Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Is Blogging Dying?

I admit it. I probably interact on Facebook with friends - writing and otherwise - more than I do on my blog. Why? It's an easier way to communicate. I haven't hit Twitter yet, as I'm not sure I like the format, and I also haven't tried out Tumblr (mostly because I don't understand this micro-blogging phenomenon).

But it got me to wondering: are personal blogs dying? I've posted less and less as the years go by, and that's a far cry from where I started out. I used to post every day. Now I'm lucky to get one a week.

However, I don't want to give it up because I have met so many amazing people through this form of communication. I still enjoy blogging, but now I only do it when I have a good post in mind. Sadly, I have probably lost followers due to my limited posts. But on the other hand, I don't want this blog to become another obligation. My plate is full to the brim with those. I'd rather it be a fun place for me to go when I have something I want to say.

What do you think? Is traditional blogging on the way out? Are you blogging more now than you did when you started, or less? Are there other ways you prefer to connect with people that blogging just doesn't facilitate?

26 comments:

  1. Melissa, I've thought about this too. Since I've started blogging three years ago or so, I've met so many wonderful people-yet trying to stay connected with everyone has started to take its toll. Facebook is the perfect solution because it doesn't require a lot of time to stay connected, with its little bits of info here and there. With my blog-I feel like I am just starting to hit my stride-but sadly at a time when blogging does seems to be on the way out. I don't know what I'll do, but I do know that I would miss blogging-and I'd miss your blog if it didn't exist:) (No pressure, my friend!)

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    1. I probably won't quit - once I am a published novelist (I am thinking positive!) I will want to use it to connect with my readers. And I wouldn't have met YOU if it weren't for blogging! So that right there proves to me that it's a worthwhile endeavor. :) I love your blog posts, too. Always so thoughtful and well-written.

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  2. I love blogs, reading them and writing them, and while my output has been fairly steady (once a week or every other week), I've also noticed people are posting less and less. This makes me very sad because I can't figure facebook out. I'm on it only because the anthologies I'm publishing in maintain a group there for all communicaitons. But I'm extremely inactive there because I can never figure out something meaningful to write in a paragraph or a couple lines. At least in a blog, I can write about things that matter to me, but at FB? I just haven't mastered the art of it! I wish I knew the secret, and why so many people like it there. What am I missing? How does one stay in touch via FB without being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of friends and posts it seems I have to wade through daily. I don't know how to stay caught up on it. At least with blogs, I can check every morning, and they've never overwhelmed me.

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    1. You make a good point, DKoren. I think FB can be overwhelming if you have a ton of friends - but they also have settings that will make it so you only see certain people's statuses, etc. I also block all the "game" information on there - for example, if someone plays Farmville and a post that says, "So-and-so just bought a tractor" , I can hide that entire app so I never see any posts pertaining to Farmville or whatever. I was intimidated by FB at first, but now I love it.

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  3. I talked about this with a friend the other day. She said the traffic on her blog is way down. And it seems a lot of people I started blogging with are dropping by the wayside.

    I'm with you on the twitter thing. Not my favorite and I don't love facebook.

    I guess it blogging disappears, I'll have to figure something else out.

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    1. I really hope it doesn't disappear - I think there is a use for it. It's just figuring out how to make it work for each individual.

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  4. My blogging fell by the wayside and I can't seem to get back up and running again. Mostly because I'm lazy, and I feel the need/obligation to include photos and the process of uploading photos off my camera into Photobucket sometimes seems too laborious to make it worthwhile. ;) Plus I fussed about with the blog address so much that my updates don't show up in my follower's dashboard anymore so no one reads them anyway, lol.

    I think blogging became so much of a new fad that a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon just to feel trendy and cool, then realized how much work was involved and lost interest. That or life just interfered and they never got around to it again. I do notice some blogs I used to follow have kind of withered away, but there are still lots of bloggers out there.

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    1. Yeah, it can definitely be time-consuming. And I guess with everything we do in life, if it doesn't fit into our schedule and we really don't want to do it, then we shouldn't feel the need to do it. I don't want it to get that way for me, a, "Oh, I better post on my blog again" attitude instead of a, "Oh, I WANT to share this with my bloggers!" attitude, y'know?

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  5. I've been having similar thoughts. Lately I've felt that being a writer has become more about being on-line than writing. Not a good place to be!

