The growing influence of social networks, especially Facebook, has triggered discussions around the future of the Armenian blogosphere.
"I haven't seen a normal discussion on the comments section for about a year," Ahousekeeper, one of the most prominent and interesting Armenian blogs has written in a recent post, mentioning the spread of social networks among the objective reasons for diminishing blogging activity. "And let me tell you something, LiveJournal is dying," he has concluded.
LiveJournal, a Russian owned blogging platform and social network, has been the central hub of Armenian blogging community since 2007. This is the platform where the majority of Armenian blogs are based with an estimated 4000 users registered from Armenia and as many as 300 bloggers updating their online journals on a daily basis. This is also the platform, where Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan and Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, a number of prominent journalists, political analysts have blogs.
I would say, that it's too early to speak about the death of blogging in general and even Livejournal blogging in Armenia, given the fact, that this blogging and social media platform has impressive performance in terms of website traffic it receives in Armenia. According to some estimates, LiveJournal is the 5th most popular social network in Armenia.
Over the course of the past year a lot of interesting Armenian blogs registered on Wordpress.com and Blogger.com blogging platforms, with as many as 50 of them blogging daily.
I have been professionally monitoring the Armenian blogosphere since 2007 and publishing weekly Armenian blog reviews, which served basis for a radio program by Internews Armenia and later a TV review produced by Banadzev comapany. This background allows me to make some judgments on the quantity and quality of blogging, and here are some observations I have come up with:
- Armenian blogs are not dying, on the contrary, they are becoming more mature. We see less posts these days, but we also see less copy-pasting and link-farming, which was a usual phenomenon 1-2 years ago.
- Armenian bloggers are becoming more careful in their choice of blogging platforms, there are a lot of them who have blogs across various platforms, but stick to their preferred one for primary blogging. Most are also diversifying their delivery methods and engaging very actively with social networks: Twitter, Facebook.
- Blog-posts have become longer since last autumn. But they have also become less interesting, less provocative, with lots of long, newspaper-like arguments in a single post.
- There is also a lot less writing taking place, and there are less then 5 blogs who write more than 2 posts a day, whereas last Spring there were at least 30 such blogs. Moreover, 7 of 10 most active Armenian blogs in my RSS reader are corporate or mulitauthor blogs (RadioVan, FAR's blog, ArmTech, 7or.blog, etc).
- Armenian bloggers are getting less comments and engaging less in discussions on other blogs. But they often prefer to make their main points and reflections about what others have written as separate blog-posts on their own blog.
- Comments are becoming more of the "Like" and "Agree/Disagree" type, rather than long and meaningful discussions we used to be getting in the past.
- A lot of blog-posts are generating buzz and comments on Facebook and Twitter. This activity certainly compensates the diminishing number of comments under the blog-posts themselves.
PS: These are of course observations based only on about 200 blogs I'm following more actively, so I'd be grateful for any additions and contributions. Make sure to also check out the discussion on Ahousekeepers original post, which gave me the idea to write this in the first place.