I started this blog about three years ago as a study in new media before I came to the conclusion that we are in a post-literate stage. Digital literacy has been an interesting ride and media - new and old - is a personal passion, however, I wonder: are blogs relevant? Is it time to pull the plug on blogging? I think it might be.
Do moms twitter? Empty nest moms? My kids, now in their 20s (who don't Twitter) think it is not a relevant idea for me to be on facebook. Blogging is something I've studied since 2004, through moves from Atlanta to Manhattan and now to Santa Fe. Hanging onto and hanging out in new media arenas was a constant while my real life fluctuated.
Wired had an article, on blog relevance: "Twitter — which limits each text-only post to 140 characters — is to 2008 what the blogosphere was to 2004. Social multimedia sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook have since made publishing pics and video as easy as typing text. Easier, if you consider the time most bloggers spend fretting over their words. The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter."
How to get into Twitter? I found this. But I think that twittering is irrelevant in many ways.
Media Theorist Marshal McLuhan predicted the death of books and libraries 30 years ago due to two factors - the new electronic world that brought mass media and the growing trend towards reduced literacy that went hand in hand with the electronic age. It didn't happen then but it is now. In our post-literate world, ideas are inaccessible and we need for constant stimulus. I think of the icons and image-heavy environment we live in. How will we share meaning, art, culture and the passion of living?
Figures on textual literacy are alarming. Twenty percent of Americans holding high school diplomas cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation's population is illiterate or barely literate and their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year and the textually literate choose to immerse in an image-based existence.
Anyway... not sure to love it or leave it... It is only a mutable icon of myself. Nicholas Carr wrote about the changed blogosphere and the angst among the blogging set as blogging has entered the mainstream and has become commercial. He highlights this: As blogs have become mainstream, they've lost much of their original personality. "Scroll down Technorati's list of the top 100 blogs and you'll find personal sites have been shoved aside by professional ones...It's no surprise, then, that the vast majority of blogs have been abandoned. Technorati has identified 133 million blogs since it started indexing them in 2002. But at least 94 percent of them have gone dormant, the company reports in its most recent "state of the blogosphere" study. Only 7.4 million are still active."
I have real concerns about our changing digital selves, our literacy, our capacity to work with ideas deeply and the move away from our deep-rooted text-based culture.