Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is Blogging a Phase?

If you take a look over there at our archives, it may look like The Village is a relatively new site -A fresh space on the internets, if you will. But five years ago, before some chinesse guy snatched our domain name out from under us, this very space was a thriving weblog. We were around back when blogs were described as "hybrid online sites that blend news, gossip and opinion" and even remember when Google bought "Blogger". Well, what happened then?

Drum-roll...

We simply stopped writing. And after recently ransoming my old template off of its forgotten servers, I've discovered that nearly every other site that I used to follow has done the same thing. Oh, there are still a few out there with recent updates. But most have either been laying dormant for years or are missing altogether.

Now while it's possible that my departure from the web triggered a cataclyismic (cataclysimic?...5 years has not improved my spelling) caused a lot of people such levels of depression that they couldn't go on, even the village idiot finds that hard to believe. So I'm left wondering what the alternatives are... Did all of my old blog buddies, like myself, get too busy to keep it going? Did life simply pull our interests elsewhere? I'll freely admit I wouldn't be back to posting content if it had not been for my wife recently starting her own weblog for the sake of her buisness.

As a hypothesis, the above seems to be a likely possibility. Life is busy and creating original content takes time. But I'll pose an observation made while clicking on the ole "next blog" button up there: Most of the out-of-date weblogs I've encountered (where the last update was more than a year ago) had a solid run that was 3-6 years long. So is it possible that blogging is nothing more than a "phase" for many of us? I kind of doubt it, but hey, as a scientist I am supposed to be making observations. Never-mind the fact that frequently referring to myself in the plural is likely to lend some skepticism to my credibility....

21 comments:

  1. I blame FaceBook and Twitter. Why write a paragraph when all people expect is a sentence?

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  2. No kidding... I was just working on a post about why I'll probably never use the Facebook and Twitter, but got hung up deciding which sill twitters to use as an example. :)

    Some friends tried for a while to convince me to sign up with Facebook, and by the time I finally did, I was told twitter is where all the action is at now! I had to draw a line...

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  3. Since I've never written anything longer than an email before i started blogging last September, this whole blogging this has been a lesson in patience, persistence and oh yeah, grammar. i haven't mastered any of those yet. i hope it's not a phase for me, but i can see why so many people stop after a while. it takes a lot out of you!

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  4. Well, from what I can tell you're doing a fantastic job for just jumping into writting! Perhaps you've found a "calling". :) It definitely can be a drain at times. Especially if you actually are trying to mind the grammar. But I gave up on the Gramma-Train many many years ago... ah but they did have some good music though.

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  5. My phases seem to fluctuate. There's months where I might post once, others five or six times. That's prolific for me, and always has been.

    I started my Tangled in Wires blog in, er, January of 2008? I'd say the last six months have been the most consistent in updating it that I've ever been. I have another blog, though, that I barely touch. Yet I'm always thinking about writing posts for it. I guess thinking doesn't count as writing, though.

    The most popular blogs seem to update daily, or even a few times a day. I'm happy if I post twice a week. My conclusion, therefore, is that I will never be popular. I've come to terms with it.

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  6. But really, popularity is all about perspective. For example, I'm the most popular citizen in my imaginary village!

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  7. Yes, but how many people live in that imaginary village?

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  8. If you have to mind your grammar, what fun is there in blogging?
    From what little I have seen of Facebook, it doesn't seem to be conducive to the kind of meanderings one does in one's blog.
    Finally, one's blog is one's OWN. Facebook belongs to the millions around.

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  9. >>Steve Shoe said...
    >>
    >>Yes, but how many people live in that
    >>imaginary village?

    Ahh... Touche'

    >L said...
    >
    >If you have to mind your grammar, what
    >fun is there in blogging?

    Eye Cuncur! It wood be absolootlee no fun if that is wut we did!

    >From what little I have seen of Facebook, it
    >doesn't seem to be conducive to the kind of
    >meanderings one does in one's blog.

    True, it does seem you are aiming for having everyone "like" what you say on that platform, though I haven't spent much time on it. There was something about "poking" though. The point at which I got a "superpoke", I realized things were getting out of hand... :)

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  10. It may be a phase. I certainly wasn't ready to blog until last October or so. Actually, I had always hated blogs until my wife turned me on to a few, and then I found my own, and was like "wow these people are frigging awesome." So I don't think facebook or twitter are going to kill anything. There's personality with a blog. What am I saying? There IS personality with a blog, as opposed to I like this I like that join me on my Mafia Ranch Weed Farm game thingy.

