Jeremiah Owyang wrote a very interesting post on how the golden age of tech blogging was over due to the new technology, forms of content and business models. With Techcrunch being shaken up under AOL, Mashable writing about everything except social media, The Next Web creating more and more channels for technology news, how will tech blogging ever evolve into the next thing we’ll read fanatically?!
It won’t. The companies might be growing, but the product is stale.
More Pageviews, More Money
While new social networks such as Twitter have in fact made covering technology news a much faster game than when the first iPod was released, they aren’t the only cause of tech blogs creating more, short content. Advertising is. Nothing new to most of the people reading content on the web, more views and visits in most cases does in fact mean more ad revenue.
You do have to have a sales force, but Mashable with a staff of 60 does in fact have one. When you have eager advertisers and people who can sell, you just need inventory… and more inventory. More posts. More galleries. Don’t have blogging in mind? Write about something that’s trending on Twitter. Pete Cashmore argues in the comments on Owyang’s post that Mashable has preserved the quality of its content. So more people click on the links to their posts and who cares about the few of us using RSS to in fact read ONLY about social media. Mashable gets more pageviews, but it still gets a little stale.
An Over-optimized Industry
Technology blogging is due to it’s nature the technologically most “evolved” part of the media landscape. New technologies and tactics are used freely to grow faster. The Next Web has grown thanks to creating a website which is in fact a blogging network. Lots of channels dedicated to lots of topics make one domain, thenextweb.com, a lot more popular.
Interested in Microsoft? Follow TNW Microsoft. Facebook? We’ve got TNW Facebook. Want to share funny Internet cats? TNW Shareables! As with Mashable, their readership has grown and their content has stayed quite interesting. Doesn’t mean we follow them religiously though, does it?
Opinion Isn’t Analysis
Most technology bloggers have had their 5 minutes bashing Apple, Android, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter… A lot of them unfortunately forget that having an opinion doesn’t mean it’s an analysis. While their titles are provocative, their conclusions are obvious.
Techcrunch is probably the only blog that has throughout its history managed to have a voice. Their writers have managed to always have something interesting to say, but as with pageviews or visits or channels, the magic formula gets boring. The writers leave. Techcrunch stays and tries to hold on.
What we asks ourselves when opening our favourite technology blogs is simple? While the individual article may be interesting, is the blog? Our own tools have made it easier for us to ignore the simple fact that technology blogs have stopped evolving as products and started growing as companies. More pageviews, more money.
Stale, old, waiting to be disrupted. But not evolving.