Slate Magazine declared email dead today based upon the fact that kids use text messages and not email to communicate with each other. In my at home observations, sample size of 2, this is true. Email is used when my kids forget a paper that they wrote and need me to email it to them; never to communicate with each other. They use Facebook mail when a little privacy is necessary but otherwise use the Facebook wall. They complain about school, they make weekend plans and they document how it went, in words and in photos.
Taking a step on the wayback machine, it seemed for a moment in time that cheap long distance and cell phones killed writing causing worry that the art of writing would soon be extinct. Email actually saved the skill from becoming a DoDo Bird.Text messaging has kept the written word on life support, not because of lack of volume (I still can't fathom the sheer number of text messages my kids send in a day) but because of the secret code that substitutes for the English language...idk, sup, and so on.
Email just seems slow, not interactive enough to be a conversation replacement. IM and text are faster; more like a conversation in text. But email is for depth, elaboration, explanation, for attaching things to. And of course email is for spammers like Virginia is For Lovers.
Alex Iskold noted that he and Marshall had attended Blog World Expo along with 1500 other bloggers but upon his return home he wondered if blogging was just not all that anymore. He took a reasonably analytic look at blogging stats and concluded that it was in fact blogging as a trend is slowing down, it is rising compared with newspapers. He divided up bloggers by the reason that they blog:
Blogging for money, aka Professional Blogging
Blogging for business and pleasure
Blogging for a cause
Blogging for social reasons
He wrote that spam, social networks and microblogging might very well slow the growth of the blogosphere down as far as professional bloggers are concerned. I think I would have to agree. It seems (not a technical term) that people in the social media space are blogging less and using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook more.
Today I was talking with Elizabeth Helfant who hangs out in a different blogosphere neighborhood and she noted that she was blogging less and it seemed that in her blogging word others were also blogging less. We also spoke of the abundance of information available online....that abundant overwhelming massive amount of information that unless aggregated and filtered becomes almost impossible to attend to.
Elizabeth has some really interesting things going on at MICDS which makes me especially happy since my son goes to school there. While exploring some of those things tonight, I learned the reading level of my blog is "highschool" by using the Blog Readability Test on Julie Lindsay's Blog. I guess that means that my kids could read my blog....except they would never want to be caught doing that.
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