    I like to blog, but I find it hard to find the time and there does seem to be a drop in readership. I'm thinking of trying to stick to a once a week post. And telling myself I don't have to read everyone else's blog - only if it grabs my attention.

    Just yesterday I whipped my FB into shape. The sheer size of it was becoming depressing and oh so time consuming. So I unfriended all those people who I never communicated with any way and unliked all those companies, groups etc that I really wasn't that interested in. Now I have a manageable page. I'm also going to only visit Goodreads once a week.

    And the good thing is that today I found extra time to write AND do an hour of Italian.

    Those writer's in pre-computer days might have had it hard when it came to editing etc, but they would have had heaps more time!

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    1. JT, your comment, "I've felt that being a writer has become more about being on-line than writing" really hit home for me. I think I spend far too much time online. Of course, I work at a job where we're not busy all of the time, so by default, I hit the Internet. Instead, I should work on my writing.

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  6. Blogging is kind of slowing but I think it's like Betsy said about fads. Some people (including myself at many points) wrote because it was the thing to do. For me, I had to figure out what I really wanted from my blog. That took me over a year to really understand, but now that I do, I'm happier blogging the way I want to blog and need to blog.

    I don't confine myself to a schedule or a topic. I don't force myself to read other blogs on a time table but do it when I have the time so that I can be more thoughtful about the way I interact with the people I truly WANT to interact with. I've prioritized and put in place the people and the writing that really matters to me. So I'll still blog but I'll do it on my terms. ;)

    I do admit that facebook is a great place for quick connecting, friends, and networking. I prefer it over twitter but it's a different medium than blogging so I still like both. :)

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    1. L.T., you sound like you are in such a GOOD place with how you blog. You are blogging for you and no one else, and that's how it should be!

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  7. This is an interesting thought provoking post. I'm not sure - I think I'm blogging less too but more because I'm also busy with many other things and sometimes it's hard to think about a post - and I don't think posting for the sake of posting is what I want to do. I want my posts to be something I can look back on and reflect on where I was - sort of like a journal - as well as hoping to give a sort of meaningful content to anyone who reads my blog. I don't really like facebook (think of it as a younger thing to do - now I'm dating myself), but sort of think that it is a possible thing to do to market my art biz - have been reluctant to set it up - but do see the commercial value. Mmm lots of food for thought and questions to ask oneself. Lets wait and see - everything seems to change at such a speed in our world today, fades in oneday out the next, trends changing all the time. Technology always coming up with something new to distract us with - busy busy - obligations------- etc. phew there's my 5c worth.

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    1. I completely agree, Clare. Posting for the sake of posting is a warning sign to me. I tend to think if I don't post, I will lose readers - but while I may lose some readers, those that really like my voice or what I have to say will (I hope!) return whenever I do manage to post something. And you're absolutely right about the technology change - I can't keep up! I don't have a Smartphone or an iPad or even an iPod!

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  8. Funny you write this; since pulling back, I've not missed it. I think blogging might be waning, as other social media has truly overtaken. Blogging takes time, even with short posts, and the average attention span just isn't that long anymore. I hope you'll continue to post; sort of selfish of me, but I love reading your insights!

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    1. I have taken brief hiatuses (sp?) in the past from my blog and after a week or two, I do miss it - so I guess that says something. But there are days when I don't even want to look at it. Guess it's a delicate balance. I miss your posts, though, Anna! I'm glad we're still in touch. :-)

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  9. I think the sheer number of blogs online--and a large majority of them with, I hate to say it, lackluster content--has made the platform rather redundant for all but a few.

    Blogs that are less like a blog, and more like a community (i.e. Dear Author, Joe Konrath, Kristen Lamb, etc), still receive heaps and heaps of comments, but I think most people just follow the RSS feed of the ones they like, and read them like they would the morning paper.

    There's also the issue of multi-platform social media. New posts from my blog ping directly to Facebook and to Twitter, and people frequently like or comment on FB or RT it or respond on Twitter.

    I also think bloggers themselves contribute to the decline or absence of comments, since many decide to start a blog after realizing they need more space to comment on things seen on other blogs, and then throw in the towel when they don't receive comments or page views. So we have commenters on big blogs spawning small blogs, but then failing to realize that blogging isn't just about writing new posts! As a result the noise is such that people just read and move on to other favorite places online.

