Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Confession Tuesday: Are Blogs Dead? Edition

Dear Reader,

I confess it's harder for me to write in the summer and maybe the sun has gone to my head, but I'm wondering -- Are blogs dead?

I ask this in that joking way, the way people ask "Is Poetry Dead?"  Of course, it's not.  Of course, there will always be blogs and bloggers, but have we moved past it?

Jeannine Hall Gailey used a term when talking about blogs, facebook, twitter that intrigued me.  She said that more people may prefer easy connection without all the words.  The terms she used were-- "long-form content" versus "short-form content."

Long-form content are blogs, articles, editorials.

Short-form content are Facebook status, Twitter, Pinterest.

I was intrigued as I hadn't thought about it.
Do people still read blogs?  Are blogs needed?  Does anyone still read my blog?

After our discussion, I wondered why I still have a blog and if it was still helpful, necessary, if anyone is reading and if it's worth it to keep it going.

I confess sometimes I feel as if I don't have anything more to say.

But maybe this is my summer mind, the one who likes to read clouds.
I'm not sure.  But do you still read blogs as much as you used to?

I know I don't as much.  But it's not a reflection on the blogs, but on my time.

I guess this makes me think about blogging and whether to continue.  Right now, I'm leaning towards yes.

We'll see how it goes.

Right now, I'm going to keep this blog.  But are we moving to shorter words/phrases to connect us?




  1. I think it depends on the rationale behind blogging. It's far easier and more entertaining for me to post something extremely silly on FB or Twitter and watch the responses.

    It takes more thought to craft something worthwhile for me to post and share, although my standards for reading are much, much lower. If it's interesting, I'll read. I subscribe to a few so I don't miss new posts and this helps.

    But time...time is assuredly a factor.

  2. I still read blogs, but I admit that I don't always comment. Like you, in the summertime, my blogging gets behind schedule. I used to worry about that, but I remember what my mother used to say about apologizing when I used to write letters (yes, I am that old that I used to write letters when I was a teenager): Don't say that you are sorry when you are writing a letter. A letter is a gift.

    While I do not think that my blog posts on my blog are gifts, I do think that there are many posts that are -- and I don't think people should apologize for not blogging on a regular basis...time is so important! Do what you can!

  3. I feel the same way about my blog, especially when I have nothing to write about. But I would miss posting my thoughts and opinion. So for now, my blog stays up with fewer postings in the summer.

  4. I don't really think of blog posts as long-form, maybe medium form: like a novella to the short stories of tweets.

    I also tend to think of the difference between a blog post and a post to social media in terms of duration: though technically both exist equally long (generally speaking), older blog posts are much more likely to be read and discussed.

  5. I've been blogging for more than nine years and it's obvious that I have more interaction and audience via Facebook and Twiiter. I don't read blogs as much I used to, but I do try to check in a few times a month and comment when there is something to say. I do think my blog is a place for longer musings and for letting people know about my projects and share the news of other writers. I plan to keep it up. Maybe I'll reevaluate after my 10th anniversary next May.

  6. Ah, yes... at least I still read blogs. In fact I'd sooner give up twitter or Facebook to blogs. But I am only one person so it is for myself that I speak.

    There are a dozen blogs that I read religiously. And yes Kelli, I still read your blog.

    I read your blog over lunch hour and I've waited till I got home tonight to respond so I've actually had some time to think about this. While they are not especially personal in a direct sort of way, blogs have sort of become for me the mail no one ever gets.

    When I was in high school and approaching draft age myself, I had an uncle serving in Vietnam. I routinely wrote him as did I my grandmother. In those days I could not wait to get home and find a letter in the mail. To me getting a letter was sort pf conformation that my world was okay.

    Blogs aren't quite the same, but when I miss a day of reading one or another of my regulars it is as if something is missing. A little something perhaps but it seems more and more that little things as important as you get older.

    Kelli you blog can be funny, heartwarming and tremendously informative. The blogs I read on a regular basis usually have some mix of those components. But honestly, I've probably gained more practical writing advice on this blog then I get in reading books and magazines on the subject.

    If blogs are on the way out, I guess I will know of it only because I've looked for my regulars and they are missing.

  7. Don't stop blogging unless it's getting in the way of more pressing writing projects? I am blogging much less (a few times a month), and I like it that way for now. I thought about stopping, but I'm not ready to quit yet. I like your blog a lot, Kelli. It's got a lot going for it. Your sense of humor is addictive, as are your helpful links and worthwhile advice. And sheesh, I do love when you go to the confessional. Okay, you can stop blogging if you want, but I will miss it.

