A kuro5hin post I noticed in my aggregator (The future of blog: The scaling barrier) brings up an interesting point: will blogs scale?
Blogs have a scaling problem. Kinda like clubs. The good crowd moves in and they become these perfect little places for some time. And then too many people start coming in, and the magic disappears. Teenagers take over and after a couple of years place is converted into a bad fast food restaurant. I propose a few improvements to help k5 avoid that. [kuro5hin.org]
I think there’s a fallacy here, though, mistaking the coolness of the medium for the coolness of some perceived set of cool kids. If blogs scale, it will be because the blogocosm can spawn microcosms, or spin them off, or whatever metaphor you prefer. Within any circle of bloggers there will be some who are more influential, more widely read at any given moment. People’s interest in blogging can wane, others gain skill and confidence and take over. There are lifecycles. None of that is the medium. It’s the people using it. Blogs aren’t inherently about good writing or good design or perspicacious websurfery or being popular or doing art or tracking knowledge or building community. Blogs work well for all of the above, but they are a format, a particularly liberating format to be sure, but simply a form, like the sonnet.
Will they scale? Maybe. Nothing grows forever. Has the wave crested? Probably not yet. Will blogs blanket the world? I have my doubts. Works for me.