    I still love my blog, even though I grimace over the general lack of comments, but it's my platform and it's my brand. :-)

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  10. Very good points, Evangeline. And I really like your blog - it has SO much great stuff on it. I hope you keep it going.

    I think sometimes we get fixated on the whole comments thing and if we don't have a lot, then we think no one is reading, but I truly believe there are lots of lurkers out there who stop by.

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  11. I've been wrestling with similar thoughts, Melissa. My blog is really a creative platform for me---and I love the medium. FB doesn't provide what I want/need in terms of creative output and Twitter, well, it just doesn't fit the bill. I think folks still stop by the blog due to the FB connection, but since I don't spend much time networking, I am seeing a huge decline in comments. FB seems a much easier way to communicate, however it doesn't allow me to grow as a writer and photographer.

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  12. I've wondered the same thing... and then I go on Pinterest and almost everything pinned goes back to someone's blog. A blog about cleaning tips. A blog about recipes. A blog about crafts to do with kids.

    And there are still plenty of political and celebrity-themes blogs doing well.

    I wonder if it's the "diary" type that's losing steam, or if it's just the people I know that have been blogging for so long that are losing steam. I started blogging a long time ago - six years maybe? And at that time I met a ton of people just as enthused about writing as me. And I wondered at that time how many of us would still be around years down the road, and how many of us would get beaten down by rejection and drop out, or just lose interest and move on to other things.

    I think to a great extent, many of those people I met through blogging have moved on to other things. Or they got published and no longer have time to regularly blog. Or are just burned out by blogging. Face it - it takes time and energy to blog.

    I don't get a ton of comments anymore, because I don't have a lot of time to comment on other blogs, but I'm still getting about 1,700 page views a month, which tells me someone is reading.

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  13. I think blogging is definitely on the way out. I know I post less and less these days. There are so many blogs out there now that it's difficult to find time to read them all and impossible to comment on many.

    I do love Twitter though and I think with so many people on that and/or Facebook, it's easier to keep up with stuff. I never have much of interest to say so a sentence on Facebook or Twitter is more than enough for people. :)

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  14. Elizabeth Parker11:26 AM

    I'll probably keep blogging (off and on) because it's always been kind of a journal for me to capture my thoughts. I really don't care if anybody else reads it.

    I tried Twitter, but had my account hacked twice. Almost got a nasty computer virus from it that McAfee caught, thank goodness. So I deleted my Twitter account.

    I do enjoy reading your blog, Melissa.

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  15. I think like a lot of things, blogging goes through cycles.

    I've seen a few of my good bloggie friends taper out to nothing, and I miss them!!! I figure as long as I have something to say, I'll keep blogging. I'm too wordy for Twitter or Facebook!

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  16. I was really interested to read these responses as you know I've had to stop blogging for awhile as my life keeps changing and I found I couldn't write as much. Since stopping, I don't miss it as I get to still visit other blogs and I have more time. I always felt SOOO guilty that I couldn't get back to everyone who commented and now I don't feel that anymore. They can email me if they want of find me on Facebook that I really really love much more!

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  17. I blogged regularly for over 5 years, but this past year has really been hit or miss. I've really liked doing it, but it takes time and energy to blog the way I want and instead I've been putting almost everything into my WIP. I don't think I'll give it up completely, but it looks right now like I'm taking a hiatus. :-) I do still check in with my favorite blogs, though...like yours! (And yay, I'm somehow able to comment again!)

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  18. I'm just starting out blogging, and it's difficult for me. I'm a new author, and I started a blog to connect with my readers, set a platform, etc. but I keep finding myself dropping out of posting. With all the other blogs out there, who's to say I have anything to say that hasn't already been repeated to death.
    Of course, maybe it's been hard for me because it seems I'm talking to myself a lot. I'm not having a very interactive experience with blogging so maybe I'm doing something wrong or maybe I'm just plain boring? I don't know.
    Despite the trouble I'm having with keeping this up until it becomes habit and I find my groove, I don't think blogging is going anywhere. If for nothing other than the fact that it is still necessary. It provides a platform for individuals/businesses whose work is mainly online. Freelancers do better business if they have a website/blog and it helps authors connect with their readers, as well as set a platform because most/all literary agents won't give you a chance without one.

    I have just started a new blog with a new and improved theme. I hope this one has a better turnout than my last, alexisbooks.wordpress.com (my pen name author site)

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