Is the blog, as a form of expression, dying all over the world or is it just mine?
It feels like an ‘all over the world’ thing but the Internet is funny like that. You can slip into thinking that your own tiny corner of it is the whole damn thing and that everything that happens to tiny-you and your tiny-cohort is happening all over the world at the same time.
It’s probably not. Somewhere in the world, great new blogs are probably starting and making friends and drawing in excited readers and commenters. Somewhere, far far away, it’s only just starting to kick off.
Here, though, in my little corner of the world, it’s been feeling a little like the end for some time now. Increasingly, people are getting what they need from Facebook and Twitter. They do their blogging there in micro format and they get the blogging fix they need too.
The blog itself starts to feel like yesterday’s tech. Just like what happened to the ‘personal webpage’ some years ago. With the availability of instant tech, it feels like a something of a vanity to expect people to come especially to your own little place to read your own little overwritten musings. Why bother reading 800 words when 140 characters will do?
Facebook and Twitter don’t lend themselves to blogs and blog links. Facebook only shows people what it wants to show and blog links seem to be very far down that list. And the poor people of Twitter have clicked on so many blog links down the years that they are burned out by the lack of quality and tired of all the self-indulgent repetition.
Quite right too. I have no gripe with any of that.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the action I used to get off my blog over the last six years. A respectable quantity of visitors, a wave of comments, an element of it being passed around and reacted-to. And the fond memories too, like the tiny post that suddenly got 170 comments or the cold St Stephen’s Day when 50,000 people came to read my little ghost story. Good times.
And this is not a plea for more readers or renewed readers or anything like that. Definitely not. One of my least favourite things is the thought that someone would be on my blog without explicitly wishing to be there. That has always been the case. If you ever fancy it, drop by. If not, that’s ultra-cool too.
So, yeah, I don’t know if the blog as a form of expression is dying all over the universe or just in my back yard but it’s certainly coughing and spluttering a little bit over here. It’s been going on for a while now so I thought it was time to take a view on things, a little inventory of the current situation, and have a think about the best way forward for me and my blog.
All of which leads me on to making a small and largely insignificant announcement to the fistful of people who will get to see this.
I ain’t stopping.
No sirree. I’m just going to try to carry on doing what I do, regardless of whether it gets read by anybody or not.
Some years ago, I did a post about why I bothered blogging at all. In it, I wondered if nobody came to read the posts, could I really carry on doing it? It turns out that the answer to this question is an emphatic ‘yes’. I am happy to do it for myself. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with some form of post every week and of trying to make it as good as I can. I am quite pleased with the body of work I have amassed by rising to this challenge every time.
I also think it’s improved my writing quite a bit. I’ve got better at composing my thoughts and formatting an argument. Most importantly, I’ve got better at plugging into my slightly rawer emotions and setting them down. That’s something I was no good at before the blog.
I’m happy to write it for myself. I like looking back over previous year’s entries and seeing the slightly younger, slightly different, person who wrote there. It’s all good.
And, of course, I’m not just writing for myself. Not really. There’s always a few people who drop by. There’s always someone old and there’s always someone new and, now and again, I may even succeed in touching somebody with a word or a tone or a shared experience.
So I’ll trundle along for another while at least. Writing not for the crowd, and not just for me, but for the ‘occasional’ person who might just happen along.
How's it going?
Thanks for stopping by.