“The future of the new media, in my opinion, is moving away from personal sites toward online collectives that are focused on particular interests,” Joe Carter
Ted Olsen at Christianity Today contemplates the future of standalone bloggers, mentioning three of them [including me]. His post is a kind reference to Joe Carter’s recent thoughts on standalone bloggers in which I am also singled out as a DYING BREED of bloggers in the midst of a mega-conglomorate-collaborative future. My words, not Joe’s. I told you about Joe last week and his new site called Culture 11. Lovely guy! No hard feelings! I feel the love . . . really!
I am not knocking the group blogging efforts here. Au contraire. In 2002 I gathered 40 faith bloggers from a dozen countries and started what might have been the worlds first faith-based global communal blog called A Kingdom Space [now deceased]. And I enjoy reading collaborative blogs as well as the radical individual thoughts of rhizome cowboys.
So even if I am a dying breed of blogger, I still think there is a place for standalone bloggers like me.
– As a standalone blogger, I offer the accountability of a single view point that a reader may or may not agree with but at least everyone knows where that viewpoint is coming from.
– Many people want a filter, not a funnel. A standalone blogger can give the skinny [sorry] on a situation or topic and serve their audience by REDUCING the amount of material to read, rather than turning on the fire hydrant in their face and streaming them with an information overload.
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– Another advantage of being a standalone blogger is that people can pin the blame on a real person, they can project their frustrations onto a human being rather than pointing to a faceless group. And we all like having someone to dump on.
– A standalone blog is a window to a real person and is therefore, or at least it should be, a holistic picture of someone’s life. You are therefore far more likely to see a picture of a blogger’s cat on a standalone blog than in a collaborative blog.
– Being an individual means you can speak for yourself and be bolder than you would be if you were trying to speak on behalf of the group.
– When my mother comes on my blog to look for pics of the kids, she doesn’t really want to sort through other people’s mess to get there.
– Online collectives might be more efficient in gathering information but a single standalone blogger can appeal to a unique audience. The gospel writers might have been more efficient if they produced a single collaborative gospel, and the New Testament may have been lighter to carry in your pocket, but the fact is, and we celebrate this fact, that we have Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and each book is wonderfully unique in a standalone way.
I think the future is still bright for Standalones but thats not to say that things will stay the same. As we upload more and more content on other websites other than our own, as we send our photos to flickr, our stories to Digg, our phone video to QIK, our movies to youtube, etc, we become life-streamers more than bloggers. The standalone blog will thus look more and more like a dashboard than a web page. Eventually our standalone blog will resemble a one screen portal to the various streams of our media-ated life.
So, although I still participate on group blogging efforts, and even though I have thought of opening this blog up to multiple authors, I think I will stay standalone blogging for some time yet. Anyone care to stand with me?