Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Andrew Sullivan is Hanging Up the Cleats...For Now

Andrew Sullivan, the author of The Daily Dish, has decided to quit his blog for now.  In one of his final posts titled, "The Online Conversation That's Dying Out," Sullivan vents his frustration about the state of online journalism today, and why he thinks blogs may become popular again in the future.

His argument essentially boils down to how new media outlets such as Twitter lack an identity because of how they cater to the masses. Media outlets today obsess about how many views they can get in order to boost advertising revenue, which results in reporting what people want to hear. The bloggers who do not care about what other people want to hear lose readers in this day and age. With that said, Sullivan believes that this reality won't last forever:
"At some point, the sponsored content machine in which magazines moonlight as advertising and p.r. companies will sputter as readers cannot tell the difference between propaganda and honest argument, and have long since forgotten which site they read anything on. A site that lacks a cohering and distinct identity can become simply a competitor for an endless and often fruitless search for links, tweets and likes. At some point, readers will want a place they know and love and trust and that they will support with their own money. And they will want a return to more of the intimacy and personality of the original blogosphere."
Sullivan's makes an impassioned case for the authenticity of blogs, but I find it hard to imagine blogs achieving the type of revival that Sullivan envisions.  Journalism is a business after all, and the websites and apps that can retain a critical mass of users will continue to haul in advertising revenue and be able to provide content with mass appeal. I find it hard to believe that blogs with "identities" which appeal to less readers will be able to sustain themselves.

What do you think? Do you think blogs can make a comeback? If so, what will it take for blogs to regain popularity?

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