Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Falling Blogs

While they're not dropping off quite as fast as the autumn leaves, personal blogs sure seem to be slowing down these days, if not to a complete standstill, then to a crawl. Every blogger has his or her own reason, but I do see a generally changing pattern.

Perhaps blogging, as practiced by The Great Unwashed, has now passed its peak. Each new internet activity tends to do so with increasing rapidity these days. Message boards, though not completely extinct yet, are much less used than they were a few years ago. Blogs aren't likely ever to disappear completely either, but the number of small, personal blogs is certain to shrink in future, with other enticing options now available.

Facebook and Twitter have been upstaging blogs to some extent. Internet communication is evolving ever more rapidly as equipment becomes slicker and possibilities more exciting and inviting. Bloggers, too, are evolving, having honed their skills over two or three years, they may be feeling now that it's appropriate to post less frequently in order to maintain quality level, or so as to leave time for newer interests.

I'm not sure whether there's any astrological reflection of this changing pattern. The only slower-moving planet changing signs soon is Saturn, moving from Virgo into Libra. Saturn has been in Virgo, ruled by Mercury, planet of communication since September 2007. Before that Saturn transited Leo, the public performer's sign from the summer of 2005. Blogs were around before then, but in fewer numbers. Leo and Virgo, being emphasised in succession by a slow-moving planet such as Saturn which represents discipline and work, would facilitate growth and popularity of blogging. Saturn's move into Libra shouldn't dampen things down. Libra is Cardinal Air sign, mentally based, not unhelpful to bloggers I'd have thought.

It'll be interesting to watch how things unfold.

I'll carry on doing what comes naturally, blog-wise... until it doesn't any more.


Elsa said...

I've noticed the same thing. I chock it up to harder times myself. I think we are going to be paying for content more and more, going forward.

Tuikku said...

I have a history related blog I haven't been updating for months. Life has been hectic, true. Also, I've had Saturn on my Mercury, so expressing my ideas in writing hasn't been that easy. I'm still on someone's blogroll though, so I guess I should make an efford to start writing again.

Wisewebwoman said...

I haven't noticed this, T, maybe my blog buds are sticking to the knitting. I did drop a couple in the last few months, not updated since May in both cases. I do write them to see how they are but never a response....

Jennifer said...

I loathe Twitter. Really, being able to write one sentence at a time is THAT FABULOUS? Really really? I feel like people are going to lose their interest/ability to write anything longer and thoughtful, and it pisses me off.

Twilight said...

Elsa ~~~ I think hard times is bound to be a factor in it too.
Yes, I think you're right, $$$ will soon be dragged in - I keep expecting Blogger and Wordpress to begin asking for "rent". :-)


Tuikku ~~~ Hi! Yes, I can understand how you've felt. It's a good thing the planets do keep moving - even if too slowly at times. Nothing lasts for ever! :-)


WWW ~~~ I trawled through lots of links found on other blogs out of curiosity. There were loads of "dead" ones, last post within around 18 months ago. Blogs have always died, of course, but in the past others have taken their place - I'm not sure that's happening now.

I hope your blog buddies are okay - and just resting. :-)


Jennifer ~~~ I agree - Twitter has to be an acquired taste, and one which I haven't managed to fully acquire.

It's handy to obtain prompt, brief information about things or people one is particularly interested in, but that's the extent of it for me.

Ron Southern said...

Will it be as hazardous as a shiny black cadillac going North moving over into my southbound lane? I just hate it when that happens.

I recently struggled through the "Next Blog" feature for the first time in months. Seems to me there are still a lot of the personal blogs celebrating little stuff! That's a good thing. The ones that worry you have been around a while and most writers in the world burn out after a while. Only "the great authors" want to die with a pen in their hand or their fingers on the keyboard! And, lately, I'm not so sure about them!!!

Ron Southern said...

also this: Blogger does collect rent. Lots of it! Just not from you and me, so far.

anthonynorth said...

I see this happening. As you know, I've slowed down myself in order to do book writing again. As for the general reasons, I think a major problem is people are realising what hard work it can be building up a readership on a blog. Social networks seem to offer a faster growth of readership. I think the future should be a merging of website, blog and social network, thus satisfying a whole package in one.

