10 years. A decade. One-tenth of a century. Whatever way you look at it, it’s an awful long time. Unless you are looking at it in geological time, in which case it’s not even noticeable. Thankfully, neither me nor my blog is a rock.
Obviously things have changed a lot during that time. In fact, blogging itself has gone from “You write a what? A “blog”? What the hell is a blog?” (when I started in 2005) to *everyone* is blogging (in maybe 2007 or 2008) to “You write a what? A blog? How antiquated. Can I Instagram a photo of you? #OldLady #GetWithTheTimes”1.
I obviously don’t blog anywhere near as often as I used to – the days of the 231-day blogging streaks are over2. Even at my peak, I never had a tonne of comments on my blog postings, but the comments section has been a veritable wasteland for years now, with the few people who choose to comment doing so on the Facebook posting linked to my blog posting.
I don’t think it’s very difficult to figure out why me – and pretty much every else – is blogging so much less these days. There are just so many more ways to publish your ideas online now. Back in 2005, Facebook wasn’t yet open to the public – you had to have a university-affiliated address to join back then – and Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the myriad other ways we have of sharing our ideas online weren’t even invented. And it’s a lot easier to write 140 characters or copy-and-paste a link to something than it is to sit down and think enough to write a coherent blog posting. And, likewise, it takes a lot more attention to read a blog posting than to flip through a bunch of tweets and Facebook statuses. As Mitch Joel said in his blog posting Blogging is Dead (Again):
Blogging is hard because writing is hard. Writing is hard because finding the time to do real critical thinking and then to put those thoughts down in writing is even more complex. Reading, research, critical thinking, writing, editing and publishing isn’t like posting a picture to tumblr or texting off a tweet. They’re different beasts and they deserve different forms of metrics and comparison.
When I used to not have those other outlets, I channeled all of my creative energies into blog postings. Now it’s much easier to post a funny one liner on Twitter and go on about my day.
But the thing is, I’m still constantly thinking of ideas that would take more than 140 characters to write, and I often find myself making a mental note about something that I want to blog about3. I currently have 63 draft postings sitting in my blog in various states of being written (from just a title to remind me of something I wanted to blog about to some half-baked postings that I haven’t found the time to finish baking), not to mention other ideas jotted on my whiteboard and still others floating around in my brain. But, as Joel says, finding the time to actually craft a blog posting is the real challenge. It’s not just that other social media platforms are competing with blogs, it’s that all the other stuff I do in my life is competing for my time.
Anyway, after all this talk about needing to spend time to think critically to write blog postings, I’m pretty much just rambling on at this point. So I should probably find some way to wrap this thing up. But now I can’t think of a good ending. Gah! The pressure is too much. Oh wait, I know! How about a quiz to see if anyone is actually reading this. 1000 points to anyone who actually posts a comment on this blog posting (and you lose one million points if you post a comment on the link to this blog posting that appears on my Facebook).
- See here for a report on how blogging is for old folks… and this was back in 2010! [↩]
- Though you may have noticed that I’m currently on a 6-day blogging streak, which I started when I noticed “blogiversary” in my Google calendar. [↩]
- Something that frustrates me is that I never seem to get a blog posting written on current events because I need to take my time to learn about them, to think critically about them, and to decide what I’d even want to say about them and by the time I’m done all of that, everyone will have stopped posting links to that news story on their Facebook, having moved on to the next big thing. [↩]
- While searching for an image for this blog posting, I searched Flickr for “number 10” and got a lot of photos of the house of the British Prime Minister. [↩]