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Are Blogs Dead?

Does the word “blog” really mean anything anymore?

As a reference to a kind of publishing (low-overhead, lightweight content management for everyone) and a kind of site (reverse-chronological, personal, informal) the term has perhaps outlived its utility.

When a term encompasses sites from BoingBoing to Borderland, and MetaFilter to Quantum Gravity in the Lab, when it is the place of activities as diverse as collaborative storytelling, educational portfolio building, cultural critique, creative writing, technology insight, and ruminations on food, sex, and discipline in the 15th century

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(to name just a few topics), how is the term useful?

Long Live Bloggers! All the bloggy technology has one important shared purpose: helping people to participate–to have a presence–on the increasingly social web. Bloggers aren’t going

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anywhere–we remain among the most vibrant contributors to the web, but our attention and direction are being split and diverted: we have an increasing capability to capture smaller and smaller bits of our presence and activity in the form of Twitter and Jaiku messages, Facebook status updates, MySpace emotion indicators, social bookmarking/photos/music, collaborative mapping, group storytelling, and streams of attention data from social media sites, and we are doing so.

Is this aggregate creation of a social self the end we’ve been working toward or the end of the blog? Will what we’ve come to think of as blogging come to occupy the same tangential relationship to our web conversations that traditional longer-form media has to our conversation at coffeeshops and water-coolers?

Is the ability to represent ourselves in so many ways causing a convergence and integration of our “real” and “virtual” lives or a paradoxical divergence of the same?

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