Lately I’ve read a few articles about how the blogging bubble has burst. A few of the “big” bloggers have noted that their comments and hits have fallen off. Even us smaller bloggers have noticed that “no one comments anymore.” There’s been a lot of talk about how people have taken their social interaction to Twitter and Facebook. So is this it? Is blogging going to fade away like bell bottom jeans and one-shoulder sweatshirts?
I admit, I don’t comment as much as I used to. I still read, though. I have about 300 blogs in my reader and I actually keep up to date on almost all of them. But since I am reading through a reader, I have to click through to comment, which is an extra moment of time that I might not have, especially just to leave the kind of simple comment that let you know I was here, I read, and enjoyed. But I’m trying to do better at that, because I think it’s really important to let bloggers know that you loved their words, that you were touched by what they said, that you have something of your own to share on that subject. It’s a meaningful interaction to me.
I still find blogs from time to time that I add to my reader – every year at BOLO there’s someone I love so much, I have to hear more. It’s sometimes a bit of work to add a new blog. You have to invest time in reading longer posts, get to know the person a bit. Maybe even explore some back posts if something comes up that you don’t get. But it’s worth it. The people I have met through blogging have become friends. Even those who I’ve never met in real life seem like personal pals – I feel like I really know them. These days, when I tell someone a story that I read on a blog, I am more likely to say, “A friend was telling me that…” than to say, “I read on someone’s blog that…”. It just makes more sense to me the first way – reading a blog really is kind of like having a coffee with a friend.
I don’t get the same thing from Twitter or Facebook, but I hear lots of people say that they just don’t “get” those kinds of social media, so perhaps I’m missing something. I’ve “met” people through Twitter and we’ve chatted but I still feel like I know nothing about them. Maybe if I spent more time there and was more interactive there, I’d find the magic. But what I really love is delving into a meaty blog post, and finding insight into someone’s day, someone’s thoughts, or someone’s soul.
Is that too much to ask of blogging? Maybe.
I’m meandering here, but what I really wanted to say is that I think there’s definitely a continued place for blogging, even if the audience is shrinking. It’s extremely powerful to have a place for writers self-publish their works, be it anecdotes about how they burned their lunch to political rants to deeper pieces that share a difficult time or emotion. Even casual blogs that just document the day-to-day stuff can be great writing; there’s something about just being human that invites empathy. There’s meaning in sharing stories, and there’s power in developing your writing skills. Plus, there’s something worthwhile in documenting your own story, for yourself.
I’m wondering if, instead of the blogging bubble bursting, if we’re seeing more of a new life cycle for a blog. I think blogs and bloggers come in waves – people who are new to the format sign up, get excited, blog a lot, make a network of friends, and get reading, writing, and commenting. They mature in style and develop their own goals and plans, maybe spend three or four years growing their blog. Some will hit the right market segment and get huge; others will be content (or learn to be content) with a smaller audience. And then perhaps, eventually, the blogger tires of the same old subjects, the readers tire of the same old subjects, and everyone moves on to something new, leaving room for the next wave. Maybe the big bloggers who are seeing their audiences shrink are just in the twilight years, and new bloggers will come forward to take their place.
For me, I’ll always love blogging no matter what happens. I’m not cut out for the quickness of Twitter or the forced intimacy of Facebook. I like writing blog posts, and I plan to keep it up. But I do sometimes feel like I’ve accomplished all that I ever will with this space, and that I need new challenges. Is blogging dead? Mine sure isn’t, but it has matured, aged even, and sometimes gets a little tired and creaky. But I’m still here.
19 thoughts on “Is Blogging Dead?”
Lynn, when I am referring to you designing my blog or something you wrote, I always say “my friend Lynn” even though we haven’t met in person. I have really whittled down my Reader feed, but do still enjoy the blogs that I do read. I don’t know if it’s dead, or dying, but I still enjoy reading your posts and also, at least today, enjoy writing and recording snippets from my mind.
