John Dvorak, often wrong but never in doubt, thinks blogging is so over:
Let's start with abandoned blogs. In a white paper released by Perseus Development Corp., the company reveals details of the blogging phenomenon that indicate its foothold in popular culture may already be slipping (www.perseus.com/blogsurvey). According to the survey of bloggers, over half of them are not updating any more. And more than 25 percent of all new blogs are what the researchers call "one-day wonders." Meanwhile, the abandonment rate appears to be eating into well-established blogs: Over 132,000 blogs are abandoned after a year of constant updating.
Perseus thinks it had a statistical handle on over 4 million blogs, in a universe of perhaps 5 million. Luckily for the blogging community, there is still evidence that the growth rate is faster than the abandonment rate. But growth eventually stops.
The most obvious reason for abandonment is simple boredom. Writing is tiresome. Why anyone would do it voluntarily on a blog mystifies a lot of professional writers. This is compounded by a lack of feedback, positive or otherwise. Perseus thinks that most blogs have an audience of about 12 readers. Leaflets posted on the corkboard at Albertsons attract a larger readership than many blogs. Some people must feel the futility. . . .
I'm reminded of the early days of personal computing, which began as a mini-revolution with all sorts of idealism. Power to the people, dude. IBM was epitomized as the antithesis of this revolution. But when IBM jumped on board in 1981 and co-opted the entire PC scene, it was cheered. Welcome, brother! Apple even took out a semiflippant full-page national newspaper ad welcoming IBM. Actually, the ad reflected Apple's neediness and low self-esteem. IBM represented affirmation about as much as Big Media is affirmation for the hopeless bloggers.
Another so-called revolution bites the dust. Big surprise.
UPDATE: a couple of Dvorak's fellow PC journalists also think he's really wrong about this.