So what is next for blogging? Bruns gives his final take on the uses of blogs in this chapter, but it was written almost seven days ago. Is it still relevant today? Early in the chapter he talks about the always changing blogosphere:
someone, somewhere, in the vast and complex network of the blogosphere is currently developing the Next Big Thing in blogging just as you read this.
Has that “next big thing” arrived? Maybe the next big thing isn’t all that big. It is more likely that thousands of little big things have been created and incorporated into the uses of blogs. Blogs are certainly more advanced and have loads of features that most thought impossible seven years ago, but the basic idea and layout is practically still the same. So, I would say that the book is still very relevant. When I read the material I do not feel as if it outdated.
Bruns believed that there were far too few in-depth studies of blogs and blogging at the time, so he created our text. He was right and still is right, because it is now 2013 and we still do not have a better text than his brilliant 2006 Uses of Blogs.
Bruns threw out four questions that he believes this book provides answers to.
Who might these people be, and what are they working on? How will their inventions filter through the network and be adopted across the world of blogs? What will determine their eventual success or failure? Indeed, who drives the continuous development of the blogosphere as a social, intellectual, creative, and perhaps in part even commercially viable network?
Our study of the individual uses–their history, current status, and future trajectory “provides some possible answers to these questions.” Is he right? Absolutely, you would be a fool to not believe so. The text has clarified and enhanced my thoughts and feelings of blogs. Without this book I do not believe this class would be worth it. I feel as if we would be lost. The Uses of Blogs is the real “Missing Manuel” in this class.
He points out that he and Jacobs could not have created a text without the vision, words, thoughts, and point of views of “A-list” bloggers who contributed heavily to the book.
In the chapter we also get some quotes from Jill Walker and Clancy Ratliff. We heard from Walker in chapter 12. Bruns ties in their thoughts and comes up with this fantastic analogy:
It appears obvious at this points that a key attraction to the blogosphere is, and remains, the potential for individual and informal expression and ungatekept self-publishing
He’s spot on. People who blog want to express themselves in some way, shape, or form. I have, in the past, blogged to sculpt my writings, showcase my abilities, garner some interesting discussion, and express myself in a way I am unable to on Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter.
Around the time that the textbook came out the rise of vlogging (video blogging) was on the rise, and Ratliff touches on it:
it is likely that blogging will continue to embrace a wider range of media forms…with the rise of podcasting, vlogging, large collaborative audio projects like [murmur], the joining together of interactive online art and graffiti (Grafedia.net), and who knows what else in the pipeline, there are going to be plenty of other ways to publish besides keeping a text-based weblog.
She is mostly right, but I don’t think vlogging really caught on like everyone thought it would. Skype is a good example of what vlogging can lead to. The thought of looking into a webcam and talking to yourself has eventually lost the interest of people. That’s not to say there are not people who do vlog, because Youtube proves they do exist, however annoying they may be. There have been other forms of Skype in the past, but better technology has made it a realization.
While experts, scholars, and A-list bloggers want something more for the blogosphere Bruns realizes that the availability of technological tools does not guarantee the success of blogging:
many bloggers might continue to find it easier to draft a pithy, funny, or insightful statement on their field of interest for a text-based blog than to deliver the same as an impromptu rant into a Webcam or microphone video or audio blog.
Unfortunately he is right, the blogosphere still has not turned into the possible grand stage it could be. The content for most blogs is still geared towards nonsensical material, but that is okay. There is still a lot of terrific material, and newsworthy art in the shape of commentary, images, video, and promotion.
So where are we headed? I am not sure. It is hard to truly comprehend everything that is out there unless you dig, dig, dig (which some people are capable of). I wonder if the blogosphere will ever hit a peak, and have no where to go but down. Or does the ceiling always have the ability to rise? Blogging technology has only gotten better as if I have aged, and I think this will be true as time continues to fly by. But I am still uncertain if people will continue to push the envelope or give up on the art for a different, more expensive medium. Here is an interesting post I found while searching the subject. It features some statistics that may surprise you.