Ramshankar
on systems, software & life

So what if blogging is dead?

The popularity of personal blogs have declined steeply over the last decade. With the rise of social media like YouTube and Twitter, it’s not surprising that a lot of people prefer videos and short snippets of text over long-form articles.

On the other hand, there’s a resurgence of personal blogs, thanks to Medium and GitHub Pages. They are not as popular as mainstream social media but fairly well known in the tech community.

There are pros and cons to both social media and traditional blogs. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. They are merely two forms of communication which fulfill a different set of needs. There’s plenty of space for both to exist.

Those who still blog regularly are seasoned bloggers with years, if not decades, of experience. They also tend to have additional avenues of income such as books and podcasts.

Despite blogs being out of fashion for what seems an eternity, I started this blog recently. When I told my family and friends that I’m creating a new blog, some of them were perplexed with this idea; perhaps rightfully so. They assumed I was looking to earn money through a website. It’s a reasonable assumption and naturally they suggested I start a YouTube channel instead.

If you’re starting a blog, you need to honestly answer the question — Why am I blogging?

Whether blogging is dead or how it affects you, depends solely on your answer to this question. The same goes for starting a YouTube channel or Facebook page.

There is value in doing things that most people are not doing. However, I believe one’s intent to do something different must not be for the sole reason of being different. If you wholeheartedly believe what you’re doing is meaningful and can afford to do it, then whether it’s different to what everyone else is doing is irrelevant.

This isn’t an idealistic suggestion to “pursue your passion” or “do what you love doing”. It’s a more pragmatic suggestion.

People blog for a variety of reasons. If the purpose of your blog is to earn money and readership, then you must adapt in order to compete and stay relevant. It might very well be the case that blogging has died and making money using a YouTube channel is easier and more practical. If that’s the case, being open-minded and embracing the latest trends are crucial for survival. I realize that writing and creating videos demand a different set of skills, but people are far more capable than our general notions of human adaptability.

I’m fortunate enough that I can blog as a hobby. I blog for my personal satisfaction and thankfully money isn’t a priority or a concern thus far. Whether blogging is dead is therefore irrelevant as far as I’m concerned.

I blog because I can and because I enjoy it. In the future, if I can’t blog or no longer enjoy blogging; I’ll stop.