I agree with your “wave” theory Lynn. I think, for many of the blogs I’ve read, somewhere around two years seems to be a sweet (or sour) spot when the initial rush is over. Especially for people who blog about a subject (like me), at first you have lots to say and tell and then, eventually, you find you’re posting variations on an already-stated theme. For people like you who blog about life – well, life just keeps going doesn’t it?
I’ve never had a huge blog following, but I do enjoy blogging. I don’t blog as much as I used to though, because so much of my online interaction does come though other avenues (yes, Twitter!) as well. I often find Twitter tweaks my interest, but that I need to read a friend’s blog to form a deeper connection with what they are saying. Dead? I don’t think so. Evolving…for me, yes. I blog less, and it’s more about having something to say. Kind of an online journal where I can marshal my thoughts. But I hope it isn’t going away…there is so much great info that tweets and status updates can’t quite capture.
I still read, even if I don’t always time to comment. It is also harder to comment if reading on a tablet. I also don’t write as much as I used to, and part of it is the stage we are at with everything in our lives.
I just realized my 2 year blogiversary is coming up and I’ve been wondering what direction I want my blog to go. Like you I’ll keep writing because it’s what I like to do and I’ll just hope to find other bloggers on the crest of their blogging wave to connect with. My blog has become this happy little spot on the met just for me and I’m grateful for that
I won’t give up on blogging, but it certainly has changed since I started. I would say there are so many more “monetized” or “Sponsored” blogs, that it is hard to find the kind of blog I write and like to read. You know? But I won’t give up!
I can’t say I think Blogging is dead. But my interests change and I am more and more drawn to smaller blogs that talk about real things. Less advertising to me and more just real people talking.
I’ve been thinking about this myself lately. I don’t blog nearly as much as I used to, probably because of the demands of my job and family and house and yard….etc. etc. But also I’ve been blogging for six years now. Six. I have nearly 500 blog posts, and I’m tired. But, still, I’m not ready to shut it down.
One thing I’ve noticed is that over the years, my blog has changed. It started out as, if not a mommy blog, then at least a family-centred blog, chronicling my life with my girls after my marriage dissolved. As time went by, the focus shifted, and I think that I would characterize my blog as a personal blog or maybe a humour blog. I still blog about Leah and Rae, but not as often.
Blogging has been so valuable though. I’ve met so many people through reading other people’s blogs and writing my own that I never would have met otherwise. Some I’ve only met online, but some have become real-life friends.
I don’t think blogging will disappear, it will just be distilled into fewer, smaller, finer blogs, and I think we’ll be the better for it.
That’s really interesting, I didn’t realize that there was a larger drop off in comment/hits, I’ve never been big enough and haven’t been at it long enough to see that, I think. That being said, I do wonder a lot about what I’m doing blogging, about whether it’s a good use of my time, about whether it’s good enough for me to just put something out there, even if nobody responds, and whether FB and Twitter are a better place to ‘hang out’ as it were. I just don’t know. But I just might have to blog about it 🙂
And incidentally, I’ve also wondered about putting a “like” button on my posts. Hell, there might even be one there already, I don’t know. But I know there are times when I want to leave a message that just says “hey, read it, liked it, thanks”, but it seems superficial, so I don’t. But at the same time, I’d rather someone do that than read and leave, leaving me wondering what (if anything) they thought.
But then again, it’s hard to think of something more superficial than a like button. *sigh*
Long live the blog!
i love reading blogs (and commenting too!) i don’t do facebook or twitter- not my thing at all! although all these mediums will evolve, I believe that that blogging will be around for quite a while, at least i hope so!
I agree with pretty much everything here. I think blogging has, in a figurative if not completely literal sense, saved my life. I’m comfortable with the ebb and flow of things, I’m never going to be a brand, but I love everything blogging has given me and I can’t imagine stopping writing, or reading. And you and I are TOTALLY friends, right? Pam and I just got you a present!
