Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Keep Blogging

Some weeks back, the Inestimable Borepatch wrote a short entry on Supply Chains, saying that he actually had a longer one in mind with far more detail and root cause analysis, but he was thinking better of spending the time because one never knows how many will read it, mentioning of course the by-now well known call for many that blogging is a dying communication tool.

In one sense that is hard to argue, of course.  The Graveyard of Lost Blogs to the right is a small indicator, but going out and looking at any blog roll will find a set of blogs that extend into the sunset:  1 year, 2 years, 4 years ago, the last entry will read.  Sometimes the author lists what has happened, other times there is just a hard stop with no explanation.  The market is certainly not with blogs anymore;  bite size snippets that manifest themselves as social media or article postings on sites with endless commentary rule the day.

At one time - perhaps still - video blogs were going to replace the typed electronic word; this was the promised land.  In some ways I think it may be - but it has begun to manifest the same issues as blogs:  10 minute vblog entries will lose out to 30 second Tick-Tock videos of jumping dogs and stupid people tricks. And for some - at least me - videos do not replace the written or typed word.  The word I can go back and ponder or think on relatively easily; videos I have to try to run back to the point in time for the thing I want to review.

Of course, I get why in some ways both sets - bloggers and vbloggers - give up.  For 99.9% of us, we earn precisely nothing doing this.  We spending hours of our days - be it daily, weekly, or monthly - creating entries for an unknown public.  A few of us - the clever ones - use it as a platform to help market their own products (as they should, and we should buy more from them - we too often shout "small business" but never put our money where our mouth is); the rest of us seem to draw some sort of odd pleasure from the posting of our writing for the world to see or the rough and tumble of posting something and then getting smashed for it.

But I would argue that blogging still matters.

I cannot answer for the complete political, social, and economic spectrum, but from my point of view and the point of view of the blogs I follow, I cannot get a better or more varied view on things than the home grown blog.  Corporate blogs are, well corporate:  they inevitably are trying to sell me something or promote a point of view (often without discourse); blogging is the actual inheritor of the concept of the Agora or the Marketplace, where ideas are brought forward and discussed (maybe not always politely, but there are ways of dealing with that as well).  Some of the best, most original thinking on things like political issues, social issues, conservation issues, and just "issues" happens out here on the fringe of InterWeb, where we are not illegal (yet) but maintain a precarious existence by paying for our lives in other ways and writing.

I do not know if Borepatch will post his thoughts on Supply Chains eventually (I hope he does; he is fun to read), but I do hope that he - and indeed all of us - continue to find the time and energy to blog.  In some meaningful ways, blogs represent the sort of original and thought-provoking content that can actually change a mind - or change the world.

24 comments:

  1. "... from my point of view and the point of view of the blogs I follow, I cannot get a better or more varied view on things than the home grown blog."

    I like that.

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    1. Thank you Joe! It is a fair statement that all of my favorite blogs are effectively labors of love instead of commercialized efforts.

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  2. It was before I started my homestead blog that I was first told that blogging would soon be dead. And while it's true that a lot of folks burn out and quit, I daresay that it happens frequently on the popular social networks too. It's just that those platforms are so big and so busy, we rarely notice. I made my own bf account a decade ago, and still visit on rare occasions because that's where my goat breeders association chooses to communicate. I never set about to collect "friends" but have noticed that my originals haven't posted there in years (myself included). We're just aware of it more with blogs because they are stand-alone venues with no crowd to get lost in.

    I agree with you TB and hope folks will keep blogging. And lets continue to support one another with visits and comments. We create a unique kind of community, one that deserves to be preserved.

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    1. Leigh - I think for myself as well when I fully started writing in more regular fashion - 2008 - the blog was declared on its way out. We may have even outlasted some of the blogs that stated that.

