June 7, 2009

"That was when people were starting to talk about blogs and how anyone could, if not get famous, get their opinions out there and get them read."

Really? Was that ever true? This article seems supremely silly.

It's so easy to start a blog. Naturally, many are quickly abandoned or rarely updated or unreadable or just unread. Why would anyone think that just starting a blog is anything — other than a personal gesture of expressive openness? Why would anyone ever have realistically thought now I'll be famous or soon I can quit my job?

I don't see any new trend here. It's the same as it always was. (Including the way the NYT wishes blogs would die.)

20 comments:

John Althouse Cohen said...

I don't see any new trend here.

The article doesn't explicitly say there's a new trend, which insulates it from criticism. I don't understand how a bunch of random descriptions of people deciding to stop blogging is news.

ricpic said...

It's like everything else: anyone can have a brilliant thought once every two weeks; heck, for us brilliant butterflies once a week even; but to maintain an entertaining blog over time? that's hard slog stuff.

Bissage said...

I know an apparently sane woman 75 years old who thinks of Katie Couric as her “girlfriend.”

Paddy O. said...

If there's a new trend it's not with the core issue of blogging. Rather, it's the focusing of blogging in a way that it wasn't nearly as focused before. In the past, before Facebook took off, blogging was a widespread casual expression. With all kinds of people who had nothing to say, spending all kinds of time trying to say it and make some connection to others.

The goal was community, not communication. Saying, "Here I am. I exist."

Technology moved on and gave more tools to the online world, helping people better find what best fits them in their goals and interests.

So, blogs now are just one tool among many. My impression is that a great many people I knew never read blogs, and still never read blogs. Most people I know are on Facebook. The people who still read blogs still like blogs, and the people who still like expression for its own sake often still use blogs.

And blogs are still serving as a significant resource in all kinds of fields, with verbal sketching and dialogue allowed which far transcends the limitations of Twitter or Facebook, without needing the precision or permission of publishing. In my fields, theology and church, blogs are immensely vital to keep up with the trends as they develop. Books are about 2-3 years behind in content, and almost useless in figuring out the often knotted up nuances that vitally affect how to understand the various battles that happen.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I started my blog b/c I'd argued with somebody in Egypt about the way Westerners view Arabs (he said we thought they all were terrorists). I guess I argued him down b/c he emailed me and asked how come I didn't have my own blog - he'd enjoy reading my thoughts.

So I started it, and before long realized that I enjoyed keeping a journal for myself, and "meeting" (in the Class Factotum's case, actually meeting) a few people who've read it. My posting frequency has varied but I've kept it up since 10/2005.

FTA:

"HI, I’m Judy Nichols. Welcome to my rant."


Thus was born Rantings of a Crazed Soccer Mom, the blog of a stay-at-home mother and murder-mystery writer from Wilmington, N.C. Mrs. Nichols, 52, put up her first post in late 2004, serving up a litany of gripes about the Bush administration and people who thought they had “a monopoly on morality.” After urging her readers to vote for John Kerry, she closed with a flourish: "Practice compassionate regime change."

The post generated no comments.



Quelle suprise. Actually, she was probably lucky.

"I was always hoping more people would read it, and it would get a lot of comments," Mrs. Nichols said recently by telephone, sounding a little betrayed.

Then you have to write something other people will want to read.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I blog, therefore I am?

Not hardly.

I see blogs as a kind of anonymous water cooler. Less selective than a letter to the editor (which can get trashed, or edited to the point you wish it had been).

People who want to pay attention will; people who don't aren't forced to.

I do have to admit I feel a little like the above example; why isn't the STUPID world clamouring for my wisdom?!?!?!?

Quayle said...

Supremely silly? Indeed.

But what else do upper west siders have to read about on Sunday morning, now that everything is running perfectly in the halls of government and in the world.

Bush is back in Texas, Osama is ....oh, who cares.....

