The Future of Blogging

If I have posted more items recently, it’s because I am on Christmas Break and am indulging myself. It’s like being retired – retirement being a topic that crosses my mind more often these days, usually thumbing its nose at me as it passes on to more likely targets. But it’s nice to have a long stretch with no particular responsibilities. Of course, I should be prepping for next term, but that can wait until the weekend, when we kick off the New Year.

I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about retirement. Tom Peters notes that the first Baby Boomer will turn 65 at midnight on the 31st. After that, there will be one every eight seconds for the next twenty years. Now, the New Years Boomer won’t retire immediately; most Boomers will wait for full eligibility at age 67, and some might even hang in there until 70 or so — Wall Street’s attempt to destroy the value of their non-social-security savings has seen to that. But the tsunami is coming. Soon, the country will be overrun with old farts with lots of experience, some tech savvy (they are pre-Internet but not pre-PC, and it’s them’s as pushed the computer revolution), and non-ironic copious spare time. What are they going to do with it? My prediction is that many of them will start blogging, and if it’s only one in a hundred or so, that’s roughly one new blog every fifteen minutes.

Of course, there’s a lot of other stuff they could be doing. Computer stuff I mean, not this going-on-cruises and trekking-the-high-Appalachians outdoorsiness. They’ve retired, their kids have left the basement, and there’s no reason they can’t get into the online life. What are their options?

  • Twitter – too short, too immediate. Designed for those who need to communicate short bits of content, and those others, the boring people with actively boring lives who want to bore us with the boring details.
  • Facebook – a lot of time will be spent here, keeping track of their far-flung offspring. But FB doesn’t lend itself to long, thoughtful interaction with the world at large. It’s a personalized Twitter network, with pictures.
  • World Of Warcraft – and its ilk, will soak up a surprising number of hours. The Boomers are the ones who made the transition from board games to computer games. The early Boomers started out with Tactics II, and the peak of that generation was in their middle teens when D&D came out. There are a surprising number of them who still play online.
  • Blogging – WordPress, LiveJournal, all the others. Those of a thoughtful turn of mind will be welcoming this opportunity to at last sit down and put finger to keyboard, writing on the events of the next twenty years from the perspective of someone who came of age in the 70’s, believed in the future of the 90’s, and saw it all betrayed in the naughts.
  • Will everyone be blogging? No. Will it be bigger than FaceBook? Of course not. Will it be bigger than it is now? Yes. Very much so. Will it be worth reading? Ah, well, Sturgeon’s Law applies here, as it does in so many other places. And if that top 10% turns out to be only the top 1%, that’s still one new topflight blogger every day. For twenty years.


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    One Response to “The Future of Blogging”

    1. Kurt Says:

      Don’t forget microblogging, where people finish each other’s sentences in successive posts and post jogsaw puzzle pieces till the whole thing’s assembled. Also see virtual crochet and Bunco parties.

      Seriously, FB currently is, more or less, what you call it. I don’t think it’s going to stay that way for long, though. The only reason that we haven’t seen more change is that FB is busy creating the platform and relying on others to build apps–that slows the pace down, keeps people from getting too dizzy from changes, and also lets them take advantage of Friend Finder, Unicorn Attack, and Walmart Deal of the Day.

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