There's a reason why I surround myself with +Hugh MacLeod's art. The dude nails so much and is still using new media better than any other artist. Plus, he doesn't just draw little graphics on the backs of business cards, his writing and marketing thinking is top rate.

As far as blogging, I think Hugh wrapped up the foodfight, started by +Jeremiah Owyang about whether the Golden Age of blogging is over, quite well. You can find that food fight over on Techmeme at http://www.techmeme.com/111228/p37#a111228p37 and Hugh's wrap-up is at http://gapingvoid.com/2011/12/28/oh-no-blogging-is-really-really-dead-this-time-d/

Is Google+ a blog? What the f**k is a blog anyway? +Dave Winer used to say it's the single voice of a person. But that isn't what most people think of blogs. (I'd argue that Google+ is a blog anyway).

Both Facebook and Google+, this year, added the ability to do long-form writing inside a social network. I'd argue that's causing a new age of blogging: one that is free of commercial concerns. How many of you have clicked on a link to read a news article, or a long opinion piece, and found it hidden behind an ad, or, worse, split up into little pages so you gotta click "next" just to read the next few paragraphs. Both of those behaviors are because the business model for content developers is so dismal that we gotta do very anti-reader things just to make a buck.

Why is Google+ taking off? Freedom from that crappy business model. Now people who just care about ideas can pitch them out here in a frictionless way and, thanks to the awesome search engine here you can find other people who care about the same thing. For instance, here's every post that mentions Hugh MacLeod https://plus.google.com/s/Hugh%20MacLeod so you can find other people who care about Hugh's work (and see more examples).

I read some of the "no, blogging isn't dead" pieces, too. They are right, of course, but something is happening here and over on Facebook. Longer pieces, better thought leadership, all freed from care of business models, and with low-friction engagement from other people who care about the same thing, are exciting me much more than anything I've seen done with Wordpress lately, although +Fred Wilson's blog at http://www.avc.com/ almost got me to reconsider that stance. He, and his community of people interested in startups, is on fire. I argue that the next Fred Wilson will be probably be born here or over on Facebook, not on a Wordpress-based blog. I know Fred will argue that building your own blog is still best for your personal brand, etc. He probably is right, but it's becoming less and less right every day. I bet that in 2012 we'll see Google give us real branding and storytelling capabilities, which will take away yet another advantage the old-style blogs have right now.

Of course, it really doesn't matter. What does matter is that more and more content is being generated every day than yesterday by more and more of us. Wait until another billion people get smartphones and you'll see that this trend will continue into the distant future.

Why do I blog here? Because of that damn search engine. Nothing lets me find other people who care about the things I care about as well anywhere else. Since that's the core of what got me into blogging in the first place, expect to see me here more in 2012, not less.
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