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  • Blogging Is for Old People

    Posted by Jonathan on October 26th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Is this true? Do younger people now mostly use Facebook, Twitter, phone P2P apps etc?

    Chicagoboyz seems middle-aged; the median age of contributors and commenters here appears to be fifty-something. (Perhaps the age distribution of readers who don’t comment, which is most readers, skews older or younger, but it’s difficult to know.)

    Why is that? This blog has been around for about ten years. That’s a significant chunk of time in anyone’s life. There has been turnover among contributors but those of us who have been here since the beginning are now ten years older. Maybe blogs, or at least blogs that are both 1) around for a while and 2) don’t expand into large enterprises age with their contributors. Blogs, including group blogs, are personal and it’s plausible that the people who read a blog tend to have something in common with the writers. Maybe there’s a cohort of readers aging with the writers, or maybe writers as they age tend to attract older readers. My guess is that it’s a combination, mostly the latter.

    So, is blogging the new TV news, something that mainly older people engage in as either writers or readers? Are older people more likely to blog and comment on blogs because they have free time? Or is reader/writer age an irrelevant variable?

    Feel free to discuss in the comments.

    BTW, here’s a poll:

    How old are Chicago Boyz readers? Please tell us your age (anonymously)…
    Age 20 or under
    21-30
    31-40
    41-50
    51-60
    61-70
    71 or older
      
    pollcode.com free polls 
     

    22 Responses to “Blogging Is for Old People”

    1. Jason in LA Says:

      Occasionally I’ll post topical stuff on FB, including once in a while linking a thoughtful Chicagoboyz post, yet It rarely if ever elicits a response from my 125 or so friends. FB — or at least my friends on FB — just seems to be a different target market. It’s frankly becoming boring to me. Oh and I’m in the 30-40 age range. I no longer know if that makes me young or old.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      “I’m in the 30-40 age range. I no longer know if that makes me young or old.”

      40 is the old age of youth, 50 is the youth of old age.

    3. Whitehall Says:

      I avoid facebook (largely due to dumb relatives) and tweeting is too “short attention span theater” for my tastes. Great for Geminis though.

      Blogs allow enough length to get to the point and cover it. I appreciate deep thinking.

    4. Michael Kennedy Says:

      For me, facebook is for family and photos of my kids when they were small. I don’t think the culture there is for serious subjects.

    5. Tatyana Says:

      Congrats on your first decade, Jon

    6. Dan from Madison Says:

      I think that blogs are for old people in general but so is reading. Not too many twenty somethings are sitting around reading ANYTHING of value, much less thoughtful blog posts. At least that was the way I ran in my youth.

      FB and Twitter will never deliver the content that blogs do, but the real test is to see if blogs will survive. Most won’t but the ones that have a dedicated following and are NOT run for profit (unlike the Chicago Boyz media empire) will live on as long as they are hosted for free (WordPress, Blogger, etc.)

      I run one group blog that has all of five visitors, but it is an easy way for us five to share ideas and keep up with our families.

    7. Mike Doughty Says:

      Dan and Michael Kennedy are both correct, in my opinion. As a generalization, few young people have the interest, or make the time, to delve into many serious subjects. It’s simply not high on their priority list. As people age, their priorities change, based on their life experiences. That is certainly true for me, and almost everyone I know.

      Jason’s experience with Facebook mirrors my own, so I use it to keep family and friends sort of up-to-date with what’s current in my (and my wife’s) life, and to share photos.

    8. renminbi Says:

      I suspect that all the worthwhile,non-specialist have older audiences. Most young people seem empty headed and have little. Maybe some will turn out OK after they ripen a bit.

      This is a wonderful blog.

    9. mishu Says:

      Tumblr is another tool the kids use. They post pictures they found on the internet there.

    10. DHardt Says:

      As a 24 year old I can say I’m truly offended by some of the statements. Sarah Palin has successfully gotten her point across on Facebook by using notes. I like blogs better but Facebook can be used for serious discussions. I’ve gone back and forth on Facebook with friends over politics and books. I do have a parent that writes over here so I’m a little biased. However, how worthwhile were you really in your 20’s? I’m 24. I run house hold, I raise a child and I’m starting a business with my husband who has spent 6 years serving in the Army. My generation has been encouraged to remain children as long as possible by older generations. Whose fault is it really if you find my generation to be so vapid?

    11. Dan from Madison Says:

      Dhardt – well, those are your choices. I wish you success and am glad you are being responsible. It is my opinion that you are in the minority of 24 year olds.

