The tech blogosphere has peaked. Definitively. It's reached it's nadir and I'm afraid it's nothing but downhill from here, baby.
You might have noticed that Gabe launched his memeorandum engine into another vertical yesterday – baseball. The reality is, he had to. Since Christmas, tech.memeorandum has been trending downwards. It hasn't been a plummet or anything, but there's a very definite gradual decline there. In March, that decline got a little bit steeper and a little more consistent. And it wasn't just memeorandum, Tailrank pretty much mimicked the traffic flow as well.
Now maybe it's the memetracker category hitting a flat spot. But I think tech.memeorandum in particular has been the barometer for the tech blogging community for a long time now, so it's now an unreasonable suggestion to declare that what's good, or should we say not so good, for the gander or also bad news for the goose.
I hardly blogged over the last couple of days. Fact is, I rely on memeorandum to keep me up to date with what's hot in the blogosphere. Unashamedly, memeorandum is my muse. This week, memeorandum has been my valium.
I think it was last Friday, when I started to notice the rot. The top memeorandum post was about Yahoo! and China (blah, heard it all before) followed the next day by the Scoble vs Amazon CTO dust-up (blogosphere = geek celebrity tabloid). Next up we had the joy that was April Fool's day where those self-indulgent rib ticklers just seemed to go on and on and on. That was displaced by the New York Time's "radical" front page redesign where, wait for, they've discovered RSS and today I'm staring at some story about nasty ads that have GM's nickers in a knot (ok, this one is a little bit interesting).
All in all, dross. Where's the disruption? What happened to the revolution?
Here's a question: When was the last time you found a really, great new voice. Who's the hot new blogger? Late last year/earlier this year, there was a pretty significant influx of new bloggers into the game and personally I think we'll look back and say that was the tech blogosphere's golden age.
About that time, anybody in tech who was ever likely to start a blog did. Let's face it, you need to be a certain type of person to blog. You need to be something of a workaholic because good blogging takes time and anyone who's any good should have a pretty full plate anyhow; you need to be able to string a few sentences together; you need to have a raging ego and you need to have a head for ideas. If you're one of those people, you've almost certainly already started to blog.
Now, there's a pretty fair chance that you've either considered giving up the blog or you're blogging less. Let me as an old Dead Tree 1.0 dinosaur give the Web 2.0 folk a quick editorial lesson.
When I was an editor, two years was always as long as I felt I could give a job. After two years you find yourself recycling the same old stories, writing the same old opinion pieces, producing covers that looked like something else you did last year. I like to live under the delusion that I could find an angle on a flag pole but at that two year mark, I run dry. Actually, I reckon you start to run dry after 12 months but you can probably hang on for another year with selective recycling.
A lot of your more interesting bloggers will be hitting that point now. They'll be writing something thinking 'god, this sounds like that other post I did about…' On top of that, their families might be starting to tire of the old, 'As soon as I've finished this blog post' routine and then there's the kicker – Web 2.0 itself is getting stale.
Turn over to TechCrunch and tell me how many of the new launches are really inspiring or new. Mostly they're tweaks on the same old ideas – social networking, search, photo sharing, news aggregators, etc. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm missing the Web 2.0 ballyhoo!
So begins a slippery slope. The tech blogosphere gets progressively more boring so less people are inspired to blog which begets more ennui and so on. I'm not suggesting for a moment that it's dead or anything, just that it's plateued. Those of us who are still blogging are probably doing it because we've discovered a positive ROI on it and we'll likely keep doing it. However, I don't see where the next rocket is coming from that's going to start a new wave of smart people blogging about tech. Web 3.0 anyone?
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