A golden milestone to mark a decade

milestoneThe Golden Age of tech blogging is over, says Jeremiah Owyang in his post on December 27.

[...] Like the film industry, the Golden Era is the emergence period, when fresh innovation in a new medium is born. New techniques, revolutionary content, and different business models emerge as innovators pioneer a new medium.

He cites four trends to support his view:

  1. Corporate acquisitions stymie innovation – reference in particular to AOL’s acquisition of TechCrunch in 2010, shoe-horning TechCrunch into Huffington Post control following AOL’s acquisition of that publisher earlier this year, and the nuclear fallout between them all in recent months.
  2. Tech blogs are experiencing major talent turnover – reference to exoduses at ReadWriteWeb, Mashable and TechCrunch.
  3. The audience needs have changed, they want: faster, smaller, and socialthe attention crunch (as defined by Steve Rubel) combined with Ben Metcalfe‘s take (that resonates strongly with me): “There are just so many blogs/news websites/sources vying for your attention that you can’t read them all and build up the kind of relationship that you once could when the size of the universe was degrees of magnitude smaller.”
  4. As space matures, business models solidify, giving room for new disruptors – the blogosphere continues to evolve.

Jeremiah’s fourth trend speaks specifically to his assertion of the passing of a moment: the Golden Age is over, a point he makes pretty clearly in the opening paragraphs in his post.

I agree with that assertion and the overall sentiment of Jeremiah’s post, considering it as defining a milestone period following the emergence of accessible technology tools in the early 2000s that enabled anyone with an opinion, a means to type, an internet connection to express that opinion and a public place on the web to publish it – you have Pyra Labs to thank for that kick start – which led to the Golden Age of which he speaks.

However, I would extend it way beyond tech blogging to embrace all blogging. Indeed, trends three and four unquestionably apply to other areas of online written expression in business and commerce as well as hint at new means of communicating and sharing opinion on the social web

So where does this milestone, this marker on the road, place us today a decade (roughly) on from that kick start I mentioned?

Some, like Brian Solis – Jeremiah’s colleague at Altimeter Group – think that what’s changing is the players, not the game. Marshall Kirkpatrick – one of the social web’s most authoritative voices – offers credible opinion on three things that could help make the new era of tech blogging even better than the last one. Bernie Goldbach speaks of a big distinction between the era of blogging and the era of social media.

These and others are all terrific opinions, offering great perspectives on disruptive change that continues and will evolve in ways we can’t accurately predict.

We’ve just passed one milestone, one marker. At the moment, it’s hard to tell where the next one is.

In the meantime, keep talking, articulating your opinions, sharing your content, good or bad (as perceived by others). You’ll be a key part of defining what comes next.

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