Sunday, February 12, 2012

To Blog or not to that now the Question?

As I told my readers, I had some personal things going on that kept me from blogging regularly over the past few months. Some of those things have somewhat settled down; some have not. But I've noticed something strange. During that same time period, and even before it, a whole lot of bloggers who I read regularly stopped posting. And readership numbers, here and on the other blogs with hit counters, was decidedly down. Was it real life hitting all of us at the same time? Or is something else going on?

One person I asked said it was definitely real life and it was just a fluke that so many blogs aren't posting now. However, more people told me that it was that blogs--posting and commenting--are "getting kind of old." Blogs are becoming passe for many. Why? The answer given was that more people find the other types of social networking sites easier, sites like Facebook and the option to Twitter.

I suppose that all the answers I got could be legitimate. My feeling about the social networking aspect, however, is that Facebook and Twitter are kind of the iceberg lettuce of social networking--sure you can fill up on them, but they really are kind of bland and boring, and not all that "nutritious." Occasionally a stray "veggie" pops up on them, but that's not really their purpose. The blogs are far more like a mixed green salad, with different kinds of greens, different kinds of veggies, different dressings and accompaniments. Yes, it takes more effort to eat that "bigger" salad, but it also gives more enjoyment to the one doing so in the long run. No, not everyone is going to choose to put Kale into their salad, both readers and posters. Fine. But at least it's available when or if you want it. Here's the thing as well: in addition to salad, a whole lot of blogs offer all the main course dishes as well, in wide variety.

So what say you? Is blogging--writing and reading--no longer the "in" thing to be doing, no longer the satisfying activity it once obviously was, or is it really that real life has struck a whole lot of blogs all at the same time, and things will be back to "normal" soon?


JS said...

I think it's a bit of both. A lot of the older blogs have sort of run out of things to say it seems or are on "repeat" where they may be posting about a current event, for example, but it's on a topic that's been hashed and rehashed time and again in the past when the blogger posted on, what was then, a current event.

I do agree that social media is a snack to a blog's meal. I'm not the biggest fan of social media. I see it as more of a way to keep in touch with friends and find out what they're up to. I see blogs as somewhere in between that and news media - a quick and dirty way to share and discuss what's going on in the world and your thoughts on it.

For that reason blogs will never go away, though individual blogs might. There's just too much of a chasm between Twitter or Facebook's "I voted today" and CNN or FoxNews's "Mitt Romney takes the Maine Caucus."

tesyaa said...

I agree with JS that some topics are overkill, especially topics like the shidduch crisis, tuition, and materialism. Not that these issues have gone away, but maybe the thirst for reading about them on blogs has.

SporadicIntelligence said...

Perfect analogy.

Social Media like twitter and facebook have made having an opinion less difficult - having a blog means maintaining it, updating it, and having something worthy to say (and knowing how to say it too) It's much easier to muddle together a status update.

And while a lot of blogs are on repeat, if you can write well, people will read whatever you write even if they heard it 50 times over.

Also very often bloggers limit their content to specific material and that just lends itself to an expiration date; broaden your horizons bloggers. Readers develop a connection to the blogger, not just the content; they want to hear what you have to say on other things, even if you're not the expert on it.

JS said...

I agree with SI. I'd also add that comments on a particular post do not necessarily have anything to do with how good or bad a post is. Some great posts go uncommented and some lousy posts can generate hundreds of comments. I find that the hundreds of comments are more often generated by people being impolite and tossing insults around than thoughtful comments on the subject matter of the post.

Tuvi said...

I don't much like Facebook or twittering but they occasionally serve a purpose. I prefer reading a blog 'cuz it's more mentally stimulating. But I get JS's point and Tesyaa's too that a lot of what is written is the same thing over and over again. It sometimes seems like nothing really changes over the years.

Still, keeping the conversation going just might at the right point for it result in some changes.

Agree also with Sporadic that the way a blogger writes or the personality shown is also appealing. And certain of the blogs get repeat commenters that I enjoy written sparring with.

Probably a combination of both things you mention for why some blogs are completely gone and some are not publishing as often.

frum single female said...

i think that blogging and facebook serve different purposes. blogs can be a little more anonymous and reach a broader scope of people. for me facebook is just a way of keeping up with old friends or the latest singles event. sometimes people post their opinions, but they are usually just a few sentences and nothing to rival a blog post.

G6 said...

I too, think your analogy is right on target.

I must admit, that I am one of the great offenders lately, and I can assure you that it is PURELY circumstantial.

When life calms down, I'd love to return to more frequent blogging.

(but I also agree that every blog has a "theme" of sorts, even if that theme isn't a hot button issue and that over time, it becomes more difficult to keep things fresh)

leahle said...

Life happens to blog readers too. But I don't think blogging is going to disappear. Agree with others who say that blogs have more to them then facebook does. And I also like that salad analogy.

Trudy said...

To me blogs are about reading and Facebook and Twitter are not. Those are about quick contacts and about seeing what everyone may be up to in a very ordinary way. Blogs are way more informative and can get you to think sometimes. They can be about real conversations among readers about something of substance. Facebook and twittering is all on the surface. I think there are lots of people who will continue reading blogs as long as the bloggers keep posting.

Unknown said...

I still love blogging and reading blogs and comments. What has changed over the years is the nature of the blogs I read and write. My old blog is dying a natural death, but my new blogs are thriving.