The more I look at it, the more I see that blogging and user generated content in general – are dead things. When I say dead, I don’t mean they are gone, obviously they are not – but the model for making money from these things is dead and gone. The model for a business based on these things is dead and gone. By my estimation – the years 2003 to 2011 were prime time for creating a blog, generating content, selling advertising, getting brands to pay you for talking about them or giving them links, and getting endorsements. I know there are still people becoming ne YouTube and Instagram sensations and that there are a shitload of moms killing it on Facebook where they sell things to other moms – but those are the outliers – those are the rare Oprah story. We are in the doldrums and something magnificent is about to hit and make a bunch of people very very rich and powerful. It’s interesting that the sharing economy went bonkers from about 2008 to 2016 – at that point, the door was sort of closed to new innovators.
I took a walk through Honolulu’s Chinatown today – I saw more closed businesses – as in shuttered and gone out of business – than I saw open ones. Rents have gone up, margins have gone down, retail selling sucks, travel agencies are a hard sell, and all those mom and pop places just went away when mom and pop retired. No one in the next generation wanted to continue them. As a blogger, I’m like that mom and pop. I just keep doing it because it’s what I know. And I like it. I used to journal. Then I became a blogger. I still journal but publicly and a little more carefully than I used to. Losing a couple of jobs because my words were public made that happen.
The next wave is coming – not user generated content, not sharing economy, but a technological disruption. I remember when Napster and Friendster completely fucked up the way the world worked. Forgot Friendster? It was before MySpace. Forgot Myspace? It was before Facebook. There is a Friendster out there now…somewhere. A New Napster. A new AirBnb. A new Google (remember AskJeeves or Dogpile or the others?) There is a new AOL. A new YouTube, Skype, Instagram….and what it might be…is an instant solution…it’s what all the above are…
Instant answer to query – Google
Instant contact with friend – FAcebook
Instant place in new city – AirBnB
Instant blog – WordPress
Instant music – Napster
Instant noodles – Ramen
Instant dates – Tinder
Yes, the next disruption will be about instant something….maybe instant learning. Maybe instant insight. Maybe instant death.
Blogging is dead. I’m blogging because I’m waiting for the next big thing to come along…the next big thing without huge barriers to entry…