By Lewis D'Vorkin
March 12, 2019
The Coming Death Of The Blog Post (And What Comes Next)
Yes, you are reading a tappable story.
Let me tell you about the format's emerging role in the evolving mediascape.
First, let's talk about the 20-year-reign of the blog - and how it changed everything.
I was around when blogging emerged. In the early 00's, I started a few for AOL. In 2006, I relaunched TMZ on Blogsmith, a blogging platform. In 2008, I started a blogging network, True/Slant, for journalists and topic experts to build their personal brands and reach audiences across social media.
Oh, I Almost Forgot
I'm the CEO of Newsroom AI. We want to help publishers join the smartphone culture. That means providing the tools and know-how to leap from text stories - and linear blog formats - to the world of tappable, visual storytelling.
Now, back to the story.
The Blogging Kingdom
The first blog arrived in the mid-90s. In 1999, there were only 23. Then, Evan Williams (of Twitter fame), started Blogger. By 2006, there were 50 million blogs. Links, RSS, page views and comments were coins of the realm.
Oh, The Memories
Some blogs broke through the noise. Boing Boing. Gizmodo. Engadget, Wonkette. So did the publishing platforms: WordPress, Movable Type and TypePad.
Then There's Nick
Nick Denton's Gawker empire burned bright and then crashed. He set the tone for gossip. He built a comment platform. He led the way in e-commerce. And his mano-a-mano thing with Jason Calacanis was blogging theater. Jason sold Weblogs Inc. to AOL for $25 million early in blogging's run.
Question: Which Blog Did You Read Most?
The Big Bang Year
In 2003, Google bought Blogger and started AdSense, the money model for blogs. Then came Googlezon. It rocked the media.
Man Of The Moment
The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan was the biggest blogger of them all. His article, 'Why I Blog,' gave respected journalists permission to jump into the Blogosphere.
From 'Why I Blog"
"It was obvious from the start that it was revolutionary. Every writer since the printing press has longed for a means to publish himself and reach—instantly—any reader on Earth. Every professional writer has paid some dues waiting for an editor’s nod, or enduring a publisher’s incompetence, or being ground to literary dust by a legion of fact-checkers and copy editors."
A New Free Press
Blogging democratized media in ways never seen before. A new breed of journalist was born. Bloggers created personal brands. They attracted huge audiences. In 2005, 32 million American read blogs. Technorati started a search engine to help them. The quality was mixed. But some bloggers shook the journalist community and the political establishment.
Here He Comes
Matt Drudge Did His thing. So did the bloggers who brought down Dan Rather and sparked the Trent Lott/Strom Thurmond scandal.
Here She Comes
Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo paved a path for Alec Baldwin and the 8,000 bloggers who were Arianna Huffington's best friends. She sold to AOL for $315 million. Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi moonlighted at my startup to find his bigger audience.
Blogging's Bottom Line
Blogs got news out fast. They were in-depth, for audiences who cared. My favorite quote about the art form: "Pick the dragon you want to slay and slay it over and over again."
The Mainstreaming Of Blogs Collides With Smartphone Culture
Part 2 coming soon.
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