The way I see it, the blogosphere is moving in two separate directions. One group of individuals who blog for personal reasons is moving toward micro-blogging. The other group, focused on news articles and editorials, is moving toward a more traditional media model. The reason behind this digression is actually quite straightforward when you consider the goals of each type of blogger.
Personal bloggers want to keep friends, family, and colleagues updated on their happenings. They don’t tend to have a lot of time to spend writing and editing posts. Historically, this group posts irregularly at best and updates tend to go on and on. For this reason, shorter, more frequent posts are perfect. Not only do they take less planning and time to fabricate, but they also don’t bore the reader.
All the aforementioned disadvantages of blogging lead us to a new trend - micro-blogging. This phenomenon has really taken off as of late. Start-ups such as Twiiter (most notably), but also Pownce, Jaiku, Hictu, Moodmill, and Tumblr have paved the way for this new form of blogging. This doesn’t mean that micro-bloggers are restricted to text. Personal media, such photos and videos, can still be shared using these platforms, as it is very important to this target group.
From the other side, bloggers who focus on news articles, editorials, and more professional content publishing are moving toward a more traditional media strategy. What this means is that we will see more and more blogs morph into so-called portals. This will provide added functionality, above and beyond that provided by the platforms. Other signs of the transformation include personalized designs and custom layouts, scheduled posting, ad models, user profiles, and, of course, well-written content.
Obviously not all bloggers fit into one of these two categories, but I would wager that a large majority do. It will be interesting to observe the evolution of micro-blogging as it progresses from infancy. Will it just be a trend or fad? I don’t think so. I think the future looks very bright for these short messages. As for the citizen journalists and publishers, I also think there is a huge opportunity for this group as well. More and more, we are seeing these individuals make a living off blogging. I am not going to predict the extinction of newspapers and magazines just yet, but blogs will definitely play a key role in the development of media in the years to come.