The Blogging Fad

Recently I pondered the future of blogging with a series of random questions. I wondered at first if blogs were merely cyber fads but by the time I finished writing the post I had drawn conclusions that blogs will be around for a long time.

Recently in the Jordan Times, Jean-Claude Elias wrote an article on blogs entitled: “How long will the fad last?”. In my opinion the title doesn’t accurately describe the content of the article as I was expecting the writer to approach the question the way I did, an attempt to predict or at the very least wonder, what blogging will look like years from now. Instead, 80% of the article is a description of what a blogs are, its historical timeline and what they discuss (not mentioned: the ability for a blogger to critique an article on blogging)

There seemed to be no actual opinion about blogging other than an implication that blogs are just another aspect of the Internet that enable people to waste more time (reading). There seemed to be no actual prediction of where blogging was going or whether it was just a “fad” other than wondering: “How long before blogs are as polluted with profit-oriented bloggers as our e-mailboxes are filled with spam messages?”

In short, I was kind of surprised to read an article that posed an important question in its title but made no attempt to answer it or even grapple with its elements. Although I do wish there was some truth to the statement made in the first sentence. Here’s the complete article (since Jordan Times still does not have a working archive)

Not having your own blog these days is (almost) like not having a mobile phone. A few years ago, everyone wanted to have a website, just because it was hi-tech fashion. The world population of Internet users has somehow matured since, and only those who have a good reason, plus the means to design, publish and before all maintain a website, dare have one.

If website-at-any-cost isnâ??t a craze anymore, it has been widely replaced by another trend â?? blogs. The word is a contraction of web and log. The simplest definition would be an electronic, web-based diary, more or less personal, displayed on the screen starting with the most recent entries and, of course, posted out there for the whole world to see.

The very first blogs appeared as early as 1994, but werenâ??t really noticed by the vast majority of internauts. It is only in about 1997 that the concept really took off, precisely when users realised that a website was too difficult to design and update, and often pointless for home users. By 2004, blogs had become such a phenomenon that the term was chosen as word of the year by the Merriam-Websterâ??s dictionary.

A blog consists mainly of text, although graphics and video can also be included to illustrate it. The design, however, is far simpler than that of a website, making blogs much easier, cheaper and faster to create and update.

Subjects are as varied as the net itself: personal diaries, sport topics, politics, religion, art, science, and so on. Contrary to a forum that calls for discussions and entries from groups, a blog is limited to what its creator puts in. It is precisely this limitation and therefore this simplicity that gives blogs their unique appeal and strength.

Teenagers have their blog and politicians have recently joined the trend and use this simple yet powerful tool to communicate with their voters and promote their position and ideas. Those who are wondering who could be interested in reading personal blogs do not know how attractive the net is.

Initially blogs were non-profit ventures. Now commercial entities are trying to tap into this gigantic resource and pump money out of it. How long before blogs are as polluted with profit-oriented bloggers as our e-mailboxes are filled with spam messages?

Abuse does not come in the shape of money only, but also in unfair power struggle. Some companies, for instance, have fired employees who maintained personal blogs aimed at criticising the boss or employer.

Blogs are adding a complete dimension to the web, as if there werenâ??t already enough of them. This means we can now spend even more time online!

I was chatting with a prominent Jordanian businessman I recently met and asked him if he had read the news about Alonsoâ??s last victory in the Formula One World Championship. His reply was laconic: â??If I watched or read the news every day, I wouldnâ??t find the time to work at all.â?

I wonder what he would have replied if I had asked him: â??Do you read blogs?â?

Jean-Claude Elias
Friday-Saturday, October 20-21, 2006

1 Comment

  • Just from the title â??How long will the fad last?â? u should not expect a very impressive article. Its like calling the Internet itself a fad. With such a title it is difficult to take the article very seriously. But I read it anyway since I’m not a Prominent Jordanian Businessperson so I presumably have all day to waste online, all I can say is that Mr Elias is no sociologist or anything near that.

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