Feeling like you can't keep pace with the ever-evolving world of new technology?
You're not alone. Even some of the hippest of techno youngsters are on the road to becoming irrelevant.
In this case, the "youngster" is blogging. Less than five years ago, blogs were exploding across the Internet, with individuals, groups and companies jumping onto the bandwagon. But according to a recently released study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, blogging by companies has suddenly taken a steep dive, abandoned in favor of newer social media tools such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.
The survey reports that the percentage of companies that maintain blogs fell to 37 percent in 2011, down from 50 percent in 2010. The study is based on a survey of 500 fast-growing companies listed by Inc. magazine.
Only 23 percent of Fortune 500 companies maintained a blog in 2011, flat from a year ago after rising for several years.
The study found that blogging rose dramatically during the period between 2007 and 2009. It was the hot thing to do, and it shared the public's attention along with another rising form of social media, MySpace. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought My Space in 2005 for $585 million, when the potential growth and profits seemed limitless.
They weren't. Within six years, MySpace had become irrelevant. News Corp. had a hard time unloading the failing company and managed to get only $35 million for it.
The collapse of MySpace, a platform where personal or business information could be posted and the concept of friending was born, was brought on by the rise of Facebook. Facebook took the elements that worked for MySpace and vastly improved them.
There's no doubt that the blogosphere remains strong, at least for now. There's an estimated 170 million blogs out there, many of them maintained by private individuals. But their growth has slowed over the past two years, and data indicate the growth has reached its peak.
There's no doubt that companies are attempting to fish where the fish are. The UMass study concluded, "We are now seeing the incorporation of new platforms and tools including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, texting, downloadable mobile apps and Foursquare while we note the reduction in use of blogging, message boards, video blogging, podcasting and MySpace."
It's impossible to say today whether the social media that are flooding our computers and mobile devices now will even be around in five years.
No doubt, somewhere out there, the next Mark Zuckerberg is tinkering with technology that will render Facebook as irrelevant as MySpace.
It's just a matter of time before the next big evolution hits us, and we'll all be leaping to catch up. Again.