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Is Blogging A Passing Fad?

Thursday, February 26, 2009
Rebecca. Tabitha Grimalkin. Crawlspace. MaggieMay. Styleygeek. Kermit. I could go on and on. All of these bloggers have either quit or just stopped updating. I think about how I used to post every day, and then started taking weekends off, and now I post like twice a week. It makes me sad, having lost so many people I came to care about. So, is blogging just something that was cool for awhile and now it's gone? I'm not sure. I hope not.

I've thought about quitting on occasion, but mainly because there are too many people in my RL who know about my blog (yes, that's entirely my fault). But I don't, because, as ever, there are some times that I have to talk about something and I don't want to drive my spouse insane. I used to motivated by being angry at the newspaper, but I'm not quite so angry every morning any more. And then there's the problem of time - I used to have more of it. There are so many reaons to stop blogging, but I don't.

There are still things I need to say, even if there aren't many to read them. So I'm not going anywhere. I just wish that my fellow bloggers weren't leaving at such at a disturbing rate.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 8:40 PM
13 Comments:
  • It's amazing how many people have stopped blogging. I blame Facebook :)

    I'm sticking around!

    By Blogger Seeking Solace, at 9:21 PM  
  • No, I think blogging is here to stay. The community is too hard to leave behind. The problem for most people is the anonymous/IRL issue.

    I read many blogs by people who publish using their real names and these are vastly entertaining in spite of the fact that the authors naturally can't be as open as they would be publishing anonymously.

    Here's the thing about anonymous, though. Because we have the freedom to rant and rave about anything we please, the blog kind of becomes a receptacle for that. I mean, it's true even IRL that we tend to obsess more and spend more time in analyzing those things which cause us problems rather than the good things in our lives. But they are balanced by the rest of what's going on in our life, while that's not obvious in the blog.

    So, yeah, we'll mention good stuff when it happens - stuff that we find exciting or entertaining. But it still kind of ends up pretty lopsided to the negative side. We tend to blog more about angst and aggravation, maybe as a pressure release?

    The exception to this is StyleyGeek, who has the sunniest coping reflexes I've ever seen.

    Once you know, however, that there are people from your life who read your blog, then you automatically start censoring at least part of what you blog about. At that point, IMO, you'd just as soon start blogging using your real name. Because you no longer have access to an unlimited freedom in venting. To me, though, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It almost automatically forces your blog to become more balanced because you are no longer allowed to use it primarily as an outlet for the more negative aspects of your life.

    And while most people leave when their anonymity is threatened, I left because the blogosphere started feeling to me like a very dark place. Everywhere, people seemed to have insurmountable problems, and I had more than enough of my own to deal with.

    I realize now that the lives of those bloggers were probably no darker than my own. It's just that we'd all given way more space to the negative than the positive. I don't think that would be the case if we blogged under our real names.

    Still, there is a reason why most bloggers choose anonymity and that's not going to go away either. There's certainly room for both. So much of what was breathtakingly fascinating about Maggie's blog could never have been divulged under her real name, and I wouldn't have missed any of that for the world.

    I think now that we all have a lot more experience with the blog world, we can maybe do a better job of remaining anonymous and keeping our blog available to a more targeted audience, so that the worry of exposure is not so great.

    Balance. I think we're all still trying to get the hang of that in more ways than one.

    Back to the original point, though. The community is hard to leave behind. And that's why a lot of bloggers come back. Maybe the nature of the beast is that we'll continue to leave and come back until we find a way to strike the right balance.

    The blog world as a metaphor for reincarnation! Hee hee.

    And, maybe, if some of us had public blogs of our own, we wouldn't feel the need to hijack comments boxes all over the web. ;)

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 11:33 PM  
  • I stopped for a few reasons-- time (not enough of it), facebook, and mostly because of some of the stuff Rebecca said. I just found myself becoming waaaaay too bitchy and negative. I didn't think people really wanted to read that stuff. Bitter adjunct works for a while, but after a while it even got old for me.

    By Blogger Weezy, at 12:44 AM  
  • Once again,you've articulated my thoughts. My blog roll has dwindled, and I miss those who've left their blogs. I started reading, then writing, blogs because I loved the community I found.

    As to the FB issue: I've noticed that my RL friends basically quit emailing once they're on FB. Just as they quit writing real letters once they got addicted to email. Is that too a common experience?