  8. Yes, please do keep the blog! Even the days when you only post an image or a few words I still enjoy what you have to say and share. =)

  9. I think about this a lot. I've seen some bloggers switch over to Facebook and stick with it, because they prefer 30 "Likes" over 5 thoughtful comments.

    I also think that the choice of the writer is influenced by whether she is in it because she enjoys the social interaction, or because she enjoys hashing out her thoughts without space constraints.

    As far as the reading side of blogs, I believe it can take just as much time to sort through dozens of Facebook chirps or Twitter tweets as it does to read a couple of good blog posts. I prefer the unified and complete writing style of most blog posts over some vague sentence that seems to be an inside joke that I'm not included in. But I also prefer a good book over blog posts. I guess, for me, the longer the format, the better. Quality over quantity. I'm definitely not with the times.

    I loved everyone else's comments. You've got some prolific and talented followers.

  10. A friend of mine who is a true technical geek told me that short content social media depend on blogs. Re-posting (twitter, FB, etc) is more a vehicle to lead you to real content. I'm a blogging believer -- just much less in summer.

  11. I, too, love reading blogs (but comment less frequently, since I'm often later to the conversation) and will continue to write blogs. I've found them a great way to capture inspiration, which I use later, and to capture my days. I rarely keep my paper journal--just for the truly private stuff, which thankfully in my low-drama life, isn't much. I like how blogs are searchable, in a way that my paper journals from past years are profoundly NOT searchable.

    Would I continue to blog, even if no one read? I would, because it enriches me in many ways.

  12. I definitely think you should continue blogging. Your writing is fun and compelling.

    We all go through periods of apathy towards the work of writing, but you'll find soon enough your desire returned.

    In the meantime, why don't you post more pictures of yourself on the blog? It could give you that initial push you need.

  13. I think it's always nice to have some type of creative outlet and with a blog at least you're more in control, for the layout, the content, anything and everything. Most of the social networks are more or less fads anyway and once they fade, your content or audience of it probably isn't that far behind. I'd say those are more of extensions of your website/blog, definitely not a replacement.

    That said, nothing wrong with doing something different for a bit, maybe write a book, read one, nothing at all, watching the wheels, re-charging you could call it. A few months or even longer, whatever's needed, onto the next unknown.

    Then if you decide to come back to some blogging activities, you'll know you'll have a welcome audience to share with, get feedback from.

    Personally, I prefer blogs 100% over many of the social networks. Usually orders of magnitude more depth, both in the postings and discussions, always appreciate the time people put into them.

  14. I definitely still read blogs. (Here I am reading yours.) At any given time there are probably a dozen or so blogs that I read regularly (or at least check regularly. to see if anything new has been posted). And there are others I check a little less frequently, depending on how often the blog authors typically post things and on how much time I have on a particular day.

    For the several years I've been doing my blog, I've probably posted about once a month on average. I might enjoy posting a little more often than that, but I'm doing what I can with the time I have available.

    I don't have a Twitter account, and although I do have a Facebook account I haven't done much with it, although in the past few months I started increasing my Facebook "friend" list, and I've found that when I post something new in my blog, I can likely draw at least a couple of individual readers to the blog by mentioning something about the blogpost in my Facebook page and including a link.

    One of the big advantages to blogs (as things currently stand) is that the content of a blog will turn up in Google searches (assuming that the blog is through one of the standard blog services), whereas Facebook posts (the last I knew) don't turn up in Google searches. Most of the "hits" that turn up for my own name in Google searches are either from things I've posted in my blog or from comments I've posted in other people's blogs.

    I think it's important to keep a long view of these things. A few years isn't very much time on the scale of human history, and it can be a tricky business to gauge where culture or technology are going based on the past six months or one year or five years. Some things just develop on a longer arc. People do after all still read the Iliad and the Shi Ching and the Popul Vuh -- those haven't become obsolete. There are cave paintings, older than any known language, that can still move our souls when we look on them (even when what we're looking at is a photo reproduction).

    As things stand, I plan to continue blogging for as long as the technology allows it. I don't plan to make any decisions about this based on how many people have stopped blogging and gone exclusively to Facebook and Twitter.

    To put it another way, I didn't start writing poetry because of any notion that it was what everybody else was doing; and if most of the people currently writing poetry were to stop for some reason, I wouldn't therefore stop writing it myself.

    Of course this is your blog and I wouldn't think to tell you what to do with it, but if it's giving something useful to your life, and if it's not taking away from things that are more deeply important, then that would seem (to me) a reason to keep doing it, if you want to.

    Some of my thinking on these questions, as it seems to me right now.

  15. Thanks for all the comments! More soon!


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