Yongfook – The Blog is Dead! (sorta)

The Blog is Dead! – SlideShare

To watch a video of Yongfook’s presentation you will have to go to: Ustream.TV: Yongfook talks about the move from blogging to lifestreaming and his Sweetcron, as I can’t embed ustream.tv videos here on WordPress.com (sigh).

You can read more on his blog post: The Blog is Dead! › Yongfook – Web Producer

I agree with what Yongfook is saying in this presentation – that people are using blogs less and other online services more.

I’ve come to realise that this situation suits me fine. I’m not much of a blogger, but I like capturing, sharing and somtimes commenting on what I find on the Web. I prefer to keep my blog for longer reflections.

You may have noticed that I have been a lot more active on the web of late. I’ve been Twittering more, I’ve been saving my bookmarks to delicious.com again and I’ve started a tumblelog at tumblr.com (which posts to Twitter via twitterfeed, via my identi.ca account). I’m currently streamlining my workflow so I can easily capture and share everything I come across on the Web that I find interesting or potentialy useful.

Eventually I’m going to move away from hosted Web 2.0 services (more about why I’m doing that later). I’m currently setting-up my own self-hosted online tools, using free and open software wherever possible. As part of this process I will be experimenting with Yongfook’s lifestreaming software, Sweetcron.

As an aside, I agree with Yongfook when he says WordPress is bloated. It’s become overly complicated and slow to use (on WordPress.com, at least). It’s suffering from featuritis (they’ve even added an RSS reader called “Readomattic” – only for WordPress.com blogs!) It makes a great Content Management System, but is not so good for quick and easy posting. It seems to be trying to be everything to everybody.

This is why I like microblogging with Twitter and, more recently, tumblelogging with tumblr – they are so much easier to use.

4 responses to “Yongfook – The Blog is Dead! (sorta)

  1. Oi, I have the hardest time taking in such sweeping generalizations. Can I assume that Mr Yongfook has taken the time to visit 131 million blogs to come to such conclusions? Has he read every blog and sorted out who is commercial google rank seeking and who are individuals just doing their own thing?

    I’d agree that people are spreading their attention to other venues, but the GraphJam charts and the charts purporting that all blogs are commercial is dingo crap. Take a walk with me
    http://cogdogblog.com/2008/11/18/wandering-blogs/

    Don’t get me wrong, the lifestream stuff is interesting to me, and Sweetcron is an intriguing approach, but I find when I look at this is just a running stream of bits of little sugary jelly beans with no context or nourishment. Where is the reflection, the thoughts, the deeper nuggets?

    I also fail to accept the assertion of WordPress as “bloated” — compared to what? (The Ustream kept sputtering out so I could not find his actual claim, whether it is based on actual programmatic analysis of the code and databse structure, or just looking at the cruft a widget heavy site has) — “It makes a great Content Management System, but is not so good for quick and easy posting” how is that? There are tons of ways to post quickly- post from flickr, use a desktop app that uses the XMLRPC printing, or the new QuickPress feature. Even, using the web editor, I can post in minutes.

    I’m glad to see you are active and curious to see the hosted system you come up with, but really tire of people tossing out simplistic characterizations of the web.

  2. Alan: I think if you’d watched the whole video you would have seen that Yongfook’s statement that “blogging is dead” was said tongue-in-cheek, and that’s certainly how I intended it – hence the “(sorta)”, but I guess I didn’t make that clear. Of course blogs aren’t dead, but I do think how they are being used is changing.

    When I said I agreed with Yongfook I was only saying I agreed with the notion that as blogging matures people are using blogs less and other online services more. I certainly don’t agree that those people still motivated to blog are doing it for commercial reasons. That is patently untrue, as most of the 200 feeds in my RSS reader would attest to.

    When those articles from Wired, Nicholas Carr and the one in the Economist Carr points to passed through my network I just glanced over them and ignored them, because I know that blogging is still very much alive, particularly in the long tail where keen bloggers are still passionately blogging away, even if they have an audience of ten.

    As for lifestreaming…. I was saving my thoughts about that for when I’d had more of a play, but I don’t think it’s replacing blogs anytime soon, if at all. I’m not interested in subscribing to every little bit of someone else’s life anymore than I expect them to subscribe to mine. I might want to subscribe to someone’s informative delicious feed, but I may have no interest whatsoever in their wedding photos on flickr. I won’t know until I’ve had a play, but I suspect lifestreams are only good for giving an overview or snapshot of what you are up to at a given time, and are additions to a list of regular RSS feeds.

    As to my comment “It makes a great Content Management System, but is not so good for quick and easy posting” – I knew when I wrote that it wasn’t exactly what I meant. I was in a rush and thought: “What the hell, no-one reads my blog anyway”. Lesson learned there! :-/

    What I mean to say is that when I write a blog post (as opposed to posting to my tumblelog or to twitter) I like to take the the time to research, write, edit, link and then edit some more. An interface like WordPress is (or at least, should be) more suited to long, reflective posts like this, as it has all the tools to create sophisticated, well developed blog posts.

    But when it comes to doing quick posts having all it’s bells, widgets and options – many of which are part of the Content Management System aspect of WordPress, and have nothing to do with posting – can become a distraction and they make the interface slower to load than quicker options.

    Yes, I know there are quick ways to post: there’s the new Quick Press tool on the dashboard and the Press This bookmarklet (which I’ve actually been experimenting with to create my own Tumblelog using a combination of special WordPress tumblelog themes and the bookmarklet to replicate the functionality of tumblr), but the distractions are still there, and the interface is still slow.

    “Bloated” is perhaps not the right word, but it does reflect my frustration with an interface that is slower than it should be (and I’m not the only one making that complaint) that makes editing and previewing a painful process, so even using it for longer posts is a bit of a hassle. And it’s hard not to wonder whether the sheer number of features contibutes to that slow speed.

    I think there is something to be said for simple tools that do single things, simply. And maybe that’s just my preference.

  3. From what I remember yongfook had some interesting statistics, you can write “blog” posts using sweetcron anyway and yes wordpress is bloated.

    Here’s my lifestream.
    http://lifestream.superuser.com.au/

  4. I’m glad you’re back in the mix, Sean, and experimenting. I had sweetcron on the sideburner to try out– I do like the aspect that you host it.

    So I guess I gotta check out the video rather than comment on comments 😉

    Bloat, eh. I’ll have to try that with ketchup.