Rough Type alerted us to a new Pew study which indicates that blogging "has declined in popularity among both teens and young adults since 2006."
Here are the highlights of the study:
- 14% of online teens now say they blog, down from 28% of teen internet users in 2006.
- This decline is also reflected in the lower incidence of teen commenting on blogs within social networking websites; 52% of teen social network users report commenting on friends’ blogs, down from the 76% who did so in 2006.
- By comparison, the prevalence of blogging within the overall adult internet population has remained steady in recent years. Pew Internet surveys since 2005 have consistently found that roughly one in ten online adults maintain a personal online journal or blog.
Not to be too glib about this, but, *obviously*. Blogging is a lot of work. You have to construct and type sentences, often simultaneously. You have to think of something to write about. You have to develop that thought across multiple sentences. You have to make inferences, sometimes even explicitly.
In sum, blogging is a royal pain in the ass, especially when compared to now-available social media technologies (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) which have none of the above requirements.
So, should we be surprised that these average young Americans don't choose to do more work? No. Not at all. After all, it doesn't surprise us that MUD-playing and fiction-reading are down significantly among teens, and that MMORPG playing and television-watching are way up.
It takes a special kind of masochist to write a blog, and I think that masochism can only be born of experience. The less people are forced to read and write, the less of them will learn to enjoy it, hence, the less of them will do it. Consider, for example, that instead of this post, I could have just tweeted:
Blogs are over: http://bit.ly/aj1ZfT.
And you could have been on your way five minutes ago.