Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday & Sundry Thoughts on Blogging

What am I doing here, blogging still in mainly empty halls? Am I trying to re-create a Tinkerbell (or Tinkerb-log) Effect keeping alive the belief in blogging by... clapping blogging?

As long ago as 2009 I was lamenting the decline in personal blogs; seven years down the road and, though my own blog, now over 10 years old, is limping along and lonely, many more have gone to the bloggy internet graveyard to rest in peace. In allegorical terms I guess one could say there has been an ever-widening pandemic - of blog flu - better known as Facebookitis, with side effects known as Twittering or tweeting.

In 2009 I wrote, among other things:
"...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. "

Among a number of comments (yes this blog did, once upon a time, have commenters!) was one from my husband "anyjazz":
...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.
Another, from old blog friend from early days, Anthony North:
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.
Another blog friend, Ron Southern, who has since died wrote, with regard to encroaching Facebookers:
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......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!!!

From Sparrow Chat blogger RJ Adams (link in sidebar) occasional commenter in 2009, and still in 2017; he and Mrs RJ have since "upped sticks" from the USA and moved to France. In 2009 he wrote:
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.

And from the gals, in 2009, for whom I sadly have no photographs:

Elsa (astrologer and astrology blogger (link in sidebar). Elsa was first to welcome me to astrology blogging, back in 2006):
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 effort to start writing again.

Wise Webwoman (of The Other Side of Sixty blog - link in sidebar) wrote:
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....

From Jennifer:
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. 2017 continues to unfold, what will I do with Learning Curve on the Ecliptic? Carry on carrying on, or put the blog to sleep forever? Tinkerbell survived, maybe this blog, and a few others still extant, can survive too. I'll continue logging on and blogging on...until I don't.


heather said...

In addition to the items you and your friends mentioned, I think the rise of mobile devices also made a huge difference; looking back, it's clear to me that I essentially stopped blogging (i livejournaled for years) when I moved to using my phone and tablet devices, rather than a pc. I find those tools are generally better suited for consumption and less well suited for creation, particularly for longer-form written communication (can't really touch-type on them). They are better suited for audio/visual/video creation, which may explain the rise of the youtube/snapchat/instagram generation. I still "microblog" (if you can call it that?) on Twitter, but it's not the same.

I don't believe I've ever commented, but I'm a long-time lurker of your blog and have always appreciated your prose, thoughtfulness, and your breadth of interests. FWIW, you are a welcome voice in my world :)

Twilight said...

heather - Hi there! Oh, what a sweet thing to say! Thank you!

Yes, what you've described in your first paragraph has crossed my mind at times, as being a possible contributor to blogging and commenting having become more sparse. We don't have a smartphone or any handheld devices other than a basic flip cell-phone which can be used for texting, so I wasn't certain of the limits of more up-to-date handheld devices. I use a desk-top, and a laptop only if away from home - but I don't prepare full posts, even on the laptop. Yes, you're so right about the audio visual thing - I hadn't considered that before!

Many thanks once again for popping in to comment ! :-)

JD said...

Heather makes a very good point about the difference between blogging and 'micro-blogging'
It takes time to create a blog post. Writing a 'tweet' takes about five minutes and can be done without thinking, and very often it is done without thinking which is why so much of twitter output is negative. The rise of 'cyberbullying' is a direct product of tweeting; no other explanation for it. In slower times we were advised to write an angry response to whatever annoyed us and then put it in a drawer, read it again when we had calmed down and then write a measured and sensible response. But that was then and this is now and the world has gone mad :)

Twitterers (twits?) are best ignored.
Keep on blogging Annie, somebody will read it somewhen; the archives never disappear.

Twilight said...

JD ~ Agreed 100% - and thank you for your support, JD.

In times before the internet, our communication with those outside of our immediate circle of friends, family and workmates was strictly limited. We are now seeing the result of such limitations being lifted - some good results, some bad. LOL! I wouldn't be where I am today (in the USA married to anyjazz) if not for the internet! We must take the chaff with the wheat, I suppose.

I well remember that old advice to "sleep on it", when inflamed enough to write or to say things one might later regret. With Twitter, Facebook and the rest at their finger-tips 24 hours, 365 days, it has to be more difficult for younger generations to follow that advice, if they ever even heard it in the first place.

I shall keep on keeping on blog-wise - thanks again. :-)

Bob said...

Don't post much but sort of a regular reader/skimmer.

And what heather said in her last paragraph.

Twilight said...

Bob ~ Thank you kindly, Bob! :-) Always a pleasure to 'see' you.

R J Adams said...

At the height of its fame(?), Sparrow Chat was pulling 300-350 readers a day. That was back in the early 2000s. Now, twenty a day is going well. I don't know the answer. Maybe we're suffering a similar fate to those many daily newspapers that disappeared with the advent of the internet, though not with such dire consequences. At least we can't be thrown out of work or made redundant as many journalists and other print industry workers were around the turn of the century.
I guess I just do it for my own pleasure these days. I enjoy writing and messing around with computers, and it keeps me from getting under Mrs R J's feet. Maybe I'll try a change of content. So many are writing on politics these days, the best sellers list is full of 'political' books. Whatever happened to the romantic novel, I wonder? Come to that, whatever happened to romance?
Keep on belting that keyboard, Twilight. Quite often, when I'm stuck for a topic, I'll nip over to the 'Learning Curve' and something you've written will spark an idea in my mind. It may not always be closely related to what you've written, but the idea will have come from your writing.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ We've just returned from out weekend away - found your comment in Blogger's "awaiting moderation file" sorry for delay in publishing, but thank you for it!

I'll blog on, for a while anyway. As you said, it keeps us from getting under our spouses' feet (or on their last nerve!)! Anyjazz has his own blog/internet projects going on anyway.

I agree that the glut of political writing already available does rather put one off adding to it. The US election is a thing of the past now, the deed is done and the zillions of words being written about The Donald's doings are really more than enough. And yet, and yet.....I dunno. I don't know where I fit in, politically, any more, to be honest.

I hope you'll continue writing - whatever the topic. We...erm....mature people can't allow the young bloods to use up ALL the internet's space now can we?

R J Adams said...

I think the whole political circus has somehow become congealed into one horrible, sticky, mess. There's no clear boundaries anymore. In Britain we have Theresa May doing her impression of Maggie Thatcher, and Jeremy Corbyn threatening to fire any of his shadow cabinet who don't support Brexit in the parliamentary vote. In the U.S. election it was a choice between corporate-controlled Repubs or corporate-controlled Dems. What's the point of voting if there's virtually no difference in policies between any party? I think this is why so many are now turning towards the more way-out, right-wing, choices. Two generations on they've not got the horrors of two world wars to hold them back. Though, I do believe it's not Europe that'll start the next world war. America is now the most dangerous nation on earth, and was even before Trump got his hands on it.
I know what you mean about not fitting in politically. I'm sure many people feel that way. I know I do. For a time I felt Corbyn had the right ideas, but he's caved on Brexit and I can't forgive him for that.
Oh, well, if there's one use for a blog it's to have a good moan. I guess I'll go on moaning a bit longer!

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Sorry about delay in publishing this comment of yours - it was among 4 in Awaiting Moderation today - I forgot to look there yesterday.

Yes, blogging does give us a vent for our frustrations and anger - a very good reason to continue. :-)

Flippin' Brexit!