Friday, 12 February 2010

The Future of Music Blogs

Today the Guardian ran an article entitled The Blogs Bite Back (here). It revealed that US research organisation Pew Internet had found that where, in 2006, 28% of teenagers described themselves as bloggers, that number had now tumbled to 14%. The piece quoted Nicholas Carr who wrote an article entitled Blogging: a great pastime for the elderly (here) where Carr stated that blogging is now the uncoolest thing you can do on the internet.

The Guardian also identified that a growing trend is the way that social networks have played a part in the shift away from music blogging, suggesting that many readers now prefer to sit on Twitter or Facebook and wait for punchy opinions to arrive. Certainly we can see a future where Twitter is used as a method of providing links to new free downloads, particularly for those who aren’t interested in reading about music and just prefer to download and listen.

So readership of blogs may be changing and it seems there are less new music blogs starting up. This is probably because of the ways that people now consume information, but also because of the dangers in investing time in producing a blog only to suffer from it being removed rather like the recent Google musicblogocide2k10 blog deletion controversy (here). Blogs that close / stop do so for a variety of reasons, but as with any not for profit publication, the biggest issue will always be motivation to keep the blog running. However those that keep going and survive will find a natural core audience, even if ultimately in years to come that audience decreases as people move onto new models and applications. Rather like vinyl junkies or paper fanzine addicts, there will always be some out there who stick with a form they like when technology moves on.

Therefore we firmly believe that the days of the music blog are not yet numbered. We believe that there are many people out there who love music, but who also like to read about it and debate opinions. This is why sites such as Pitchfork and Drowned In Sound get so many hits. Blogging may no longer be cool, but that’s fine. Cool is transient and lacks integrity. Those who blog just to be cool or only to focus on what they believe to be cool will one day find themselves suddenly uncool or their content uncool, won’t like it and will stop. The blogs with their hearts in the right place, who don’t give a sh*t about being hip and simply focus on what they believe is good music will win through.

7 comments:

Pedram said...

Nice! once again.

Anonymous said...

Robin You will always have integrity and be cool in my book. Although maybe that is because I am so uncool and rubbish. :)

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Thanks guys. (Anon who are ya ?)

vonpip said...

"Cool is transient and lacks integrity. "- Brilliant !

I think with most bloggers who genuinely love music, there's always a genuine urge to try and help'spread the love' when you see the nonsense that's in the charts . And of course it's great to meet like minded people. Long may BMW's continue. ( as I type this 'In Between Days' By The Cure is on the radio and I suddenly feel 14 again!-only music can transport you like that! )

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Cheers Von Pip. :)

Matt Merritt said...

My one thought (other than that I really enjoy your opinion pieces) when I read this was "well, that'll sort the wheat from the chaff then"

Mistress Wanda said...

Why is everyone so obsessed with what teenagers do? Everyone knows they only have 30 second attention span so I'm not surprised they have dropped off the blogosphere.

It's funny this has come up actually as I was just harking back to my youth and thinking how much more choice and selection blogs give you in finding out about new music than magazines like Melody Maker and NME used to. Twitter and Facebook are one thing but there's a 140 character comment and then there's a proper album/live reviews or discussion pieces.