The New York Times has a pretty prominent article today called Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter. The title was probably written by an editor, not the author, because as soon as the article gets past the two token teenagers who tumble and Facebook instead of blogging, the stats show all the major blogging services growing — even Blogger whose global “unique visitors rose 9 percent, to 323 million,” meaning it grew about 6 Foursquares last year alone. (In the same timeframe WordPress.com grew about 80 million uniques according to Quantcast.)
Blogging has legs — it’s been growing now for more than a decade, but it’s not a “new thing” anymore. Underneath the data in the article there’s an interesting super-trend that the Times misses: people of all ages are becoming more and more comfortable publishing online. If you’re reading this blog you probably know the thrill of posting and getting feedback is addictive, and once you have a taste of that it’s hard to go back. You rode a bike before you drove a car, and both opened up your horizons in a way you hadn’t imagined before. That’s why blogging just won’t quit no matter how many times it’s declared dead.
Blogging (with WordPress) is the natural evolution of the lighter publishing methods — at some point you’ll have more to say than fits in 140 characters, is too important to put in Facebook’s generic chrome, or you’ve matured to the point you want more flexibility and control around your words and ideas. (As The Daily What did in their recent switch from Tumblr to WordPress.) You don’t stop using the lighter method, you just complement it — different mediums afford different messages.
Scott Berkun writes a delightful essay on How is WordPress.com made?.
Adam Gopnik writes How the Internet Gets Inside Us. “[This complaint] is identical to Baudelaire’s perception about modern Paris in 1855, or Walter Benjamin’s about Berlin in 1930, or Marshall McLuhan’s in the face of three-channel television (and Canadian television, at that) in 1965.” Hat tip: John Battelle’s Signal.
WordCamp Indonesia proudly presents the first WordPress Board Game. I gotta try this.
Over on ThemeShaper I share Premium Themes on WP.com, the backstory, which also links to all of the coverage from our announcement today.
The thing about the White House West Wing tour is they don’t really let you take pictures, except at the door before you go in and after, and at both places they have terrible lighting. Usually I ignore this and snap clandestinely but that seemed like a bad idea in this case and I didn’t want to get tackled by Secret Service. (I’m surprised they let me take my big honking D3S in at all!) The tour was excellent, very humbling to be in a place where so much history has happened, and might have happened just a few hours before you got there. Anyway here are some before and after shots of the tour.