This month two major online elements that have drawn people onto the internet are celebrating anniversaries.
One is blogging, which is 20 years old. It is estimated there are over 152 million blogs online, with two new ones created every second. The blog has enabled people and businesses to showcase their expertise and opinions, as well as connect and take part in conversations that result from blog posts.
The other is element is Facebook, which is 10 years old this month. In that time they claim there has been over 201 billion friend connections, nearly 8 trillion messages sent and that there are over 25 million small business Pages. Apparently Mark Zuckerberg had to be persuaded to add photo sharing to the site. Now there are over two and a half million images uploaded every 20 minutes. Two years ago Facebook even paid a billion dollars for the photo-sharing app Instagram.
The rise of Facebook has been much more high profile. With a film to highlight its inception, legal issues amongst its founders, a less than impressive start in financial markets (it lost half its value in weeks) and frequent criticism over its approach to privacy.
But what will happen to these two established online elements over the next decade or two?
Some believe that the growth of social media platforms will mean the decline of the blog. On the other hand a recent Princeton University study said Facebook is on the decline and it expects 80% of Facebook users to abandon the social network within the next three years.
Personally I’m happy to keep my blog as the central hub for my online presence, linking in other sites as I grow them. The advantages include having much more control of the pages and content.
A blog usually has (hopefully) more considered and structured content. This should encourage more considered interactions with my audience when it comes to comments, criticisms and points of view. A blog rarely consists of short snippets posted whenever something arises, with the occassional temptation to share a little too much information.
So who knows what lies ahead? Change is a fundamental part of the internet where even the most dominant sites can be swept aside. Just ask Bebo and LiveJournal.