I don't mean this one specifically. I'm still writing. But Slate's got a really interesting article called "Twilight of the Blogs" that says blogs have peaked. It's a good read, and it makes me feel somewhat vindicated for a brief post I wrote on December 1: "Lots of articles about weblogs recently. Mainstream media outlets all have weblogs. Weblogs feel like they're jumping the shark. So what's next?" (and then I said something about podcasts, but that's not interesting.) In truth, that post could have been a lot longer, but it's pretty crappy and hypocritical for me to say anything bad about weblogs, since I've gotten very very lucky with my own adventures in blogging.
It's silly for me to pretend that the timing has had nothing to do with the fact that I've been able to get some attention for my blog writing. I'd like to think I'm a good writer, but, hey, when I started writing about law school, in August 2002, there weren't that many weblogs out there. I'd never read a weblog before I started writing one -- I'd seen some article somewhere about Blogger and thought it would be cool to have an online account of my law school experience, and wanted a reason to write something every day, but it wasn't an orchestrated attempt at anything. I've got no reason to believe that if I'd started law school a year later, or certainly two years later, that I would have been able to build up any sort of audience at all. And similarly, the timing of the Anonymous Lawyer stuff ended up working out really well, through no intentional market timing on my part -- in the past year there's been so much more media attention on blogs than there was before, and now every newspaper site has blogs, magazine sites have blogs, news channels have blogs -- they've been co-opted by the mainstream media and they're not "the new thing" anymore. I'd be naive, or deluded, to think that the new-ness of blogging, and the eagerness of the mainstream media to make sure they weren't going to be left behind, shouldn't get the vast majority of the credit for the Times piece about Anonymous Lawyer and my book deal. I don't feel like it takes anything away from my writing to know that Anonymous Lawyer starting in March 2006 is a less interesting animal than Anonymous Lawyer starting in March 2004. And that's luck on my part, not design.
But the Slate article doesn't answer what I wanted help answering in December -- and I haven't come up with any answers yet. If blogs have reached their peak, what's the next frontier? Maybe there isn't one. Or maybe the people who know what it is aren't reading weblogs anymore -- or they just don't want to share. Heck, if I knew, I probably wouldn't want to share either. At least not yet.