Is blogging changing?

Awhile back, Virginia asked "Is blogging changing" on her blog: Connecting 2 the World. Her many insights attracted numerous comments which all gave me much to ponder. Harold Jarche then followed up on her post last week. This is the first chance I've had to share my thoughts, having been immersed in writing a first draft business plan, completing the series on Pitfalls in planning a new venture and reading the 416 page book: Learning in 3D that I'll be reviewing here on tomorrow.

When I started this blog back in 2006, the blogosphere seemed very conversational to me. The abundance of comments I was leaving for others and receiving here stimulated tons of new learning. That pattern continued throughout 2007 and well into 2008. Then I noticed two changes. More of the traffic to my own blog was reading my archive of previous posts than the most recent ones. Also, the comments left on the blogs I read were less thought provoking. There were fewer opportunities to jump in, to add something helpful or to provoke a different direction for the exploration.

I partially buy into the widely accepted theory that the conversations have moved out of the blogosphere onto Facebook and Twitter. However, the quality of conversations in "micro blogging" platforms do not resemble the glory days of 2007 in those countless blog comment boxes. Rather than a migration to other Web 2.0 tools, I'm seeing a diminishment of thought provoking conversations throughout the panorama of social networking platforms.

I really value what remains in the blogs I read. I'm now asking different questions from "how can I jump in to this conversation?" I read blogs with questions in mind like:
  • What are you currently thinking about? 
  • What have you recently read/watched/heard that got you thinking about that? 
  • How has that changed what you were previously thinking along those lines? 
  • What does that give you to explore further, question deeper or change direction?
I regard this evolution as very favorable and valuable. I now view blogging as transparent thought processes. We share what's on our minds and how that's changing. We make it possible for others to expand and refine their thinking by "thinking in public view". Blogging first seemed like democratized publishing that liberated citizen access to the reading public from the controls of assignment editors in print news media and acquisition editors in book publishing. I think the blogopshere has evolved into platforms for following thought leaders who follow other thought leaders. The network of connections between resourceful writers makes our collective exploratory thought evolve much faster and better.

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