Although I may not have admitted it earlier, I’m a most fervent believer in virtual travel. Those of us who don’t have enough money to travel the world can appease their itch by hopping online and reading about exotic places people have gone. In this economy, many people have to turn to the vicarious experience of travel through reading travel articles or viewing photos online or in print. There’s no way you can get the real thing, so you settle for it virtually. Travel blogs like MatatorTravel, BlissfulTravel, and PerceptiveTravel have been my fix of choice, and without them, I’m not sure I’d feel as alive as I do.
That’s why I was stunned when I read an article in The Economist about how blogging has gone too mainstream.
The article describes how, just a decade ago, blogging was considered fresh, but it has since become an informational tool that is so large that it is impersonal. It states how Jason Calacanis, the founder of Weblogs, Inc. (which happens to be the motherblog to Gadling), decided to retire from blogging. His reasons? “Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it.” I beg to differ with this view. The effect of blogs for readers, I believe, is really the opposite: I’m able to feel connected to people and cultures on the other side of the globe all with my eyes, my heart, and upon the click of my mouse.
The Economist went so far as to suggest that Calacanis’s retirement from this media marks a possible slow death of blogging itself. It compares this inevitability to PDA’s of all things: “blogging may “die” in much the same way that personal-digital assistants (PDAs) have died. A decade ago, PDAs were the preserve of digerati who liked using electronic address books and calendars. Now they are gone, but they are also ubiquitous, as features of almost every mobile phone.”
I’m rather appalled by the notion that blogging can die one day. That reality obviously remains to be seen, but the scary part about this possibility is what could replace it. Will virtual travelers find their fix elsewhere? Is Gadling doomed for non-existence? I certainly hope not. If anything, it is evolving into something more multimedia and accessible.