For a while, I’ve predicted (hoped?) the term “blogger” will go away. At the same time, I’ve predicted the word “blog” will probably stick around. My argument goes something like this: In english, an individual is rarely, if ever, referred to as an “emailer” or “telephoner.” E-mail and telephones are merely powerful tools we use in our business and personal lives — in the same way we can use blogs or the wide array of tools now called “social media.”
Last week, I gave a little push back to predictions that “blogging” is “peaking” as I found the factors used in the analysis leading to such predictions a bit stretching. However, after reading this post announcing the end to an annual Paris conference attended heavily by bloggers, it made me think of my earlier “telephoner” prediction. I now would like to join with others who are predicting a “peak” of some sort. My prediction, however, is that we’ve reached the peak of the era when social media was new. We’ve reached, in Churchillian terms, the end of the beginning of social media. At least I hope we have. And I think those of us who want to encourage others to use social media tools to share their ideas or creations or concepts or insights should be glad these tools have gone so mainstream that Time would do us all a favor and (perhaps unwittingly) declare an end of the beginning of the era when social media tools and platforms and networks were something special.
Last year, I pointed to a post by blogger Rich Karlgaard (that was a joke as Rich — despite his regular blogging — is better known for being an A-list magazine publisher) and his explanation of the term top-tick:
“At Forbes we like to say that when a story appears on the cover of Time of Newsweek, it is “top-ticked.” Which means, if Time or Newsweek declares a new trend, the trend has peaked. If Time or Newsweek loves a hot stock, sell.
Time, by declaring social media the story of the year, has top-ticked its uniqueness, specialness, and new-newness. And that’s a good thing. I believe those of us who believe that online tools should enable self-expression of all types (comedy, journalism, advocacy, commerce, art) should want the term blogger to become about as unnecessary as the term telephoner.