Andrew Keen: The word in the hallways is that the days of blogging are over

New media

Is blogging dead? Last year, questioning the future of the iconic weblog would have had me sectioned. But today, in the face of the dramatic explosion of real-time social media services such as Twitter, the future of blogging is far from certain.

It's not just me. Last week, I was in Amsterdam, with a thousand of my closest new media friends, at the Next Web, one of Europe's best tech conferences. And the words whispered in the hallways weren't always promising for the venerable digital institution. Some pundits at Next Web – such as Hermione Way, the London-based founder of Newspepper.com and the presenter of Techfluff.tv – have even begun to pen their obits. "Blogging as we know it is dead," Way told me over dinner one evening at Amsterdam's Loup restaurant. "It's finished."

Are the reports about the death of blogging exaggerated? At that same Loup dinner, Matt Mullenweg, the San Francisco-based co-founder of the open-source blog company WordPress, announced its resurrection. "Blogs will become aggregation points," he explained in a soft voice, as he mapped out the future of blogging. "They will become our personal hub. Places where we store all our own media content, such as our flickr photos and Twitter posts."

I suspect that Mullenweg is right. When blogging was invented in the late 1990s by my bosom Berkeley friend and neighbour, Dave Winer, it was an easy self-publishing tool, a simple way to publish lumps of one's own static text. But just as the internet has dramatically evolved over the last 10 years into a real-time broadcasting platform, so blogging is transforming itself with equal vigour.

With its 10 million to 15 million users and blue chip media clients such as The New York Times, CNN and The Wall Street Journal, Mullenweg's WordPress epitomises these changes. What distinguishes it from some of its competitors is its open-source foundations. This open architecture has fostered a free ecosystem of 5,000 plug-ins that enable WordPress users to do everything from incorporating their Twitter feeds, videos and photos, to managing their own independent record labels.

Last week, WordPress released two new products – Buddy Press and P2 – that underline Mullenweg's vision. Mullenweg described Buddy Press to me as "Facebook in a box" – technology which enables WordPress users to create their own public or private social networks around their blog. While P2 is "Twitter in a box" which, says Mullenweg, transforms the traditional WordPress blog into a real-time media experience.

So who is right about the future of the blog, Hermione Way or Matt Mullenweg? They both are, of course. The old static blog is indeed dying. But it's being resurrected by WordPress as a real-time social media personal portal. The blog is dead, long live the blog!

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SEO Executive

£24 - 28k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical SEO Executive to join one ...

Research Analyst / Insight Analyst

£25k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Research Analyst / Insight Analyst to joi...

RTB/ Programmatic Campaign Manager

35,000 - 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Our client is the world's largest...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence