The Death of Blogging

Ted Olsen wrote a thought provoking piece on blogging in CT. Here’s the nub:

[M]any bloggers still feel like they have to have their own site to be “contributing to the conversation.” The blogosphere, which was supposed to be a great democratizer, has made us all perennial candidates, demanding that we weight in on every news item, not matter how mundane or oveexposed. (The blog world risks becoming one giant midrash on The New York Times’s front page.)

And he’s right. I have read on other blogs how to make a great blog and I thoroughly disagree with them. The advice really tells how to get a lot of comments on your blog and maybe even a lot of links, but that isn’t want makes a blog great. Olsen explained that to do a blog “right” means to live the blog. He says of good Christian blogs, “it’s not necessarily the quality of their blogs that matter. It’s matching their quality with frequency.”

All of this is true, but once again, does that make it a good blog? Not to me. Forget frequency of posts; a well used, well populated RSS aggregate reader levels that playing field. And check the regularity of posts and the quantity of comments on this blog. According to those criteria, this is a poor blog. Yet I keep blogging.

Time to wax philosophical for a moment on blogging. I’ve done it before but I wasn’t as careful with my words and made it sound like commercial blogs were bad. So let me give it another shot.

Blogging has quickly changed complexion. And I think it was inevitable. When blogging began everyone rushed to it. And the quality of blog posts was essentially this:

Mon the 2nd – OMG, I haven’t posted in like so long. Sorry. I’ll try to post more often. Swear.

Mon the 9th – Wow, wear did that weak go? Sorry, I’ll update soon. Theirs been alot going on and I really have to tell you about it. I’ll post tomorrow.

Thu the 12th – So I saw Fantastic Four on Tuesday with a bunch of friends (except Danny, who was a total jerk at the movie) and it so totally rocked! The special effects were excellent and the action was nonstop. Great movie go see it. You won’t be disappointed promise.

Tue 17th – I am so sad today :,-( I’ll tell you about it later.

Two months later – Oh yea, I have a blog. Sorry. Since I’m back in school, I’m going to post all the time.

And that was about it. I saw tons of those kinds of things. Corner Gas did a good spoof on blogging. After a while, more serious people got in to blogging, you know, the kind who can spell. And blogging looked like it was going to be a new social arena. Then about two or three years ago, I noticed that it became popular to stop blogging. Some of my favorite people who blogged, quit. There was a group who pressed on for a while and they, largely, have either slowed down or are taking a break. There remains a group of high quality bloggers and a handful of team blogs that remain great.

Okay, so what makes a blog great in my opinion? Well, content for sure. That is why I like professional blogs and visit them. But those are almost like specialized news outlets for me. The blog blogs to me are the personal ones. Not that divulge a bunch of personal information but ones when you read them you feel like you know the person. Those are even better if you do know the person. With those, I don’t care about frequency of posts. What counts there is some good writing, some interesting discussion and that human touch.

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  • I find blogging is a good place to put down my thoughts. It forces me to communicate things I’ve been thinking about in a clear and logical way. Forget how many readers I have, the fact that someone COULD read my post helps me to work out ideas that would otherwise lay dormant.

  • Well said. It is all about me! :)

    No, really, you are on to something there.

  • I like blogs that are written by people I know. It keeps me up to date on their lives, what they are thinking and/or doing. I will read blogs from people I don’t know, but rarely continue reading them after a while.

    All that said, I do know you. :-) You may not remember me or my family, but we were at Edwards AFB with you a few years back. Your wife actually attended the birth of my first child! (Say “hi” to her for me.) I found your blog through Brian & Cara’s a long time ago and have enjoyed reading it. I also have enjoyed many of the links from your blog.

    Just wanted you to know why some of us read your blog! Thanks!

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