This interview with John Corriea on how long-form articles work in the current ADHD world of social media was a lot of fun to do, but it got me thinking. While a lot of gunbloggers out there who grew bored of the content game, there are also a lot of us who “went legit” and starting writing for bigger publications. Besides my work at Ammoman, there’s Tam, who writes for Recoil and is the Handgun Editor at Shooting Illustrated. Jay Grazio at SI was a blogger, as was Tom McHale at American Handgunner. Caleb Giddings is a former blogger who freelances for a bunch of publications, as is Paul Carlson. Richard Johnson maintains his own site and writes for other people, and I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of others.
What got me thinking, though, was that there aren’t a lot of bloggers filling in the gaps as people like Jay and myself move on to other things. And that’s a problem. Social media and YouTube is great, but they are not the main platform for any serious publication or business. Eventually, people want to buy stuff, and that means websites, not social media, and websites mean written content, not Instagram posts or 30 second web videos.
The problem is, there are just not enough new voices on the horizon to fill in the gaps created as the current crop of gunbloggers moves on to other things. Websites need writers, not social media influencers, but the siren call of InstaFame distracts people from long form content. That will change, the only question is, how? Are there “influencers” out there who can learn to write long-form content? Probably. Are they out there right now? Yes. Are they stepping up to the plate and creating written content? Not yet, but it needs to happen.