A case for modernizing blogs

February 17th, 2015

Marco Arment:

If we want it to get better, we need to start pushing back against the trend, modernizing blogs, and building what we want to come next.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I agree with him. And I also don’t pretend to know the answers. Here is what I wrote about the blog format being ready to be “disrupted” back in the spring of 2011:

I believe the blog format is ready for disruption. Perhaps there doesn‘t need to be “the next“ WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger for this to happen. Maybe all we really need is a few pioneers to spearhead an effort to change the way blogs are laid-out on the screen. There are still so many problems to solve; how new readers and also long-time subscribers consume the stream of posts, how people identify with the content of the blog on the home page, how to see what the blog is all about, how to make money, how to share, and how interact and provide feedback on the content.

This is far from the first time this topic has come up in the blogosphere. In 2013 a discussion sprang up about the blog being dead. At that time, I wrote:

A set of protocols or standards will need to come along to help connect all publishing platforms together. The incredibly useful features we find inside of networks like Twitter will need to find their way out onto the world wide web. This means bringing actions like following or subscribing, mentioning, citing, link previewing, etc. to the independent web and have them be completely separate from any single service.

I then pointed towards IndieWebCamp. Since that time the IndieWeb movement has made a considerable number of strides towards making these connective innovations a reality.

What Marco means by “modernizing blogs” I do not know. I hope he expounds on this idea a bit because his blog has been a bit of a trumpet lately for getting things moving. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if some innovation in the blogging space happened again.

One last note; I consider Barley an “innovation” in the way people write content for any type of site — blog or otherwise. Inline editing is beginning to show up just about everywhere now. However, it isn’t what the web needs to make blogs “live” again. No publishing platform is. It is more about how blogs are consumed, interacted with, subscribed to (for the lack of a better term) and shared, and less about how they are built or how content gets onto them. The blog needs to be rethought as if someone were to build it anew here in 2015.