Dave Winer speaks about what the blogosphere has become. I want to add this: the access growth to the Internet, the explosion in Social Media usage, makes you feel like blogs have disappeared. A small drop in an ocean of garbage.
Fact is... Who wants to shine quickly picks up a vertical Social Network, keeps on posting apparently non-sense distinctive content, till he/her goes viral. Who wants to be authentic, anti-ephemeral, won't think about audience. He/her will think about content, curated, personal expression of his/her own. It will take ages, but the wait will pay you back.
I doubt if the blogosphere of 2018 is smaller in absolute terms than the blogosphere of the early 2000s. In fact I'm pretty sure it's orders of magnitude larger, if you consider the size of just two hosting services -- Wordpress.com and Tumblr. #
Most of the people who use social media, Twitter, Facebook etc are not NBBs. They were never going to become bloggers. We learned this in the early days of the evangelism of blogs. Most people don't have the impulse. #
What changed is we lost the center. I know something about this because I created and operated weblogs.com. It worked at first, but then the blogosphere grew and grew, and weblogs.com didn't or couldn't scale to meet it. Eventually I sold it because it was such a personal burden for me. #
The blogosphere is made of people, but the people treated the center like a corporation, and it wasn't. If we ever want to reboot the center, there has to be a cooperative spirit, and a limit to its scope to avoid the scaling problems. You can't put a big corp at the center of something so independent, or it ceases to be independent. #
We're paying a price now for the lack of a center as Google and others move to control the open web that made blogging possible. Bloggers need the low barrier to entry to hosting our own blogs, even if we never use it. It's our escape plan. With no way out, the hosting companies will turn into AOL. #
There used to be a communication network among bloggers, but that's gone now. #