Blogs were, around 1996-1999 or so, a rarity because they were mostly personal avatars. I credit Jorn Barger for having taken the blog in a new direction. Robot Wisdom is every part of the news media fused together: news stories, human interest, science and society with an eye for stuff outside the Britney and flag waving that characterizes CNN.com, for example.
Now, blogs are commonplace, with just about every business having one. I encourage this among my clients. There's no easier way to post information than the short, informal, quasi-journalistic blurbs of a blog.
However, now that there are so many blogs, the aggregators like Slashdot, Digg and social networks are what rule because there are very few blogs with all the information one wants in one place. It used to be that you read four newspapers and distilled the results in conversation; now you read 12 blogs through your RSS aggregator.
How the blogosphere will adapt is going to be interesting. I think that, much as Twitter functions as an aggregator, more blogs will start to exist as link posts where a dozen or more sources are summarized daily with minimal comment. Maybe Twitter and blogging will fuse as the ultimate short information blurb -- a half-paragraph plus link. Whatever the case, it's a change in blogging brought about by the success of blogging itself.
This morning on the Blog Herald, Jason Kaneshiro, brought up this very topic. When people post an article on a blog these days, the conversations are occurring offsite. The blog link could be submitted to Digg, Mixx, and/or FriendFeed, and conversations may occur around the topic on those sites instead. The original blog post, meanwhile, has 0 comments. Jason asks: "Does this bother you as a blogger? How about as a user?"
I don't see the problem in this. It's a natural progression, but it irritates bloggers. Just like newspapers were yesterday's big media, today's big media are the massively popular blogs. Adapt or die, I guess, although if we all end up on Twitter I may become ill.