A recent article in the New York Times, highlights an interesting shift in how people are sharing online. Self-published blogs, once a primary means for sharing personal stories, opinions, and, well, anything that strikes one’s fancy, appear to be on the wane, at least among young people. According to a survey from the Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center, from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs, down from 28 percent. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.
While it’s impossible to say for certain why fewer young people report blogging, it might have something to do with platforms like Facebook and others that successfully integrate many of the features of blogging tools into their services – status updates, comments, etc. – leaving little reason for some to continue blogging. With social networks as platforms for blogs, creators have a built in audience among their connections that may not have existed before. Or perhaps defining just what constitutes a blog is more difficult now. Tumblr, for example, bills itself as a blog platform, yet many users don’t consider it to be so, believing blogging requires more effort than what is required for posting images and short pieces of text.
Still, while blogging has declined among young people, it remains steady among adults.