Drew McKenzie, former columnist for Penthouse, which is now going through bankruptcy, has an interesting point in his article about the recent decline of the porn peddling magazine. There are plenty of other explanations for why the magazine is failing.
McKenzie says "I'd hoped it would survive the onslaught of the "mags for lads" and their popular 'bits-and-blurb' format. FHM, Maxim and Stuff have succeeded because market studies show that guys 18 to 34 won't read big stories and they want pieces broken up. But Penthouse refused to change with the times."
This describes my dissatisfaction with most blogs. The content is often inconsistent, my own writings in this space are a prime example their on-again off-again nature. There have been debates about editing weblogs. This is not about editing, nor about the quality of writing on weblogs. There are definitely some outstanding examples of great writing on weblogs. The problem with weblogs, for those who are avid readers, is that there is never enough to them.
Walt Mossberg among others made the point at a web conference I attended in 1998 that the web is a medium for readers. We're only starting to see widespread acceptance of broadband and other technologies that might change this. The web is today, and has been since its inception a medium for readers. Heavy web users are people who read instead of watching TV.
Do blogs and thier nearly universal 'bits-and-blurb' format contirbute to the end of quality writing?