SOCIAL MEDIA KILLED A BLOGGING STAR – I have written about this briefly myself, when after 9 year break I returned to blogging: blogging is dead, certainly the political blogging is. The golden age in the early to mid 2000s, during which the original Chrenkoff blog flourished, is a distant memory; The Daily Chrenk has returned to a completely different online landscape. What happened?

In this long but insightful piece, John Hawkins, who was part of that golden age with his Right Wing News (and continued for a long time afterwards), largely blames the social media:

Back in 2001 when I started Right Wing News (which is now a vanity website after it went out of business at the start of the year), the media landscape was entirely different. The Internet advertising market was too soft to interest big corporations; social media was a non-factor and many of the biggest conservative websites today didn’t exist.

What that meant was that if you were good, you could build an audience just doing 3-4 posts a day and you had a lot more fun doing it to boot. Back then, think tanks flew bloggers out to conferences; bloggers actually broke some big stories and we wrote about whatever we found interesting. It all went well enough for me that I was able to go full time in 2005.

After a few years of that, things started to change for me and for other bloggers for two reasons.

Since John titles his article “Confessions of a Clickbait Guru: 5 Ways Social Media is Destroying Journalism and Politics”, all I can say is “you won’t believe what happened next”, so read on. But he is certainly correct that in a social media-driven post-blog world we ended up with more dumbing down and polarisation – and yes, fake news; I’m seeing this every day, including on The Daily Chrenk. It’s not happening in the pursuit of money, because there is none to be had anymore (not that there ever was much to start with), but the ever elusive eyeballs. It’s not the reputation and blogging networks that can do it for you any more; the traffic to your blog is overwhelmingly coming from the social media. Facebook’s and Twitter’s mysterious algorithms can make you and they can certainly break you. And let’s not even start on the topic of the conscious and unconscious anti-conservative bias amongst those who run and operate the big platforms – the censorship, the shadow banning, demonetisation.

Blogging is still fun, but not nearly as much as it once used to be.