How Blogging is Eating Itself

ouroboros ringI’ve been reading that blogging is dead. Some of these predictions are just for self promotion, trying to write something that will go viral. However, some of them are based on real perception; watching the trends and having an understanding of the way things work.

The individual publishers of blogging are not dead. Social media gurus, content curators and general blog publishers (notice publishers, not writers) are  still linking to content. So content is still out there. It has been getting harder to find quality content versus content which is carelessly written, very repetitive, unoriginal and usually has nothing to say, like a political speech with a lot of words to fill space but actually say nothing.

The web has become commercial versus creative. Less content (which is both unique and freely given) is being created.

Quality of writing has suffered as people really don’t care what they publish. It isn’t meant to be fit for human consumption and doesn’t really need spelling, grammar, punctuation or comprehension in order to be good for SEO (search engine optimization). Quality of the content itself has also suffered, for years. Writing which has a point of view, writing which actually has something to say rather than regurgitating every other article, post and opinion online has been getting harder to find.

As a writer looking at writing jobs being offered I am seeing a big emphasis on social media and keywords. The quality of the content isn’t high on the list of importance. So the people writing this stuff, don’t need to know how to write –  if they can sell the stuff they write. They sell themselves as content marketers and those are the people who then write for the site.

It isn’t the individual blog but the individual writer which makes the content people want to link to.

The bigger/ popular blogs may have hired writers but even the hired writers are writing the content the publishers want to sell. They are often writing for keywords, better SEO practices and Google (even though Google is a bot, not the reading public).

This is pretty much why people have started claiming blogging is dead. Commercial blogging has caused most blog content to be meaningless, just repetitive drool you could find on a lot of other blogs. Very few blogs still post original, valuable content without turning it into an ebook (or some other format) which they sell rather than distribute freely.

Web publishing can not exist in a vacuum where the creative spark is sucked dry.

The people who do still publish original content are having it scraped/ stolen until they become too discouraged to continue publishing. Some quit, some give in and write the stuff that sells and some continue to write but they stop distributing it freely. Making the content for pay then gives them some control over having it stolen.

Not all content you pay for is worth paying for, of course. The commercial publishers think getting paid for an ebook full of nothing useful is a great idea.  Rewrite the same old stuff, hire writers to bang out something with enough words and you can offer up an ebook. Market it the right way and pull in the sales.

Ironic (and sad) how the Internet is eating itself, like an ouroboros (the snake eating it’s own tail).

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