Monday, April 28, 2008

RIP Blogging?

Consistent posting is tough, and blogs may come and go, but the medium of blogging is here to stay.

I’ve heard that the key to building up an audience for your blog is posting regularly. After all, faithful readers expect something fresh for their eyes to feast on when they point and click to your page. A few consecutive visits revealing the same “Merry Christmas Everyone!” post, and people will simply stop coming, favouring blogs that have managed to at least break into the new year.

But diligent posting is hard! There’s the issue of time. Unless you’re unemployed or (through some perversion of luck) you blog for a living, finding time to craft a fresh post between work, school, meals, homework, walking the dog, playing with the kids, etc. etc. isn’t always easy. Then, there’s the issue of issues. Sometimes your mind is bursting with ideas, opinions, rants and observations. (For me, it was the eruption of the Tibet turmoil a few weeks ago.) Other times though, your mind is an empty vessel, containing nothing remotely of interest. And what do you do then?

With this in mind, I read an obituary of sorts for blogging. It’s called “THE DEATH OF PERSONAL BLOGS” by Emily Gould and although provocative in its title, it’s really a personal reflection on how Gould’s blog and some of her favourites have lived and died since their inception in the late nineties or early 2000’s (can I say ‘turn of the century’?):
Checking in on the sites I used to frequent five years ago during the golden age of the blog reveals an online graveyard. Many of my old virtual friends’ last few posts follow the same sad pattern — the initial spate of “sorry I haven’t posted in so long”s followed by the inevitable “it’s over, but check out what I’m doing at [corporate blog]!”

What she’s really getting at is the serious tenacity required to maintain a blog for longer than a few months. Not so much that blogging is dying out, but that the medium has a very high attrition rate. Yet that’s what I think is key to why blogging will endure: there's always more.

Humans are social creatures and love to communicate. The flowering of communication means is testament to that: letters, telegrams, phones, faxes, televisions, email, instant messaging, text messaging… We can’t get enough of it. And rather than ditching an old medium for a new one, the old ones remain in our communication tool belt for use in different contexts.

Blogs are unique in that in they’re not only a way to share information, but they have this amazing democratizing effect on information. Suddenly, knowledge and info isn’t dictated through newspapers, TV and your small circle of word-of-mouth, but becomes a vast network with no boundaries and fitting every niche imaginable.

It’s a beautiful thing. And even if this blog doesn’t survive it’s first year, another will take it’s place. And when that fails, others will take the torch, because people will never run out of things to say and will always find a hungry audience ready to listen.


janet said...

still here...just to let you know :)

Adam Juice said...

Aha...Appreciate it.