Secret to the popularity of blogging

While reading this post in The Blog Herald (don’t you just love the title?), I had an enlightenment.

Blogging is so popular and fast spreading because its based on text. And text is natural for human beings. We’ve learned how to produce text thousands of years ago. We’ve been cultivating the skill since than. Images and sounds are cool too, but they don’t have a few characteristics, which make text so popular.

  • Text is easy to reproduce. If I read something smart, or thought of something myself, I can reproduce it many times. I can write it down on a sticky note. I can type it on my laptop. I can scratch it on the wall of the public restroom (it’s not something that I practice myself, but the possibility is there). Images are way harder. The more complex the image, the better skills I must possess to reproduce it. Sounds are even harder. I’ve heard a million songs, but I can’t sing one of them.
  • Text is easy to analyze. This is important for a whole range of applications – translations from one language to another, aggregation and reports, understanding meanings, etc. There is a certain degree of symbolism and structure in images (shades, proportions) and sounds (rhythms, loops), but neither of these are based on symbolism and structure.

(I had a couple of more in mind, but lost them while writing this post.)

So, blogging is just a tool for people to do something they’ve been doing for years. Blogging makes it easier to produce text, to analyze text, to link text together, to quote text, and to search text.

For the same reason, that’s why podcasting and videoblogging are developing slower. They are all about other formats. Rich and much needed formats, but not text.

Read 4 comments


  1. I was actually thinking about the same thing myself lately. And came to unpleasant conclusion that popularity of blogging is based on illusion. Illusion of being heard. Majority of blogs on the net are by couple of friends at most. Those with whom you could share thoughts anyway.

    A blog though, gives you a potential of being heard and most people take that potential as actual reality. This raises their safe esteem makes them think that their voice has some weight.

    Some blogs are indeed popular, some of them DO carry useful info. But there are really few of them

    As far as podcasting is concerned I think it’s just less convenient way of consuming information as it just takes a lot more time.


  2. Sergey,

    The “illusion” part might be true for the beginners. Those who keep blogging long enough, realize that that’s just an illusion and either drop blogging altogether, or continue for other reasons.

    For me personally, blogging is a useful tool. It helps me in two things. First, it’s much easier for me to form an opinion about something, when I write a post, rather than I just think or talk about it. And second, my blog is my own knowledge base. I keep useful links, thoughts, and ideas in here. It’s much easier to find them in this blog than in my own head or in the multitude of web sites around the web.

    And let me disagree with you regarding podcasting. I think podcasting is great. It provides a way to get information, when doing something else. For example, you can have an ipod filled with podcasts and listen to them while jogging or cleaning the house. Or you can have some digital content played to you while driving the car or waiting in the long queue…

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