Is the golden age of blogging over?

There is a fair bit of commentary around at the moment about the state of blogging. to be fair most of it is in the tech world where there is a sort of consensus that the golden age of blogging, at least from a tech perspective, is over:

The reasons, in brief: many top blogs have sold out; staff turnover saw “star” voices slip off the radar; younger audiences like social networking more; and advertising revenue is increasingly hard to get at.

All the reasons given are true, but they’re not reasons to believe that a golden age has passed. They’re phenomena in their own right, each with its own story, and only the last presenting a barrier to entry for newcomers. Epochal change makes for an epic narrative, but all this adds up to a simpler truth: media is a tough game and you won’t get far by copying what other people did years ago.

I have always said that New Zealand lags about 5 years behind the rest of the world and blogging here is no different. We are just now catching up with the advent of bloggers commentators that has been prevalent int he US and UK for at least 6 years.

Some don’t agree that the golden age is over. I’m with them:

“There are still plenty of people who love to write– not just share, Tweet and comment– for a living, and blogs are still the best platform for that. In many ways, professional blogging is just getting started. It’s a time when new entrants are jumping into the field with bold, fresh ideas, standing on the shoulders of the blogging giants that came before, taking a second stab at reinventing the new media landscape.”

In the 6 years I have been blogging there have been many blogs and bloggers not many of us stick around. There is a reason for that, it is bloody hard work. Your critics are instantaneous and not many can take the constant criticism and especially the nasty hate mail. I keep every email and one day I will publish them all. It will make a book of hate all by itself. This comment at Boing Boing though sums up blogging for me:

There was never a golden age of blogging, just a golden age of mainstream interest in what it all meant. Don’t worry about it; opportunity does not knock but once. You need obsession, a work ethic, and an uncommon voice. That’s tough, but that’s all. The rest is counting the hours, and we’ve all got plenty of those.

So readers what do you think…Has blogging done it’s dash?


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  • RAS

    Cameron I read blogs on Whale Oil every day.  I find your content to be thought provoking, amusing and informative – so much better than the straight news sites. I am sure it is damned hard work  – thankfully you love your work the challenge and buzz of it all – keep on keeping us informed AND thinking.

    • Groans

      I agree. The msm is devious, sites like this are the privalage we have living with today’s technology

  • Anonymous

    Done its dash? – far from it Cam……

    You could almost say it is only just gaining momentum.

    Keep up your great work..

  • Peter Wilson

    How is blogging defined? 

    I guess there are different types of blogs. Some don’t allow comments at all, or are tightly moderated. These will surely die, as readers want engagement, and to get their own views across. These “blogs” are really press release sites.

    Blogs without moderation have more chance of success, as readers feel they are part of the community, and can say pretty much what they like. The danger is they can be dragged down to a gutter level. The answer is to provide stimulating and topical posts, nothing too interllectual so that even left wing commentators are able to contribute. And also allow commenters some way to initiate and stimulate discussion around topics they are interested in.

    I do understand blogs like Chris Trotter’s wanting to keep the rabble at bay, to give his “space” some class and status. That’s okay, so long as he still shows valid points of view that oppose his own.

  • Killjoy

    Definitely not!
    The stats you put out about your readership recently clearly show that its not over- especially for you- and I’d say we’re only just getting blogging recognised in MSM or by people who have traditionally relied on MSM for their information and “news”.

    You do a great job Cam and while I don’t always agree with you, you always seem to have facts straight and inform us very well and with humour (intended or not) and allow- even request- your readers opinions and discussions.

  • thor42

    Done its dash? Definitely not! 
    I too am a daily reader of this blog – it is essential reading, especially when compared to the weak-as-dishwater MSM.
    Keep up the great work!

  • Gazzaw

    Cam, a regular read of your blog has become a ‘must do’ for me. Easy for me because I am semi-retired and self-employed. I have felt a deepening mistrust of our print media & TV over the last couple of years, it has always been superficial but the increasing leftist slant either by editorial or journalistic design concern me. With more time on my hands I now take the time to access three or four international newspapers, listen to BBC UK News & watch FOX & CNN on Sky. That gives me a good international balance but it still leaves domestic issues in a massive integrity void which is where we need you to bring issues to the forefront and confront them head on in a way which conventional media has neither the willingness nor the direction to confront.

    Keep it up WO, you will continue to attract attacks as your blog increases its penetration. That I guess is the nature of the beast. Never let your independent views be compromised.

    Good luck! 


    • kehua

      Agreed Gazzaw, I increasingly find I listen/read MSM and realise that we have discussed this on WOBF several days before. I think that Cam has the balance on things right and has not really deviated from his original concept  unlike Farrar who has a `spread` of interest as against a singular `tunnel vision` commentory. One aspect in comparing this Blog with the blog of old is the lack of deep informed debate, today I see Articles being dominated by petty remarks betwen fuckwits such as Kosh etc as against the thought provoking barbs from the likes of Lee C, Milt  and other but I guess people do move on. The classic case of Blog burnout was the  fat Blonde silly woman got the booze and lost her Blog. WOBH is thought provoking, informative, humorous, irritating and compulsive reading long may the Maestro continue.