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  11. Don't forget about sanity... they may yet kill sanity!

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  12. Hi Chris

    All depends why a person is blogging. If it's a hobby or just for fun, maybe when the fun stops, so does the bloggers stop writing....just a thought.

    If it's a platform for a business, maybe the longevity lasts or not. Blogging is very time consuming and I think some people get into it thinking it will be a silver bullet to success.

    I've found it to be hard work,needing perseverence and patience. Got to enjoy it to keep going.

    Patricia Perth Australia

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  13. Very true, Patricia. 'Objective' is likely an important factor. And for me, *fun* definitely has a lot to do with things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

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  14. Well, I sure hope it's not a phase for me. Actually I hope blogging is not a phase for anyone else, either.

    Running a blog can improve your writing drastically. Again, as others said, depends what you're blog is about. But for me it did. I still suck at English, it's not my first language of any sorts. I'm Finnish. I've learned my sketchy English skills by watching MacGyver as a kid, so don't expect much.

    Blogging also can give you a lot of other things than just nailing the proper grammar, such as getting to know new people, expressing yourself, getting better at what you like blog about. Facebook and Twitter can do same to a certain point (I guess), but not to the same extent as blogging.

    I too browse often blogs around the internets and sadly there a lot of those saw their expiration date sometime last year. The last post might be 345 days old, or something like that. I always think "Why? Why did you abandon this, you had something awesome going on here!"

    I had a closing for my comment in mind, but I forgot it. So instead I'll just say keep doing what you feel important and get better at doing it. The awesomeness will eventually follow.

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  15. After my own heart - I've never heard of a better way to learn English than watching Macgyver! thanks for stopping by and sharing. Cheers~

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  16. Well, I've been blogging since 2004, though not all in the same blog. For me it was a matter of finding my own perspective and then going on from there. I've no idea how long I shall blog on Wordpress (which is what I now call 'home' after having tried Blogdrive, Blogger, LiveJournal and Dreamwidth) but at the moment I still enjoy it. My current blog started off as an experiment and I didn't post to it for a couple or so months after the first few posts but then as I got the hang of the site and, more importantly, how to find readers for it, my enthusiasm increased. It's a journey. So, if the journey takes me someplace else that one day doesn't include the blog, that's probably where I'll go. I've no plans to stop blogging now though. :)

    As for why other people stop blogging... I suspect that a lot of it has to do with two things. One is that 'real life' (kids, work, health, need to concentrate on making money, family, etc) tend to take over. The other is that if a blogger doesn't get enough readers... the enthusiasm can go.

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  17. Hey, you started blogging around the first time I joined "Blogger". So sorry I never bumped into you back then! You really got around I see. I went from a flat page that I updated infrequently with signs and stories from travel, to blogger, then to my own server with "Movable Type" as my blog client. MT was a lot like wordpress and I loved it. I did not love loosing everything when I didn't pay the bills though. I managed to get it all back a few months ago, but it's a jumbled mess of several thousand files that gives me a headache thinking about it... :) The only things I could find easily were my images.

    I completely agree about the readers. I think the sense of community is very important and a large part of the reason I changed the name of my site from "smells like rain" to "The Village Itself" way back when.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your history and thoughts!

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  18. "a solid run that was 3-6 years long"

    Ok in that case, I should have a year left, tops.
    :-) :-) :-)

    I think blogging did take a hit when facebook skyrocketed the way it did. But I also think, unless you're using it for businesses purposes, it's just a hobby. And it can be kind of a demanding hobby if you let it get that way. And once a hobby gets demanding, it can cease to seem relaxing and enjoyable. So my guess is that some people quit because the proper balance can be hard to find.

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  19. The finish line is in sight! :-)

    That balance is definitely key. For me, I only feel the "demand" when I get too busy to have time to post... then it's like the little fella is sitting there whimpering at the door, giving me those bloggy-dog eyes saying "come play with me!"

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  20. Heh, me too! But lately I cannot get the time to update! Stinkin summer activities. :-D

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