      It is funny on social media - and an indicator of the times - that in my periodic retreats from it, there is almost no-one that asks after me in terms of "What happened?" or "Is everything okay?" - not that I need people to ask after me, but the flow of information is such that it gets subsumed. It is directly more apparent on something that is 100% based on generation of content as the endpoint (and draw).

      Reading is an investment of time of course, although arguably better spent than a lot of other ways (like, say, social media or media in general but NOT goats or Iai). But it is only seldom I consider time wasted that I spent reading the blogs of others.

      I would agree with you it is a very unique community and is something that - dare I hope - can be used to form a nucleus of a renaissance of sorts. This sort of thinking, writing, thoughtful response, and communication is precisely what we need in a society which seems to value none of this.

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  3. Anonymous3:51 AM

    I've learned a lot from the blogs I read. I have varied interests and blogs provide many different points of view. Some which disagree with my findings, but that is okay because I learn something that I didn't know before. Which is why I read - perspective.

    I don't blog myself, I'm not clever enough to write off the cuff my thoughts, nor do I have the opportunity to have a window of time to do an outline. I do appreciate each and every one who chooses to do so. Including yourself who work hard to write a good post.

    Thank you for that.

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    1. Thank you very much for the comment and the kind words. I also learn a lot from different blogs - and fortunately there are enough of them that if it is too dissonant, I can find another one.

      One thing that interest me abstractly is how people write their blogs. I know some plan out carefully; at least 7 times out of 10 I have no idea what I am going to write on when I pull the laptop onto my lap. I am not terribly good at editing my own work (that is a huge flaw) but tend to write stream of consciousness. In terms of time, it has now gone on so long that it feels wrong if I am not writing for the next day, which is where I actually hoped to end up.

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  4. I read your blog every morning, and certainly hope you keep blogging. My daughter, her friend and I blogged for a couple of years and then everyone got too busy, so I know how much work it is. I love getting various points of view and just plain entertainment that comes from reading a variety of blogs. I am not a fan of vblogs.

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    1. Mary - Thank you so much for the kind words. Honestly, every writer hopes that they get read, so that in some ways makes the whole thing worthwhile.

      The thing about blogs - as I keep finding out - is that there is such a variety of people that write as well or better than "the professionals" on subjects that often the professionals cannot or will not touch (not just hot topics, but things of specialty interests). In that sense, the power of the collective Blog Mind (is that a thing?) is incredibly.

      I struggle through vblogs, although I appreciate that people are working in a different medium. For better or worse, I am a printed/typed word guy.

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  5. As an old radio guy and newspaper reporter/editor, I'm very accustomed to being told my future is limited, and somehow I'm still making a living after 46 years doing it. I suspect the blog format is the vinyl record of this age; expect people to start noticing blogs when they tire of unsocial media.

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    1. Warren - You raise two very good points, both of radio and print media being "out of date" as well as the overall format. I wonder if the key - as you indicate with "vinyl" (I laugh, they were just "records" in the day) is a combination of the medium learning to adapt to its audience and its audience becoming more discerning and or selective. As you correctly point out, unsocial media (duly noted and borrowed!) is hardly the sort of thing that encourages me to go back.

      The Vinyl of the Interweb. I like it!

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

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  6. I read other blogs for perspective. I write as therapy and to help me sort out my perspective.

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    1. Ed, I think I do much of the same. I have commented in the past I effectively keep two journals: my on-line journal (which cleverly disguises itself as a blog) and my own personal written journal (kept since 1989).

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  7. I love to learn. I like the challenge of reading and pondering. You and others (like ERJ) have helped me immensely in ordering my thoughts, or bringing illumination to me when I am trying to understand something. I understand myself more now, than I did before I started reading blogs.

    I blog when I have the energy to. I started with a very specific goal in mind, and have strayed quite a bit from the original intent. I don't mind, it is an interesting hybrid, and more accurately reflects my personality. I admire you that are consistent, even if it's a picture and a sentiment. I aspire to that, but haven't yet obtained it.