      • kehua

        whoops…….“ unlike Farrar he has a spread of interest“……

      • Gazzaw

        Like your comment about Kosh & the other fucktards that find their way here. Have you noticed that their ilk absolutely infest the ‘Comments’ columns in Pravda online? If you ever want to get depressed about the future of our country just head to a column written by Hickey or Rudman and read the slavish comments. For an even better read the comments following DPF’s column or in the very rare instance of a pro-Government editiorial.

      • Anonymous

        Have indeed noticed that Gazzaw. What is most depressing about it is not the number of idiots on there posting, for we know that it is an planned and organised assult to try and shape public opinion, its that these people actually believe the unintelligent BS they post.

    • EX Navy Greg

      I’m with Gazzaw on this one . I actually think blogs are just starting to develop their full potential. The msm doesn’t have the audience participation and discussion that I believe is hugely important with news and current events.
      Keep on at the bastards WO, we do appreciate what you do.

  • jabba

    blogging will only go if replaced by something better or different. The MSM serves a purpose of spreading the raw news. Opinions from many, not all, so called reporters are rubbish to the extent I don’t bother reading them. I find the bloggers far more interesting.

  • As the msm has evolved to be all about page views, blogging (in some instances) has become investigative journalism where there is time to deeply examine things.  New platforms like Google+ encourage easy long form posts filling in the gap between twitter (short form) and a full blog (which requires some infrastructure). 

    I think it’s only just beginning.

    • RAS

      I nerver made the Google+ connection but I am keen to take a look now – thanks for the heads up Rod.

    • Google+ is a bit of a wasteland at the moment, though with billions upon billions backing it up. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

  • Anonymous

    I don`t understand why anybody watches the TV  MSM anymore  ,the odd time I catch it ,it is presenting issues as current that I have seen a month before on the internet.
    They don`t appear to understand that  the Hiltons/ Kardashians lastest arselift is of no interest to anyone with an IQ of over 5.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I *never* watch TV news anymore, and haven’t done so for about 25 years. The only TV programs that I watch are the big sports events (sevens, RWC, Olympics).  

      • Anonymous

        Great minds Thor, lol, tho` I must confess I`m a little hooked on the new SOHO channel………….*shame*

    • Gazzaw

      Absolutely agree titan. I just don’t watch TV News unless there is a major domestic issue such as the Ch’ch quake or ‘Rena’ where there is absolutely no alternative for visual coverage. Is the composition of the news a deliberate attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator?

      I wonder how effectively TV One will handle this year’s US elections. The posting of young Jack Tame hardly bodes well for any insightful political comment or analysis. Not his fault but he’s not the right man at the right time. TV One’s stated reason for his transfer. “Well he was heading off on his OE anyway”. Good on yer Jack but for God’s sake bone up on your US politics before you front the cameras.  

  • ZenTiger

    If you are reading this comment in 2012, then blogging is not yet done.

  • Anonymous

    Considering the vast majority of WOBH would read blogs before main stream utter BS is a testament to the fact Blogging is on the way up even more…

    I read blogs on the iPad on my one sleep in lazy morning a week, not the fucking tripe MSM

  • dad4justice


    I think blogging is far from over, as the alert writer
    will always find a niche in blogosphere. It doesn’t matter if a blogger gets a
    yellow or red card from blog owners at least the freedom of speech is not
    hindered. It’s a very powerful outlet, that’s why China hates the net. Pity that the truth hurts

    Good stuff Whale.


    • EX Navy Greg

      ^^^ nice pic, agree with it.

  • steve

    Dont think so,keep up the great work on here.Never boring,and always good for a laugh.Cheers Cam

  • Bo Jangles

    Perhaps to get an insight / evidence for this subject, you could embed a vote poll in a pretty pic about the age of readers of that pic {ie your blog}  I’m picking there wont be many teenagers show up in that poll.

  • I don’t believe that we’ve even scratched the surface in terms of how effective the blogosphere can be. There may well be a “Golden Age of Blogging”, but it is in the future; it certainly hasn’t been and gone.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. If there was a Golden Age that was over in the Blogging World it would be the Golden Age of Bandwagon Jumpers (every one “important” has to have one because every one else has one), Naffters (Kardashians and Hiltons) (as someone said above, lets blog about my latest arselift) and the MSM Blogs( which are really extensions to their crap and propaganda wings any way) are over.

      What will most likely happen is there will be some stirring, settling and maturing as blogs like this one will “mature” and become the leading Blogs and often by example.

      Blogs come and go as always but Blogs like WOBH will be the long lasting ones.
      It was WOBH and AKTNZ (hey gotta swing both sides here) that provided me with inspiration to start my own Blog just recently. Now for the trials and tribulations with an infant blog and (trying) to grow it over time

      BTW Cam, keep up the good work, WOBH is on the favourites bar and a daily read in this household.