Filed under: Blogging
Has anyone else noticed that lately, the internet has been getting lonely?
So many good bloggers are deserting the place. The ones that are left behind are running out of things to say. Or, they are just commenting on the latest gadgets and blogging conferences and metablogging conferences and conferences to plan metablogging conferences.
Blogging has become a way to sell ad space, to impress people, or, I dread this the most, to brand oneself. Yeah. I’m unique. Like everyone else.
Little. Yellow. Different. published a conversation on the origins of the demise of blogging:
1. There are too many of us now. In a pool of 20 million, a blogger’s voice is diluted. Not like the good old days when there were a mere 2000.
2. If a blogger does have an audience, he or she needs to keep them happy. Flagrant airing of opinions might alienate them and reduce readership.
3. It’s the age of mega-blogs. Personal blogs will just have to wait for a meteor to crash to the earth, fill the atmosphere with clouds of dust, bring down the climate, and kill off the dinosaurs so that small furry creatures can evolve in peace.
4. Personal blogs are brands.
Little. Yellow. Different. goes on say that he no longer wants his personal experiences archived online. Plus, there’s the whole thing about living in the moment.
My friend MaikoPunk gave up blogging recently for other reasons, namely that blogging is getting in the way of more serious writing – writing that pays the bills and gets more credibility.
A few years ago, Neil Gaiman I believe it was, quit blogging because blogging got in the way of his more serious writing. He suddenly reappeared one day, saying something like, well, there is something I get out of blogging. Maybe he still blogs, maybe he doesn’t again. He’s quite accessible as a writer, whereas so many decent bloggers who quit…are just gone.
Though my RSS feed has over 200 blogs, I only regularly read five of them. About once or twice a year, I remember that I have a burning interest in abandoned rusting tea kettles. Yet, these specialist blogs are taking over: my collection of personal blogs, which I read because I like the people and want to see what’s happening in their lives, shrinks every month.
I do maintain a dead bloggers folder on my RSS feed. All the dead blogs go there. One day, when one of them stirs, I will be ready to read their blogs.
As for myself, I have bored or alienated all but a few loyal friends. My stats are depressing: during the last month, I had 2000 visitors, in August 2007, I have 12,000 visitors. In addition, there are many personal things I cannot or will not write on my blog.
I’ve thought about coming up with a schtick, a niche where I can dole out my expertise and gain some measure of internet popularity.
What’s the point? I have a dozen hobbies, I read widely, I go through phases of learning about xyz then switch to abc. Five million blogs already do photos better than I ever can or aspire. I’ll leave real illustrators to show off their art and real connoisseurs to document every meal. I am not even sure if I will stick with my museum career any more, so I cannot specialize professionally either. Nor do I have a hamster in the household anymore, so my slim claim to internet fame is gone there too.
About two years ago, when I first realized I’ll never be anyone in this internet pond, my first reaction was to delete my blog and purge all mentions of Maktaaq from the internet. I still believe that I am not at all relevant to anyone. In fact, in real life, I have almost no friends and my life is just the mere cycle of sleep, eat, work. There is no point at all in me writing. I have nothing original to say nor can I even write my thoughts in a fresh way.
Only about every five posts or so do I get comments. The commenters are always the same five people.
I keep writing to practice writing. I also keep writing because, even though only five people comment, at least someone is reading. If these five feel compelled enough to give me any feedback, I am that much less alone in the world.
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