29 November 2019

Sum ergo bloggum

I occasionally see claims that blogging is on the decline these days, displaced by "social media" and by impatience with any form of writing longer or more complex than a fortune-cookie fortune.  If this is the case, I have not noticed it.  Yes, I've seen a fair number of blogs go dark over the years, but there are also new people starting up.  And there are always new blogs to discover, even if they're only new to me.  So many times I've thought, "How come I only just discovered this person when they've been blogging for years?"

Social media are no substitute.  Twitter and Instagram aren't suited to posts of any length.  YouTube is so shitted up with ads these days that it's becoming unwatchable, with ads not only preceding videos but interrupting them randomly in the middle.  And I've never been able to figure out what Facebook does other than collect data on its users.

Much of the fascination of blogs is their individuality.  Each blog is so different because each one represents the style and interests of its owner.  I've seen blogs focusing on every subject from atheism to gardening to movies to art to humor to occultism to book reviews to photography to space travel to sex to poetry to feminism to cartoons to Halloween to travel to politics to education, and various unexpected combinations of subjects that happen to interest the author.  People have different styles of writing and different ways of using pictures, videos, links, etc. to help make their points.  No other medium makes it so easy for so many to express their individuality so exuberantly in front of the whole world.

That's what makes blogging what it is.  Don't write what you think the audience wants -- write what you want to write, and those who want to read it will find their way to you.


Blogger Hackwhackers said...

Infidel -- Really well put. For my brother and I, blogging started as a casual hobby to keep connected with each other through writing posts. And, of course, to vent. What you do each Sunday with your expansive roundup is to spotlight such a variety of thoughts and interests across the blogosphere. We've discovered so many different blogs and writers as a result.

29 November, 2019 13:00  
Blogger Bob said...

Your last line is exactly why I do it!

29 November, 2019 13:13  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I've heard other people say that blogging is on the decline but I haven't seen it either. People close their blogs for a lot of different reasons, most of them personal. But I see blogs pop up all the time especially in the book blogging world. I blog for exactly the reason you stated and am still shocked at times when people enjoy what I post about.

29 November, 2019 14:11  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hear, hear! Those of us who love blogging will continue to do it! I regard it as a creative outlet.

29 November, 2019 15:14  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

True. Thing is, I left blogger for tumblr years ago and now I’m back here, doing longform. Microblogging was fun until they sanitized it. And social media is intrusive and full of trolls. So blogging it is.


30 November, 2019 01:12  
Blogger Lady M said...

Well written! I think blogging allows for an interesting exchange of ideas. I think we build relationships as well as entertain one another. While I mourn many fascinating people who have left, I hold hope that one day their blogs shall be resurrected. I refuse to follow them to facebook however. I closed that account last year as it sucks.

30 November, 2019 03:55  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I don't think blogging is dying, from what I seen, like there are millions of them. Blogging seems like more of an art, than some quick rants/ comments ... so it has its own place. But I have noticed how much people around me (which is a very small group, and most are significantly younger than I am) seem to have their phones all the time and on things like Facebook, Twitter, etc. So you basically have that element of society. The Facebook thing, I really never got into much, but never gave it a chance either. Although I have a Facebook page, I don't use it. "Average American Patriot" (Jim) blogger for example, sayz he uses Facebook after he stopped blogging on his blog, so maybe some see it as an alternative to a blog, I don't know. What I didn't care to get into on there, was that it had all these people that it said I may know, I didn't know these people, they just got connected to me I guess through a friend of a friend, kin folk or whatever. Hell, I didn't ever hear of most of them. A school send me stuff (up in Buffalo), saying do I remember so and so, class of so and so, etc ... I only was at the school for a couple months, at most, can barely remember folks from it, or even their names ... nor was I with of "class of 19**" or whatever ... Hell, I got in trouble with the law, and locked up ... I was in jail or on the streets ... geeez, not in their class of whatever. I also read that Facebook has pretty strict censorship policies ... now I been hearing that there is a saturation of fake media sights concerning politics too, so we have to watch closely what info we're getting, some are not even human ... a robot I guess creates the story, then you got foreigners like Russians or whoever getting in on it ... kind of f*cked up in that respect ... I just like for folks that I'm reading to be straight up, for real, etc.
I'm outta here, guy ....

