Are Blogs Outdated?

As The Times continues to change – becoming more digital, becoming more global, looking for new ways to make money as print advertising declines – it frequently adds new features or puts more emphasis on established ones, like video….

I wrote a few months ago about one such decision I strongly disagreed with: the elimination of the Green blog, which had served as a useful clearinghouse for good information, aggregation and fresh reporting about the environment.

At that time, Dean Baquet, the managing editor, told me that The Times would be examining many of its blogs and deciding which ones to maintain. He explained it as a matter of allocating resources and changing with the times.

Now, some of those decisions have been made. In addition to the Green blog, Media Decoder and The Choice (about getting into and financing college) have disappeared. Dozens of Times blogs remain, but more will be eliminated, as Joe Pompeo of Capital New York reported this week. He wrote that “a decision has been made to pull the plug on most, if not all of The Times’s sports blogs, which include Bats (baseball), Straight Sets (tennis), Slap Shot (hockey), The Rail (horse racing) and Off the Dribble (basketball), although each of those appeared to still be publishing content at this writing.”

I asked Mr. Baquet to explain what’s behind the recent changes and those that are to come. While not confirming precisely which blogs will be eliminated, he confirmed the general trend.

“We are rethinking blogs – actually, we’re always rethinking them,” he said.

He suggested that the golden age of blogs at The Times may be over: “Blogs proliferated early on because they were seen as a way for desks and subjects to get into the Web game. They taught us a different way of writing and thinking, created a way to move fast on coverage. But I’d argue that as we’ve matured, the sections themselves now act like blogs.”

Who even knew The Times had “blogs”?

What’s a “blog” anyway?