I read Suw’s post about the decline of blogging with interest.
I wonder too if my lack of blog writing is related to a lack of blog reading. My RSS reader became so clogged that I feared it, wouldn’t open it, and ultimately, abandoned it. And then Twitter and now Zite arrived to provide me with random rewards for clicking and swiping, showing me stuff that I had no idea I wanted to read. Instead of following the writings of a small cadre of smart, lovely people whom I am proud to call my friends, I read random crap off the internet that some algorithm thinks I might be interested in, or that is recommended by the people I follow on Twitter. link
I don’t use Facebook. I don’t use an RSS reader. I tweet. I post to Flickr. I blog. I’ve blogged more this past past year than I have done for a very long time. There’s a good reason for that. During the writing of my book, I went and looked at all the blogs I used to read in 2004. Most of them were dead, but not all. Now, I make an effort to visit those blogs that are still active. I don’t want or need an RSS reader for that. Whenever that blog or blogger pops into my head, I go and take a look to see if they’ve posted anything new. I like the serendipity of that. It’s a more analogue way of reading blogs. And I think we need more analogue in our lives.
While I blog more these days, I (probably) have way less readers. I don’t know, because I never check my referrers or my statistics. I have no idea who is reading this. Six months or more ago, I left Typepad and went self-hosted. I knew it would break most of the inbound links – that Google loves – and ruin my ‘visibility’ but, it didn’t bother me. I’m not in that game, if ever I was.
Blogs and blogging are not the communal dining room that is Twitter. They’re like vinyl as opposed to an MP3. Something you can appreciate with others or on your own. A blog is as close to an ‘object’ as there is in the digital realm. Maybe, like vinyl, they’re ready for a comeback. Or, to put it another way, a blog is like loose leaf Japanese burnt rice tea and not PG Tips. Clear?
Photos by me