This might seem like a silly question given that Technorati says there have been more than 140 million blogs created in the last 10 years. Now most of these are now defunct, but there are still more than 1.5 million blogs that post at least once a week.
So granted – blogging has already exploded.
But blogging in the next year is about to enter into a Renaissance period. It will get even more legitimate and become the ubiquitous way in which news and information is shared (in the long form) over the web. Why?
Consider this. There are more than 14,500 journalists who have been laid-off in 2009.
Jobs in journalism are not expected to recover next year and, in fact, probably never will. The jobs slashed at places like BusinessWeek, the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune and dozens of other publications are likely gone forever. Gourmet magazine and Domino magazine aren’t coming back. They were shutdown – along with dozens of other magazines and newspapers.
So where are all these unemployed journalists going?
Many of them will start blogs.
Take Chris Gray Faust, who until recently was the travel editor for USA Today as an example. Last week, she was among 37 employees, including 26 journalists, let go by the newspaper. She wrote a compelling post at her new blog “Chris Around the World” after she received word that her career at USA Today was coming to a sudden end:
“But what bothers me the most is what my firing represented. See, I’ve been learning all the tricks that a modern multi-platform journalist is supposed to know. In the past 22 months, I’ve blogged, tweeted, shot photos and videos, and handled speaking engagements. I edited my section, managed my high-personality staff and then in my spare time, I wrote cover stories – something that very few other editors at USA TODAY do. I hustled and I cajoled and I ended up out on my ass anyway.”
She goes on to say:
“But increasingly, things have become more interesting outside the newsroom bubble. I’d go to conferences and meet people who were making it just fine on their own. Some were creating niche businesses, busting up the paradigm. Others were parlaying old school media talents into fresh ventures, with a moxie that made me wish I had the freedom to emulate them. The air inside USAT’s towers on Jones Branch Drive always seemed a little stale after that. These freelancers-slash-entrerpreneurs are smart. They are nimble. And now they are my role models, as I join their ranks.”
Former journalists like Chris Gray Faust are going to take their journalism expertise to blogging. They no longer will be blogging part-time as a supplement to their “day jobs” as journalists. They are going to be blogging full-time – trying to make careers out of it. This surge of professional writers and reporters to the ranks of blogging is going to take blogging in new and creative directions.
Newspapers and magazines that laid-off all of these talent writers and editors will also find that they are now going to be competing directly against them. Journalists like Chris Gray Faust still have their contacts, their skills, their industry know-how and easy-to-use and mostly free blogging platforms to deliver their stories and articles to the masses.
Blogging is going get really interesting – once again – in 2010. This time it isn’t going to be driven by enthusiasts and early adopters, but by professional writers, reporters and editors.
What do think?