The title of this post sounds a bit clueless to me. Blogs ARE a sizeable portion of Social Networking. Blogs existed before just about EVERYTHING that is now thought of as â€œSocial Networkingâ€. I think it would be more accurate to say that â€œBlogs are no longer the rageâ€, or â€œTwitter and Facebookâ€ are more popular than Blogsâ€. Well, DUH. But the increase in Blogging among the over 30 crowd seems to me to be a typical and predictable reaction to the â€œparing downâ€ of what it takes to be â€œout thereâ€ in Social Networking comparative to what it took to come up with blog posts. The â€œunder 30â€ crowd seems to gravitate to quick, low output, â€œquickyâ€ status updates and texting type messages, while the older â€œnetworkersâ€ see their role as curators to their audiences.
In 2006, about 28 percent of teenage Net users said they blog, while only about 14 percent now say they do. Commenting on blogs is also down, from 76 percent in 2006 to about 52 percent now.
But blogging has remained relatively constant among older users. Pew said its studies in recent years have "consistently found that roughly one in 10 online adults maintain a personal online journal or blog." About 11 percent of Net users age 30 and over maintain a personal blog, compared to seven percent in late 2007.
Blog apps have begun extending themselves outward into the larger Social Networking streams via allowing for logins from other social networking authentication, and by the growing API features for Twitter, Friendfeed, etc. One plugin, which I could not get to work on my WordPress blog, claimed to be able to pull in tweets that reference the tweet generated for the blog post, and link to these in the comments section.
This is further evidence of the fact that blogs are a part of this ecosystem of Social Networking. Many of the earliest tweeters immediately found their same group of people to â€œfollowâ€ that they were connecting with via RSS in the heydey of the blogs. Now they find posts and items of interest that are singled out by their other â€œfollowedâ€ sources, instead of having to filter out items in the RSS feeds that donâ€™t particularly interest them.
So far from being â€œoutâ€ of the â€œcircle of INâ€ in this scramble to be â€œwith itâ€ re: Social Networking, blogs are simply adapting, as are their most active and â€œsocialâ€ authors, leveraging the tweet streams as filters to help find the most relevant stuff. And again, I think the church needs to focus on this role as curator. We need systems that bring together the resources that others bring to bear, and they are out there.