    By Blogger Belle, at 8:35 AM  
  • i have been blogging less which is partly facebook related but I've also had to rethink things, since some more rl folks have started reading my blog (yes, also entirely my fault).

    By Blogger Anastasia, at 8:51 AM  
  • My lack of blogging has been due to time. Personally, I cherish the community that has developed and the freedom I have in my blog space. It is where I express those issues and think through topics that I don't care to express, sometimes, to my IRL counterparts. Are there times when I do bring up those same topics to my IRL friends? You bet. All in all, the different communities offer different perspectives.

    Lately, my worlds are colliding, though, in Facebook and Twitter. In those realms, I'm connected to all - and I'm okay with that.

    By Blogger RageyOne, at 9:47 AM  
  • Yes and no.

    I think that it's a passing thing for any given community. There are plenty of blogs out there, but the people who were blogging around the time we were all active are getting somewhat "blogged out." People quit for professional reasons, time reasons, or any manner of reasons.

    Personally, I think I said a lot of what I wanted to say. I want to still feel like an active and integral part of the community, but I don't really feel like I have much to contribute to it at the moment. Ultimately my blog was starting to bore me, and it felt more like a chore than the fun way of meeting people and interacting that it started out as. So I just... stopped. It wasn't a planned thing, but after not posting in a while, I found myself not really missing it much.

    As people stop blogging, my reading list gets smaller and smaller. I miss the interactions with people, but then I don't find I have much time these days to really make those interactions meaningful ones. So in some ways, it works out that fewer people blog.

    It does make me sad to reminisce on the Way Things Were. Some of it has moved on to Facebook and Twitter, but those sites seem like good ways to keep up with people you already know, but not really to develop deeper ideas and understandings in the way blogs can do. Sigh... Now I'm kinda sad. After all, blogging did bring the best thing in my life right now into my life in the first place.

    By Blogger sheepish, at 2:28 PM  
  • I think there's something in particular about grad school and blogging as well --- the sense of intense isolation and the frustrations of not being done and not getting help and not really being told what to do. You feel as if you should be working all the time and yet you can't. And because your time is unstructured, you can take a lot of time to vent that frustration through blogs.

    Now I have two classes which means every day I get up and read and prep and freak out and then teach and then my to-do list has expanded to full size again, as I have to do all that again. Throw in some grading and there is all my free awake time. I'm not quite sure how people would be able to do four classes and four preps, cause it's kinda crazy.

    But, yeah --- time constraints, frustrations, and also running up against the experience of not having new things to say.

    By Blogger Sisyphus, at 6:57 PM  
  • Still reading, anyway! I've paused for most of this winter mostly because my thinking time has been occupied primarily by unbloggable issues. But I also miss other's more frequent posts, so then I feel guilty, and maybe even stay away more for that reason? Not entirely sure...

    By Blogger Ursa, at 8:46 PM  
  • I still read a few blogs... It is something. And of course, my art blog isn't going anywhere, but that's a b it of a different beast than my old wordy blog...

    Things do come and go though, and it is sad when they go, but the memories are still there.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 8:50 PM  
  • Ha! And I saw this after posting for the second time since January! For me it's Facebook. Nobody that I know IRL reads my blog (unless I met them through blogging in the first place!), so I don't have those issues. I really like the group of bloggers I have "met" through blogging, but definitely subscribe to way too many blogs to ever keep up with everyone. I can't imagine giving up my blog completely and really want to keep up with it better. For totally selfish reasons, I like having this chronicle of my life that I can look back on. It's interesting to see what state of mind I was in over the last few years and how my perspectives and habits change. I'll keep hanging on! P.S. I'm sorry I never finished replying to your email- my response was getting long and complicated and I was looking up information and got side tracked!

    By Blogger Addy N., at 11:24 PM  
  • Wow, I'm really impressed with the number and quality of comments on this post. And it's been nice to hear from some old friends! I'm less sad now that I know some of you are still reading, if you're not posting any more (or not as often).

    By Blogger Arbitrista, at 6:50 AM  
  • I've often thought about stopping too. I took a break earlier in the year, though, which helped me feel a bit refreshed. Maybe the key is to always take a vacation from blogging at your busiest time of the year. I know February generally sucks for me.

    By Blogger The History Enthusiast, at 8:57 PM  
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