30 November, 2019 06:27  
Anonymous Ole Phat Stu said...

Hi 753,
I regularly read your sunday roundups, but notice it seems excessively focussed on the USA and the Merkin view of the world. Other people blog too you know, so how about widening your sunday reviews to read what other countries' bloggers are writing about.

And yes, we all laugh at Trump (see http://www.savory.de/blog_nov_19.htm#20191129).

30 November, 2019 08:35  
Blogger Ami said...

Blogging is still working for me. I tried at least 20 times to keep a paper journal and couldn't manage. I regret not having a computer when my kids were young, I would have more pieces of their lives to read and re-read. They were amusing.

The kids I have now come and go, I'm sure there have been hundreds over the years. But since 2005, their shenanigans have been immortalized in writing on my blog. I'm happy to have it.

Facebook is for me to keep in touch with my aging mom and to look at memes.

30 November, 2019 10:11  
Blogger Jack said...

I've noticed a fairly steep drop in the number of active blogs focused on atheism. Some new ones have appeared but not enough to replace the many we've lost. I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep mine going, as it already feels like it is merely a shadow of its former self.

30 November, 2019 12:17  
Blogger jono said...

I stopped writing in April when I left my wife and the farm, but I'll be back in a few more months. I'll have a lot of new thoughts to write down. Still reading many blogs for most of the reasons you have stated. I'll be back.

30 November, 2019 17:11  
Blogger Buttermilk Sky said...

I wouldn't even try to watch YouTube without AdBlocker. As for blogging, I plan to die in the saddle like the great Doghouse Riley (Bats Left/Throws Right).

30 November, 2019 18:09  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Hackwhackers: Thanks! Your blog has certainly been one of the survivors, still around after 13 years and posting at the prolific rate you do.

Bob: Yes! One benefit of blogging is the chance to attract the attention of the like-minded.

Mary: I really should do more book reviews. Some of them have been among my better posts.

Debra: Definitely a creative outlet. One can post work of whatever genre one chooses.

Sixpence: If social media is even more full of trolls than the blogosphere, I don't blame you for leaving. Trolls can get pretty onerous to deal with.

Lady M: It definitely can build relationships. It's one of the best ways to find people with common interests. And over time you do get a sense of what a person is like.

30 November, 2019 19:29  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ranch: That's the problem with "social media" -- they definitely seem geared only to very short-form writing, like Twitter, which is OK for some things but too limited for others. I can't stand that "element of society" which is constantly staring at some hand-held gadget everywhere and fiddling with it, instead of paying attention to what's going on around them. I don't ever want to be like that.

I don't know if I'd want people from school days looking for me. Life moves on. I'd hardly remember most of them.

Ole: Das ist wohl wegen der Tatsache, daß ich Tumblr kaum mehr lese (seit Tumblrs Untergang). Die meisten europäischen Blogs, die ich früher las, fanden sich auf Tumblr. Meine Link Round-ups nehmen aber noch mehrere Blogs auf, die aus Kanada stammen -- und auch Nachrichten aus der ganzen Welt. Sie haben aber wohl recht, daß ich mehr außerhalb meines eigenen Landes suchen muß.

Ami: You're certainly chronicling those kids' childhoods in detail. I wonder if any of their parents read it.

Jack: That's too bad, as atheism is certainly still something that needs discussing -- especially with the resurgence of Christian Right political power under Trump. Well, I'll certainly continue to talk about issues of religion and atheism here.

Jono: I'm glad you'll be back. When you stopped posting in April I wondered if you'd given it up permanently.

Buttermilk: What adblocker do you use? Mine works pretty well against text and display ads, but it doesn't block the video ads on YouTube. Maybe I need to get a different one.

Yes, blogging is alive and well -- and I note that the blogs of the commenters on this post well exemplify the diversity and individuality I discussed.

01 December, 2019 00:20  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...

It would be nice if the social media platforms you noted ceased to exist. While I initially thought them good ideas I've since grown to view them as just "more noise" in an already overly noisy culture.

02 December, 2019 06:45  

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