Everything That Rises Must Converge

Blogs are the “in” thing today, with 8 million Americans adults saying they have started blogs

Newspapers, meanwhile, are in decline: only 23 percent of adults under 30 today read newspapers regularly.

To combat their sagging circulation, newspapers are now jumping on the blogging bandwagon.

According to an article in Circulation Management (6/07, p. 14), 75% of the nation’s 50 largest newspapers have a blog, with these blogs averaging 3 posts per week.

Is this a compelling case for convergence — all digital and offline media coming together in an integrated stream of news and information?

Or is it just a last desperate attempt by newspapers to stay relevant in the Internet age?

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24 thoughts on “Everything That Rises Must Converge

  • Newspapers’ readership is in decline, but newspapers remain in many ways a superior display mechanism. So there is hope. The business model has to change. Locating blogs in electronic newspapers doesn’t solve their entire problem, because no-one wants to pay for electronic news content.

    I don’t see evidence of a single stream emerging though, as each media type has its strength, and so far none has died out. TV sits beside internet sits beside books sits beside nespapers and magazines. etcetera.

    Clay Shirky’s observation about why the Internet has changed things is still apt:

    “So forget about blogs and bloggers and blogging and focus on this — the cost and difficulty of publishing absolutely anything, by anyone, into a global medium, just got a whole lot lower. And the effects of that increased pool of potential producers is going to be vast.”

  • Mike: 150,000 new books published every year, and now 120,000 new blogs a day. Talk about information overload! Do you know how many white papers are published annually?

  • What I find interesting is how magazines and newspapers are now printing where their articles are cited in the blogosphere (I just saw a magazine do this — “Last month these blogs cited the following articles . . . “). I like how the WSJ posts content from blogs, too.

    The Boston Globe has a section called “Sidekick” and often posts content from people’s blogs. It’s very interesting and relevant. I don’t have time to go out and find all this info.

    If you listen to talk radio, you’ll note that people can email in their comments versus calling. I find that fascinating, too.

  • It took me a while to “get” the whole blog phenomenon. I originally thought it was a fad. So I’ve been humbled by its continued success. Over time, I’ve adapted and have learned to enjoy them. But here’s the thing: the blogs I read reflect my own personal interests. The blogs my neighbor reads reflect his own personal interests. Is that a good thing or not? When we become the managers of our own content, will we degrade into a purely vapid society where 3/4 of the population restricts its news to the latest comings and goings of Paris Hilton?

    On the other hand, I think we would all agree that corporate conglomerates shouldn’t completely dictate content either. And one could argue that the same thing happens right now with more traditional media. After all, we select the channels we watch and the magazines we purchase. But I think the sheer volume of blogs is what concerns me. Maybe I’m a fuddy duddy but I think there needs to be some centralization b/c I don’t trust our (society’s) collective ability to choose content responsibly (myself included).

  • Bob,
    I think the blogs are not information overload, rather they are from information “underload.” The young people turned away from newspapers because young people are mobile–meaning they are not home. They carry their devices them. Look at the lament over the decline of TV news as well — the days of being home at five or six o’clock to be tuned into the news simply do not exist anymore.

    Plus these content channels are seen as not fresh and relevant (to them). The newspaper content is printed and released the day after news happens – that alone turns off those hungry to stay on top of their world. And as for tv, the news is restricted to three topics 1. the weather. 2. traffic 3. the latest cute kitten or cub in the zoo, bear in a tree story. And, as for trust — how is it that every station has the exact cute kitten story on a loop? Is it any wonder that people have found a better way to stay in touch. With blogs you get fresh uncensored content.

  • Cool oblique Shriekback refrence cicra 1985.

    Blogs are here, because print media has failed the people, failed reality, and abetted a constitutional nightmare in progress.

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