It feels like I’ve been investing little or no effort into blog posts for a while now – forcing the daily posts when I have little or nothing to share. I guess it opens an internal debate about the wisdom of posting every day, versus posting when I have something to say. I’m reminded of a cartoon I saw some time ago – captioned “I have nothing to say, and I’m saying it”. Being brutally honest, that’s been the story of blogging (for me) for quite some time.
An old friend from LiveJournal popped up last night, and we talked about all sorts of things – among them the slow death of LiveJournal, the intimidating size of the WordPress community, and the sense of loss we both felt about blogging in general.
Back in the early 2000s, it seemed everybody was writing blogs. There were no walled gardens as such – therefore services sprang up to aid communication between the disparate authors. Banner exchanges, mailing lists, forums, and RSS aggregators allowed community to grow like weeds. By the mid 2000s, a thriving rainforest had ripped across the internet.
TypePad, WordPress, Blogger, Vox, LiveJournal, DiaryLand, Yahoo 360, MySpace… the bar to entry was virtually non-existent. Newspapers ran advertorials, advising their readership how to sign up with the various services, and begin posting. Nobody really knew why they were doing it – they just did.
We roll forwards 10 years, and when we look around, there are very few of us left. I’m not sure if you would call us “stalwarts”, or “curmudgeons”. In the same way that you might laugh at somebody wearing fashions from their youth for the rest of their life, perhaps we’re doing the same – carrying on doing this thing we do, many years after everybody else moved on.
It’s a strange thing really – writing a blog. Sometimes it feels like writing a paper journal, only you pin each page up on a noticeboard in a busy corridor when you have finished it, for any random stranger to read. The chances of bumping into kindred spirits has become increasingly rare over the years – to the point that we can now draw similarities with the “Fool on the Hill” from the Beatles song.