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Twitter to spell end of Irish bloggers?

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Forbes magazine, the Irish Sunday Times and writer Andrew Sullivan are all predicting the death of the Irish blogger. All have pointed out in recent days that blogging has failed to take off in Ireland.

There are only about 4,000 Irish bloggers and the numbers have not increased, which has caused some head scratching

“Blogging has definitely slowed down, as all these other tools that allow us to communicate have come along,” Damien Mulley, one of Ireland’s best-known bloggers, admitted to The Sunday Times.

He says Twitter is to blame. “Some bloggers have given up the ghost completely,” Mulley said. “Some have gone from daily updates to weekly or monthly. It’s like when texting came about — it had a massive impact on people making phone calls.”

Why Ireland of all places where people love to write? “The online environment in Ireland is fairly barren,” says Paul Colgan, an Irish journalist who runs one of Australia’s biggest news websites.

“I’m surprised at how slow the uptake is on basics like Facebook and Twitter. There isn’t a population big enough to make blogs work, and there seems to be a cultural indifference or fear about sharing breakfast details.”

Some point to a recent court case where an Irish blogger lost a huge libel judgment of over $200,000 for a blog that was defamatory as a reason why more people will not blog Others say journalists in major newspapers have never cottoned on to blogging and a s a result rarely file or ask for reader interaction

Ireland's most popular blogger is probably “Twentymajor,” an anonymous writer who is called after an old cigarette brand. Even he, however, has a relatively small audience.

Part of the problem appears to be that major figures in the arts, literary and publishing world do not blog and that it is usually amateurs who do. As a result there are no heavyweight bloggers such as an Andrew Sullivan who are must-reads for many every day.

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