    As an autodidact, I crave to learn, and apply that knowledge correctly. I also want to pass it on to anyone that would value it. The blog is the perfect medium in my mind. If you don't like what you see, you move on. If you do, then you are likely to stop and visit, ask questions, INTERACT, and come back again for more. That is the Agora. A swap meet for ideas, knowledge and snark. A flea market for the thinking. I really do like a good flea market / swap meet.

    See, see what you did here? You made me think, write, comment and get involved in your subject. Doing it here, online, is good. But I miss doing this in person.

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    1. STxAR - I do not wonder but that the characteristics that you list - reading, pondering, learning, applying - is something commonly shared across a lot of blog readers and blog writers. It seems to me it is, based on comments and those that I read. Which perhaps gets to Warren's comment above about us being the equivalent to "vinyl" aficionados, a sort of people that seek out and value this sort of thing because ultimately, we value this sort of thing and the process.

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  8. Is this a subtle hint to those in the 'boneyard'?
    ~hobo

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    1. Oh no, not at all Hobo! Lots of stuff comes up that changes people's priorities.

      Of note: Your older blogs are the only ones in the Boneyard - Your current one is still over in the active section. I do not give up on people until at least a year.

      All of that said, I do miss my ongoing education in the cattle industry...

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  9. Reading blogs has really broadened my view of humanity, even if it sometimes takes me out of my comfort zone. I'm always sorry when one I enjoy goes silent and I often wonder what became of them. (including one in your sidebar which hasn't had a post in 3 years) Occasionally a family member will post an obit as a final entry or sometimes a blogger will announce they're giving it up, but too often they just quit.

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    1. Kelly - I think one of the great things I has done for me is similar to social media: introduce me to a circle of people that I can learn from and in some ways, call my tribe in a way that is not always possible with live people.

      It is sad when they go silent. I think it is for a variety of reasons. I think effort expended is often the case; for most of us this is not a paying gig and we do it for love of the writing. Also, perhaps, people feel they have nothing say at some point.

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  10. The Mrs. said to me, "If your blogging didn't matter, you and I would have words. Keep writing. Get better."

    "Having words" is generally not a pleasant experience. She supports it, because (she thinks) it matters.

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    1. A thoughtful and treasured woman - and yes, someone with whom "having words" is probably not a grand thing.

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  11. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Bit of a tangent TB, but from a small business viewpoint, thing that I love the most about blogging is that we are directly building OUR audiences, not enabling the social media gigantors.

    I don't understand is why "everyone" flocks to the latest thing; MySpace, FacePalm, TikTok, YouToob, Reddit, Fourchains, Digggg, Twattser, Gabby or whatever the latest iteration of the same thing is called with different colours.

    Well, I suspect the underlying reason is to virtue signal and been seen where the hep people are, but maybe I'm cynical in my dotage.

    To me, my blog or my website is what it is ALL about.

    Otherwise all of my work, the sweat of my mind just provides free intellectual property for some soul-eating megacorp that would ban me for non-compliance to some arbitrary standard in a fraction of a heartbeat without recourse. All while tracking me for life all across the internet and listening to every conversation within earshot of a device with a microphone.

    My time is the one. truly irreplaceable thing I have. Non renewable and pricelessly valuable to me.

    That's why I frequent this blog.

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    1. There is never a tangent, at least in my world - like Bob Ross, there are only "happy accidents".

      I do not suppose I have thought of it that way before - but yes, we are building our audiences in a way that deprives Social Media of the fruits of our labors - yes, I understand that (inherently) Blogger/The Borg reaps some benefit from my publishing here, but other than name recognition, I cannot imagine what it is.

      It is odd - and by odd, I mean I have fallen into the trap as well - that both sides will disparage one platform and then flock to the next, new "thing" as if somehow that will make things different. It never really does; it is just different formats and interfaces. But, as you say, the same ultimate overlords.

      And, of course, to be seen.

      Thank you very much for the investment of your time here.

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