      When I was 24 I was getting hammered and chasing tail and going deaf at speedmetal concerts and having fun (not that you are not having fun, mind you). As were most of my friends. Maybe we were the exception but I doubt it, seeing I went to a zillion parties with people all my age doing the same thing.

      In general, FB does not provide a very large amount of serious discussions. I have been in some, but they are few and far between.

    12. DHardt Says:

      I think you just made my point. Twenty somethings, no matter, are not very well liked. They’re irresponsible, self centered and don’t contribute much. It isn’t just my generation. We’re just using the newest tools to be that way.

    13. Gerry from Valpo Says:

      I responded. Count me in the boomer category. We do have the numbers : )

    14. DHardt Says:

      Sorry. That should read, ” no matter what generation they were in”. My husband interrupted my typing.

    15. Bill Brandt Says:

      Here is my view of these “social websites” like Facebook and Twitter.

      They are superficial.

      Some, like Facebook, use your personal information to sell to advertisers (so I have read). And if you have children you have to really watch them to make sure they aren’t giving too much personal information – I’d hate to raise a child these days…

      Facebook “friends” are superficial for the most part. A blog writer somewhere (I think it was here!) wrote to say he disagreed with something the account owner said and suddenly he is “defriended” (now that’s a Facebookism! ) – Friend 1 day; defriended the next.

      The take home quote: “Do you want me to always agree with you or give you a cookie? (actually the term was better than cookie – what is the food given to lab animals as a reward? Began with a “P” I think….

      I did sign up on Twitter but hardly used it – and I get periodically emails from people I don’t even know signing up to “follow me”.

      What’s that all about?

      The blogs have really taken the place of the old BBSs – the DOS based bulletin board systems – – where you would dial in with your 300 bps modem (1200 bps if you were really cutting edge!) = have conversations with others in various “rooms” – log off and come back to see what’s been going on…

      The same seriousness occurred there as the better blogs…

    16. tyouth Says:

      NO BODY under 21 years of age? You’d think there’d be some over-achieving young geek….

    17. Kirk Parker Says:

      I’ll concur that the culture of Facebook is not one that lends itself to serious discussion.

      And yet… I tend to post a lot of (to-me) interesting links, lots of stuff related to foreign policy and the culture wars at home–NOT in-your-face stuff, never links to someplace like WND, for example. Rather, it’s more like stealth evangelism for Western Civilization and its survival. And I try to be sure not to post too much in any given day, nor too many depressing stories in a row, but make sure to spread things out a bit and leaven them with amusing or off-the-wall things, funny pictures or sweet pictures of my grandchildren, etc.

      And you know what? I have had numerous folks tell me, face-to-face, that I “post the most interesting stuff”. These are generally people who would not find their way to ChicagoBoyz or Belmont Club in the first place, and might not keep coming back if they did. They also tend to be folks who aren’t focussed on the culture wars or the somewhat difficult international situation we’re in, other than absorbing some of the nonsense from the MSM. In other words, FB has turned out to be a fabulous way to get some information in front of the uncommitted/head-in-the sand types that they otherwise never would have seen.

    18. Kirk Parker Says:

      Bill Brandt,

      It all depends on who you let be your ‘friend’ in the first place.

      Of the 188 people currently on my friends list, no more than 10 were folks who I didn’t previous know in real life–and those 10 are all folks who are personally known to someone I know and have some ongoing connection to–i.e. no more than one remove.

      If I get a friend request from anyone more distant than that, I just ignore it.

    19. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

      “50 is the youth of old age”? I’m turning 50 next year, and hadn’t really mulled it over… until hearing this. Not sure at all how to process it.

      (On the other hand, totally looking forward to telling those damn kids to get off my lawn.)

    20. Lexington Green Says:

      Ha. I read that somewhere and thought it sounded clever. I am not sure there is really anything to process. As my 82 year old father said on his 80th birthday: It beats the alternative.

    21. Jeff the Bobcat Says:

      The FB conversation brings to mind the Toyota (I think) commercial where the 20-something young woman was worried that her older parents aren’t getting enough social interaction so she signed them up for FB. She was tsk-tsking the fact they “only” had 18 (IIRC) friends. The commercial cuts to the parents driving their Toyota off somewhere to go mountain biking with their friends in the real world.

      Not sure if it will sell cars, but the commercial skewers several perceptions about how today’s youth see the older generations.

    22. Kirk Parker Says:

      Percy,

      (On the other hand, totally looking forward to telling those damn kids to get off my lawn.)

      We went with the opposite plan: by the time our youngest left home, our lawn–at least the part in front–was pretty much gone. Less work, less shouting–win/win istm. :-)