Twilight said...

RonSouthern ~~~ As long as our airbags (hot air bags?) remain in good working order we'll be fine!

Oh, I'd forgotten all about the "Next" thingie on Blogger - I'll experiment later.

The more I try to write, the more I'm in awe of those great and seemingly tireless authors such as Dickens and Michener; and the styles of brilliant ones of the 20the century like E.B. White, Ogden Nash, James Thurber - I love 'em all! Whether I'll die with fingers on the keyboard is in doubt, but I'll not give up without a struggle - far too obstinate for that. ;-)

Re paying "rent" - if Blogger ever forces us to carry adverts I shall be off to find my own paid-for site somewhere. I would hate to carry adverts for something I absolutely despise.

Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~~ Yes, indeedy.
It takes a certain amount of determination not to give up when nobody seems to be taking notice.
The newer networking devices seem to offer a quick fix, and yet not nearly as satisfying - at least for me.

I'm sure "they" will think of something else, before too long, to entice people away from Facebook, Twitter and some remaining blogs. A combination such as you describe would appeal to many.

anyjazz said...

This is a thoughtful observation on the direction of blogging and the web in general. I don’t know the culprit either but I bet it is a combination of several elements.

The original ambition wanes when realization sets in that having something pithy or indeed anything to say on a regular basis is really difficult. We are faced with the fact that we are not as deep, not as multidimensional, not as funny, as we originally fantasized; what we say is somehow not as interesting to every one else as it is to ourselves.

The shorter moment-to-moment systems have a broad appeal now. It is the convenient, instantly gratifying, worries free, one shot, conversational, language-crunching, grammatical disasters of Twitter, Face Book, texting, et al, that seem to be emerging as the popular communications mode. Communicate more, think less.

Maybe there is some good in everything. Granted, it is hard to see here. With humanity seemingly headed for disasters on several levels, (climate, religious and/or ethnic wars, pandemic disease, grand-scale greed and political implosion, for just a few examples) perhaps we are experiencing close-up an evolutional movement so grand we don’t recognize it.

The key to all of our human foibles is communication. If not the total solution, communication is at least the first step in any solution. Think of solving any problem, from vacation schedules at work to saber-rattling between continents that can be sorted out without communication.

Perhaps we are headed for a communications level heretofore unimagined in our world.

A blog is still a “web-log” originally a sort of public diary. Those who use it as such do not seem to be having a problem with traffic or comments.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~~ Thanks for a great comment! You're one blogger I'd like to see writing more - I mean really writing....because you can! Nag, nag, nag...:-)

You make some excellent points there. You sound a wee bit pessimistic too though. Sure there are problems in every direction, but there are also solutions - it will just take the will to apply them. And as you say, communication is the golden key to that, and almost everything else.

Blogs, in their original form were the bottom line of communication, I suppose. The recording of one person's thoughts on events occurring in their life. But now blogs have mushroomed to take in an infinite variety of styles and topics. They've become vehicles for peddling all kinds of information. They've moved far away from their original purpose.

Yes, there are a few "originals" still, but they seem to be buried under a mountain of the bigger, louder, cleverer, cooler...

Let's hear it for the Lesser Spotted Blogger - a rare bird!

Ron Southern said...

There's no spots on me! I was always partial to stripes!

Twilight said...

Ron ~~~ Stripes? Blogging birds tend to be stripe-free I'm afraid. Best I can do for you would be the rare Southern Blogging Dickcissel. ;-)

R J Adams said...

I'm guilty of this myself, I'm afraid. Sparrow Chat is nowhere near so prolific as it used to be. Partly, because the demise of George W Bush and his not-so-merry band left a vacuum - the arrival of a sane US President being less newsworthy, even if the the rest of government still stinks to high heaven - but mainly due to other interests crowding out the blog writing. I've been very busy of late on other projects and keep promising myself I'll return to SC as soon as the pressure is off. Unfortunately, it never does. Meanwhile, I'm truly attempting to maintain at least one post per week.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ We miss your regular posts, of course, RJ, but I'm sure your readers appreciate there'e more to life than blogging. One a week is good! :-)