Research Question/Argument: What are the results of the decline of traditional blogging and the rise of micro-blogging? How has the increase in lower-quality but more frequent posting from online influencers affected this generation’s online demographic, specifically the demographic that follow Lifestyle and Fashion blogs?
I believe that this shift in blogging platforms has had a significant effect on the online users of today. Whereas before, traditional bloggers gained a following by putting out quality or visually appealing blog posts, nowadays the successful micro-bloggers focus solely on short, simple, and often shallow posts. Readers were less likely to enter the blogosphere themselves, because of the lack of time and ability they had to create high quality postings such as the ones that influential bloggers put out. But now, there are more users than ever that are engaging in micro-blogging platforms, because of the lower level of skill required to become a micro-blogger. Another effect that has been significant is the increase in the use of these micro-blogging platforms as an advertising platform, rather than a place to share creative or insightful content.
Through a thorough research on the change in content and their transition into micro-blogging of popular Lifestyle & Fashion bloggers such as Aimee Song from Song Of Style, Chiara Ferragni from The Blonde Salad, Rumi Neely from Fashiontoast, and XiaXue from xiaxue.blogspot.com, along with bloggers who are solely influential on a micro-blogging platform such as Nina Nguyen also known as ninzeey on Instagram, I intend on proving my aforementioned points. While I am tackling the issue of traditional blogging vs micro-blogging with a bias in traditional blogging, I will be sure to mention all of the positive results that I have observed in this shift. For one thing, micro-blogging is a platform that has a much greater reach than traditional blogging, and in this sense, it allows for great messages and ideas to be spread to a larger population. Micro-blogging is greatly responsible for the power of the media and the incredibly connectivity that we as a generation have with each other. In terms of the increased number of micro-bloggers, while the quality of the blogging can vary, one fact that can not be denied and has done a substantial amount of good for the younger generation is the fact that this generation is actively consuming media, rather than passively as they used to. We as consumers, are able to consume and respond to content faster and in a greater volume than any previous generation.
What kind of Data are you collecting and how are you collecting it?: Quantitatively, I intend on collecting the data on the number of views, subscribed followers, comments, and shares that a traditional blogger had before they moved to a micro-blogging platform such as Instagram and Twitter, and compare those numbers to their new statistics such as the amount of followers and comments/shares that their new platforms have given them. In terms of content, I will do a general comparison of the word count and the frequency of postings over the years as the bloggers transitioned in their new platforms. In order to better judge and assess the quality of the postings themselves, I will take several posts from the earlier years of their blogging careers, and compare them to the quality (in terms of content such as writing and visual media) of the posts that have been made after the shift to their newer platforms.
In order to study the effect, whether positive or negative, that this shift has had on the audience, I will also collect data on the increase of users on Instagram and Twitter through the years, as a demonstration on the increase in active content engagement.
Project Presentation Details: I will be incorporating my data through graphs and charts, and since there is a large focus on the visual aspect of these blogs and micro-blogs, I will also create visual comparisons that will be included in my final project. The project will be largely text-based, as I will need to be able to elaborate on my findings and the relevance of my results, but there will also be multimedia such as photos and data graphs to help further explain my research.
My target audience is any follower of Lifestyle & Fashion blogs, be it in the traditional form or the micro-blog form. I think it’s important that we sometimes take a step back to evaluate the media that we follow, and understand how it is reflective of ourselves in terms of our interests and values. This will help us see how our mindless scrolling through Twitter and Instagram affects us and how we have both adapted, and forced online influencers to adapt to suit our interests and needs.