Did you know that blogging doesn't bring stardom?

nansealinks said...

No one ever commented on my blog. It was worthless. A personal sketchbook is of more value and private now. I find it funny that ann has usually six responses that follow her immediately. Well, funny or sad that people have not active outdoor activities to do at least in the most pleasant month of June. Or go tol church. Or stay in bed with their mates and make love on Sunday morning.

Yes, I know I am posting, ...am i not guilty?..but only because I am waiting for my ride to come and I don't have my knitting with me at the moment.

ricpic said...

nansealinks -- I watered my flowers, trimmed two overgrown bushes and even pulled weeds beside commenting on this here blog this morning. Sheesh, how long does it take to leave a comment?

The River Otter said...

This article was so "woe is me" that it is actually humorous. I just saw an ad (on a blog sidebar, of course) for a book on how to blog. One of the topics was, "gee whiz, what should I blog about?" and I thought, if you have nothing to say, just don't. Logic, no? How many domain names are taken by "bloggers" who made one or two posts? I blog because I like to. I read blogs that I like, too. I never thought I would make money at this...although if a paid writing or editing gig came along as a result, I probably would not turn it down. That does happen- or so I hear.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I go on the internets while having breakfast and a late cup of coffee, in the way I used to read the Sunday paper. What's the diff? (Except that I am in charge of what I read now, have more options, can give feedback, and it's much more enjoyable.)

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"if a paid writing or editing gig came along as a result, I probably would not turn it down."

I probably wouldn't. It would become work then.

Jason (the commenter) said...

What the NYT is missing is that there is a lot of creative destruction going on in the blogosphere. Blogs are born, blogs die, experimentation is going on.

I see a lot of newspapers dying, but no new ones being created. Where are the new newspapers, Mr. NYT?

The River Otter said...

Laura- I would turn down a paid writing gig that felt like work! I turn down non-paid ones that feel like work, too. :)

Theo Boehm said...

There aren't too many good, general-interest blogs.

This is one of a handful. Althouse has done a great job.

As noted, it's obvious now that people who gravitated to this kind of blogging in the past are moving to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Sigh. So it looks like blogging for most of us ≠ fame or immortality and never will.

Back to real life.

dbp said...

The idea that you can become famous by blogging is a lot like the idea that you can become famous by acting: Many try, few succeed.

I'm not sure that I would even want to have a large regular following. Oh yeah, it would be validating. But then I would feel as if I had to produce content and keep 'em happy. The last thing I need to take on are more obligations.

bagoh20 said...

I was gonna say something, but then realized nobody cares - sorry for this.

traditionalguy said...

No body is famous until they do TV or Movies, especially TV. That is why America's Idols are all actors/actresses and the TV characters, which includes politicians annd sports heroes on televised sports. Just doing TV commercials brings Fame. Blogs are only a good way to interract with intelligent people. "Man sharpens man", says he writer of an ancient posting of comments called Proverbs.

susanjoan said...

I view blogging as an extension of my ministry as a retreat/spiritual director; it allows me to reach more people than I could in person. I knew when I started my blog (Creo on Dios!) that, given its nature, it would never have the kind of numbers a general interest blog like this one would have.
The question is: what is your goal. If one if blogging for fame or money, well, good luck. For me, if I get an e-mail from one person that one of my posts had a great effect on their life, that is enough for me. If someone too far away to come to one of my retreats listens to one of my podcasts and it makes a difference to them, that is enough.
Susan

Fen said...

Mrs. Nichols, 52, put up her first post in late 2004, serving up a litany of gripes about the Bush administration and people who thought they had “a monopoly on morality.” After urging her readers to vote for John Kerry, she closed with a flourish: “Practice compassionate regime change.”

The post generated no comments.

“I was always hoping more people would read it, and it would get a lot of comments,” Mrs. Nichols said recently by telephone, sounding a little betrayed.



No doubt she also just can't understand why Air America failed so miserably.