A new study has found that young people are losing interest in long-form blogging, as their communication habits have become increasingly brief, and mobile. Tech experts say that it doesn't mean blogging is going away. Rather, it's gone the way of the telephone and e-mail — still useful, just not happening anymore.
“Remember when You've got mail! used to produce a moment of enthusiasm and not dread?” asked Danah Boyd, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Now when it comes to blogs, she says, “people focus on using them for what they’re good for and turning to other channels for more exciting things.”
Those channels might include anything from social networking sites to others that feature games or video. The study, released on Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, found that 14 per cent of Internet youths, aged 12 to 17, now say they blog, compared with just over a quarter who did so in 2006. And only about half in that age group say they comment on friends’ blogs, down from three-quarters who did so four years ago. Pew found a similar drop in blogging among 18- to 29-year-olds. Overall, Pew estimates that roughly one in 10 online adults maintain a blog — a number that has remained consistent since 2005, when blogs became a more mainstream activity. In the US, that would mean there are more than 30 million adults who blog.
Pew’s over-18 data, collected in the last half of last year, were based on interviews with 2,253 adults and have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 per centage points. The under-18 data came from phone interviews with 800, aged between 12- to 17-year-olds and their parents.
So why are young people less interested in blogging? The explosion of social networking is one obvious answer. The Pew survey found that nearly three-quarters of 12- to 17-year-olds who have access to the Internet use social networking sites, such as Facebook.