There has been a lot of scuttlebutt in the blogosphere * over the past year that BLOGGING IS DEAD. In fact if you Google the words “blogging is dead” you will find over 60 pages filled (ironically) with blog posts using the exact same, hyperbolic, attention grabbing, headline I chose for this post.
*Disclosure: I don’t actually know what (or where?) the blogosphere really is. I just thought it would be fun to use the words scuttlebutt and blogosphere in the same sentence.
So, is this true? Is blogging really dead? Cause if so, well that kind of sucks, man! I mean I just started this damn blog a year ago and now I find out that the whole industry is dead. Double Turds!!!!
Sadly, for me and my stupid blog filled with words, the data seems to back up this apocalyptic prognostication. Today’s blogger is no longer writing long form blogs in WordPress (or god forbid Typepad or Blogspot). Instead, they’re using blog-lite websites like Tumblr to share interesting photos with snarky captions. In fact, Mashable recently posted that by the end of 2012 the word Tumblr will actually overtake the word blog in Google searches.
The reason Tumblr is spanking long-form blogs is pretty simple. Tumblr = pictures. Blogs = words. Pictures > Words. :. Tumblr Wins. End of Story.
I just have to look at my own blog analytics on Startups and Burritos to see that this is true. For example. The longest post I’ve written (Why Weird is Good) is 1241 words. It got a whopping 102 views. The shortest post I’ve written (Best Job Interview Follow Up Ever) is 56 words but includes a funny video. It had over 3261 views. The post with the video did 32 times better. Was the content really 32 times better? Perhaps it was, but more likely the reason the video post did so much better is because people simply prefer to consume information through video rather than long, boring prose.
Okay, so if blogs are in fact dying, what does this actually mean?
Truthfully, the growing distaste for written blogs is merely a symptom of a bigger trend. As we become ever more addicted to the constant fire hose of information that is social media, most people (myself included) sadly don’t have the attention span anymore to read anything that requires more than 20 seconds of brain power. In other words, the death of blogs is probably just the canary in the coal mine.
Instead of words, we want pictures. Lots of them.
MORE PICTURES. LESS WORDS. This is the trend –> Instagram: $1 Billion exit // Encyclopedia Britannica: out of print
Take for example, these two e-commerce sites, Sears and FAB.com. Which one do you think will still be around in 20 years. I’ll give you a hint. It doesn’t rhyme with beers.
So here’s my takeaway to my fellow Startuppers:
Your content needs to be visual or it will perish!!!
This trend isn’t just with blogs. It’s your website, your mobile app, your emails, your monthly newsletters, your everything. Visual is the way of the web in 2012 and I don’t think we’ll see a reversal anytime soon. The trend towards a more visual web has been upon us for years, and the growth of mobile devices, whose small screen sizes mandate we use even fewer words, will only accelerate the visual web’s dominance. if you’re is not moving towards a more visual content delivery system, you’re dead in the water.
* Holy mackerel! This non-visual blog post is whopping 564words. And yes, in case you were wondering, it would probably generate a lot more more traffic if I simply replaced 560 of these words with an awesome animated GIF of keyboard cat.