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Discussion on blogs has significantly dropped over the last couple of years. Going back, you will see people fighting or immensely contributing their knowledge on blogs via comments. There are actually only a few websites/blogs left with a large number of commenters that deserve praise. Most of the comments we see now are either spam or a little thank you note to promote their websites. WHY?
Thinking about it, what has suffered most (or might suffer soon) are opinion blogs because anonymity is not what it used to be.
Image by: Bennett
Today we are enjoying the internet and all of the places you can find information for free, anonymously. Joke! Many agencies around the globe actually collect information for each user connected to the internet, making anonymity much more difficult to achieve. Of course we would understand if it was for our protection, but who will dare browse the internet if everything you do is logged?
In contrast, there is censorship. China has already censored tons of information on their network. Censorship is so tough that it’s been called The Great Firewall of China, see for yourself by clicking the link. Come on, try it before proceeding.
Now imagine that the majority of nations will do the same thing: censoring news websites, entertainment blogs, and anything in the blogosphere that gives an opinion.
Hypothetically, if news and entertainment blogs are to be censored you really can’t say that design, development, and many blogs like 1stwebdesigner will continue to thrive.
Just recently, not over a month ago, a revolution started in Egypt. After several days the internet in Egypt was unplugged. Yes, apparently governments can do that. There has been a lot rumors and chatter online that an “internet kill switch” might take form in the US.
Image by: Valentina Degiorgis
When avid readers and first-time visitors become bloggers too, the market will become over-saturated like what is happening now with WordPress themes. Taking it to the extremes there will be too many blogs covering the same topic, even those who have credibility and history within their community will be affected too.
How, you ask? It is not a secret, every blogger knows that over the years discussion in blogs has decreased. I bet only 5% of the people who read this will comment. Wherever you go, even the most successful blogs sure have lost a lot of discussions. Where have they gone? Facebook and Twitter for the most part because they are easy to use and require no setup.
Gone are the days when 90% of people connected to the internet actually bookmark their favorite blogs and visit them before Facebook or Twitter. As you are reading this Facebook is extending its reach, trying to conquer the whole web community. Of course social media can be beneficial to blogs as articles are easily circulated throughout the globe using Facebook, Twitter, and other bookmarking sites.
Image by: Aaron Beall
Nowadays it is hard to be unique because of thousands of bloggers we are in competition with. But what’s harder is researching. Go to Google and do a quick search on almost any topic. Where does it lead you? To another blog, and from where did that blog get its information? The thing here is that the internet is filled with misinformed blog posts and the remaining people who follow these blogs rarely do research to back up the claim. It is very rare to find unique articles, not that it is hard to come up with a unique article, but it is hard to deviate from the trend (you know, SEO purposes).
The secret to coming up with a unique idea for a blog post lies in a person’s experience. Every experience is unique, and when a person writes from experience people who re-write articles will find it very difficult to restructure, making it less appealing.
When a friend learned that I write for 1stwebdesigner, after looking at the website, he asked “what happens when you run out of things to write?” What was my answer? The first person who can correctly guess wins glory and prestige. *laughs*
Now, this might seem absurd, but having too much content available on the internet also contributed to the problem. There is too much to read and learn and we only have 24 hours in a day, and a fourth (or third) of it is spent unconscious. Too much content means people need to bounce from one place to another. Oftentimes, people are already writing down their comment but an evil wind blows and the thought “ah, never mind” comes in. This happens to me too.
With the fast changing world and massive out pour of articles no one can really visit them all and comment. Sadly, most of the available information right now is taken for granted. I know tons of blogs that have real great content but are eclipsed by blogs that have the budget to market themselves.
To compare, it’s like entering The Great Library of Alexandria and being able to read only one or two scrolls. You are limited to just two scrolls, those are the only objects that you can think of and comment on. “Wow, this is totally way ahead of our time. Hypatia really was right when she backed up Ptolemy’s claims!” Now that’s some trivia for you. But wait! What about the other thousand scrolls?
Then again, people might just be too lazy to discuss things. Or let us face the fact that there are actually less teenagers who are engaged in reading nowadays.
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Rean is the editor of 1stwebdesigner. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development. Rean also writes at Knowledge Salad, a blog filled with weird and interesting facts. One of his goals is to help his fellow Filipinos earn money online, to help them build a career out of working from home, just like what he has been doing for years now.