I agree that sometimes a “like” button would be appropriate, or a ” hey, I was here” button … I don’t always have something meaningful to add to a conversation even when I’ve appreciated what was written.
I think blogs had a rapid growth in both writer and readership for awhile. Some people have said all they wanted to say through that fomrat and are wandering on to other things. There will still be new blogger staking their place, but perhaps not as many. Similarly, a lot of people rushed to reading blogs … but after a certain point there is only so much you can read. Both before you exhaust the new material available to read, or need a break. It’s like .. say .. discovering murder mystery novels for the first time and loving them, and then you read murder mystery novels repeatedly and seek out new ones and new authors .. and eventually you’ve read most of the currently published and popular books, and you still lov emurder mysteries but it’s time for a good romance or a fantasy novel and so you move on to reading some other things .. but you still love mystery novels and will read more of them in future, and keep following your favourite authors.
I haven’t been blogging long myself, and I admit I’ve fallen write off the bandwagon in the past month or so. I realised that what I had envisioned for my blog when I began isn’t where I seem to be going, and while I’m fine with that (and kind of interested in seeing hwere it takes me) I took a pause to kind of get my bearings and then seem to be having trouble getting going again. But I mostly write for myself and the few people I know personally who follow it, and then I’m happy if anyone else finds any use or interest in it.
I agree that blogging is better for building relationships that Twitter or Facebook. Personally, I only accept friend requests on Facebook from people I actually know in some way, and while I love Twitter, it’s far more immediate. I’m only on Twitter when I’m not at work, and if someone said something 6 or 8 hours before I read it, I don’t always feel like I should comment – it’s much harder to connect a reply to the original statement, and they might have said 20 other things since whatever I want to reply to.
Blogging, on the other hand, allows me to get to know people I don’t actually know, and I also use the “my friend” description.
As much as I’d like to go, I don’t think I’ll make it to BOLO this year, but it’s nice to have that event to put a few faces to names and meet people in person that I feel like I already know.
This is something I often think about. I don’t think blogging is dead but it certainly has changed. The number of people who take the time to comment has dropped significantly. There are just so many other places to spend one’s limited “internet time.”
My blog has always been a place for me to share what’s on my mind and record the goings on in our lives. And like me, it’s evolved over time to be something a little different. It’s less about raising babies, more about home renovation nowadays.
Readers come and they go, but I don’t spend too much time dwelling on the readers I might be losing to Facebook or to the millions and millions of other parenting blogs out there. I began this journey blogging for myself, and that’s ultimately what I’m still doing… although I’m always thrilled to hear when other people have benefitted from something I’ve written. I treasure every comment!
I had been thinking about writing a post on this topic too, but yours is so good I don’t need to now! For me, I still love blogging and reading blogs, but I find there is less that I want to say now, and when I do post, it is much shorter than what I used to write. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t have time to keep up with it all, or if my attention has been diverted by writing fiction, but sometimes interacting in the blogosphere just feels like one more task I need to add to my day. Plus there are so many amazing bloggers out there that it’s hard to keep up with them all even though I really want to.
That being said, I love BOLO and can’t wait to see you and everyone on Thursday!
I’ve heard this a lot for a couple of years, to be honest. I think there’s a wave of “blogging is dead” that happens every time a report comes out that big companies are dropping their blogs. And yet, my reader stays nice and full week in and week out. I think my biggest problem is finding time to comment on blogs. It’s my Saturday night ritual, but that means that I’m not responding sometimes for days after I’ve actually read a post. (As I’m sure you can tell. ;))
I love blogging – personally and professionally – and I can’t imagine it going away when there are gazillions of active bloggers out there.
Nice article, I think in order to be a successful blogger you kind of have to branch out to other forms of online public speaking. I.e YouTube, Twitter and Facebook as these are the current forms of communication. Although they aren’t our preferred platforms They are unfortunately the most powerful as you can deliver messages quickly and concisely with out seeming sparse or obscure. OH and being completely different helps too!
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