Was reading an interview with Salon cofounder Scott Rosenberg and he has this to say (among other thing of course, duh) about blogs:
There’s still growth in people going online, so there will continue to be new bloggers all over the world. But in terms of media excitement, it certainly has peaked.
There have always been two types of blog posts: brief incidental blurts—really short one-line things, quick links—and more substantial statements. Twitter has taken that brief, blurting blogging and put it to rest. That pushes blogs toward a tradition of real writing.
Which reminded me a of quotation from the author T. Scott Fitzgerald:
You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.
Most of the tweets on Twitter will perhaps fall into the former category. Blogs do too, but the sheer simplicity and anytime-anywhere nature of a tweet makes it more conducive for the former. The sheer speed with which you can blurt out whatever is in your mind and the instant response it evokes, makes it more appealing than writing a lengthy (supposedly thought through) blog post. So a tweet takes in a very casual tone of voice – people commenting for the heck of it, passing on URLs and re-tweeting mindlessly. I remember seeing an RT about ‘problems on Safari browser’ with a URL attached. When I checked and found no problem I checked with the one who had RT’d and he said, ‘I don’t know, I just passed it on!’.
Cartoon source: Political Cartoons
The recent data on Twitter usage points to interesting patterns. It is dominated by a fee social-media activists while the rest hardly use it. So ‘I am a pioneer’ attitude makes people assume a false sense of ‘power’, hash tagging ‘fail’ to almost everything. It’s the equivalent of waiting outside theaters many moons ago to get into the 6pm show. The guys walking out of the matinee show will purposely mumble ‘bakwas tha‘ (it was S#%&t!) just to niggle or ward you off. I was reading about the Kiruba incident and Cleartrip’s commendable response to it (more on this later) and this was brought to light – people use social media as a form of quick negative rant.
In India, as PC and broadband penetration is still at a nascent stage the potential for new users in the social media sphere is huge. And there is no dearth of opinion and the need for self expression. Going by the likes of programmes like Arattai Arangam (Forum for debate/chat) people will come forth and voice their opinion on any topic under the sun. The catalyst is likely to the local language. Celebrity bloggers and Twitter users could be the other catalyst.
However just as in old media, the popular format will never be ‘views-led’. An Economist article maybe a good, stimulating read but it takes a hell a lot of hard work, just to devote time for it. But a quick scan of the headlines in Bangalore Times is a routine . So blogs could take the Economist route over time. Unless there is a hybrid format that emerges which allows for a deep, considered thought with the speed of an instant response.