The pandemic shows why we need to bring back blogs
Writing in Wired Cal Newport praises Twitter for its ability to surface relevant experts, but he warns:
Twitter was optimized for links and short musings. It’s not well suited for complex discussions or nuanced analyses. As a result, the feeds of these newly emerged pandemic experts are often a messy jumble of re-ups, unrolled threads, and screenshot excerpts of articles. We can do better.
We need to augment social platforms with a surge in capacity of the original Web 2.0 technology that these upstarts so effectively displaced: blogs.
To me the long-neglected advantages of blogging are not just about better presentation of information, but about the level of discourse they once engendered and how it compares to Twitter today. Blogging has a higher cost than tweeting, so it filters for more serious (or at least more committed) posting, where quality trumps quantity. The incentives Twitter presents lead one all too easily down a path of snark, mob-pleasing, and ad hominem.
Arguments on the blogs of yore were slow volleys of thoughtful and well-sourced essays, rather than micro-sniping. I would love to see that kind of conversation come back. It’s in large part why I’m blogging again and I hope others will join me.