style of tech blog backed by her former boss, Mike Arrington. So she obviously has an opinion on the matter and if that’s all true probably gives something away about what approach she’s thinking about.
- - Reader blogs
- - (New) UI
- -It’s definitely not all about short, commodity news
- - Business models
- - Less about a Single Star; More about the Platform
- - Not for Sale
@Marshallk, one of my favorite bloggers was one of the data points in Jeremiah’s post, having just left Read/WriteWeb as their Editor in Chief, going to a part time basis while he builds out his new data startup, PlexusEngine. Marshall names three things that would make tech blogging better:
- Outbound Links
- Research, Including on Company Founders
- Platform Implications
Cartoonist and blogger, Hugh McLeod jumps into the fray, bringing up the same points he’s made before the last time someone declared blogging dead.
But two new points he makes, which I really like are 5 & 7:
5. Traffic is now harder to get than ever, but I’m OK with that. The kind of effort it takes me to get a noticeable and sustainable increase in blog traffic, ballpark, is about the same amount of time and effort it takes me to get a book deal and write the first draft. Guess which option I chose? Exactly…
7. It’s the product, Stupid. My social media strategy these days has only three words:“Draw more cartoons”. In other words, create more real work, ACTUAL PRODUCT (in my case, cartoons) and the social media will fall into place, but only AFTER I’ve done the thing that actually pays the bills. Getting all obsessed with social media BEFORE you’ve created something of real, lasting value is putting the cart before the horse. But that’s an easy mistake to make online, I’m as guilty of that as anyone. Never again.
Frederic Lardinoid (@fredericl) formerly of @RWW now founder of SiliconFilter obviously disagrees with Jeremiah, especially since he just got started at the game himself. His whole post goes through and point by point refutes Jeremiah’s claim.
We’re just Getting Started
Basically then, I don’t agree that any of Owyang’s points demonstrate that the “Golden Age” of tech blogging is over. I do agree that we are at a turning point, though, but for very different reasons. I think the slow decline of ReadWriteWeb over the last year and a half, the high turnover at TechCrunch and a general sense of instability in the tech blogging world and the rising importance of the aggregators is opening up the door for disruptors large and small.
@markevans piles on that he doesn’t agree with Jeremiah by making the same points Jeremiah does, that change is constant and there will be a next “Golden Age.”
7 - this
Patricia Handschiegel, CEO of stealth startup 9 basically agree with Jeremiah but has my favorite line about the change we’re seeing:
It is industrial revolution-invention-of-the-steam-engine-level kind of moment.
@BobWarfield who doesn’t seem to really like Jeremiah that much, also didn’t agree with him.
I met with Owyang to pitch him on a company once. He’s definitely from the Scoble ADD crowd. He barely had time to hear what we were talking about or to ask questions he was so busy with Twitter during the meeting.
9 - Don’t Worry About the Golden Age of Tech Blogging and Focus on the Future of Blogging | Black Web 2.0
@waynesutton probably had the best advice over on the Black Web 2.0 blog
10 – These tweets seem more appropriate than another link:
- The golden age of journalists noticing new blogs is over (boingboing.net)
- Remembering Scobleizer’s First Tsunami (insideview.ie)
- Dead Media Beat: tech blogs (wired.com)
- How to Kill a Blog (newcommbiz.com)
- Sometimes, It’s The Smaller Events That Matter (newcommbiz.com)
- Tech Firm Implements Employee ‘Zero Email’ Policy (wall-notes.com)