About ten days ago, I posted a question: "Is blogging passe?" It got more response than I had expected, some of it nastier than I expected and much of it not accurately reflecting what I said. Some suggested that Naked Conversations had been wrong, others contended it was the overdue time for the death of A Listers. My favorite was the suggestion that it was just my blog that sucked.
So, let's get the personal part out of the way. I was a PR guy for more than 25 years. I am aware that for everyone, fame is fleeting. I am perfectly comfortable waking up some morning and discovering that Shel Israel has become soooo yesterday. In some ways I look forward to it.
I posted my question, because I do try to spot early trends. In this case, I was not so early Steve Rubel and Robert Scoble had both predicted the cooling of blogs six months ago. I was more mystified about Technorati's ranking than anything else. The self-proclaimed authority experts had kept me at about the same rank, even when my analytics were saying my readership had dropped measurable for a few months.
In the last couple of weeks, thanks in part to the SAP Global Survey and in part to the Passe post, my readership has bounced back up and then some. But, remarkably, my Technorati ranking has remained about the same, making me question the credibility of their ranking system.
As for Naked Conversations, Robert and I wrote: "Some day,people will look back at the tools we are using today and they will marvel at how quaint they were." The book was not locked into blogging, which in 2005, was the only social media blogging tool. The book was locked into the conversation and really just updated what the Cluetrain had said a half dozen years earlier.
The conversation has moved beyond the blog. Conferences just on blogging are fading. Blogs on blogging are about as interesting as email about emailing or Faxgrams about fax machines. In the past few weeks the conversation has moved onto the rapid emergence of microblogging services, online video and to a very large degreee, the meteoric ascent of FaceBook.
This seems to me to be as it should be. People talk about what's new. They use what is normal. It becomes part of their everyday lives. People may talk about the iPhone, but they rarely marvel at the remarkable fact that you can actually use them to talk to a remote human being in realtime.
Blogs have become part of everyday lives for millions of people. The blogs are not the revolution. The conversation is the revolution, and the tools for online conversation keep getting better and more diverse and that is how it should be.