This has nothing to do with McDonalds, but I loved the flickr image so much, I’m making a metaphorical stretch.
No, this is a clarion call to Remember the Blog! As we get more distributed in where our e-attention goes, be it various social networks, virtual worlds, and more recently twitter, I’m wondering, as are others, about a decline in blogging.
- Steve Rubel pondered, posed the question (on twitter). Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Will people spend less time writing or reading blogs and more time Twittering? I posed this question on Twitter and got a resounding no. I am not so sure.
- The Guardian reported a summary of the Gartner report suggesting blogging is on the decline New research by Gartner, the US technology analyst, suggests the number of new blogs peaked in October and that an estimated 200m have been abandoned and left to rot in cyberspace.
- Marshall Kirkpatrick is twittering more than blogging. I was honestly woken up last week by the fear that I would stop blogging because Twitter is so much more compelling.
- D’arcy Norman first noted his shift in blogging versus social networking, I’ve been posting to my blog far less frequently than ever before, in the entire history of this blog. Why is that? I’m still busy doing stuff. I’m still active in all the same places. The only shift lately is that I’ve also been much more active in social networking sites, specifically Twitter and Facebook., but later, after his discussion of the twitter disgruntled Scott Leslie, spoke more about Blogs and the Twitter– If people are pumping their content and energy into Twitter, something that is by nature largely ephemeral and transient (both in server uptime and lifespan of content) then the blogosphere is effectively losing out.
So this is a second of two blog posts I am published that are somewhat propelled by Scott’s frustration with the twitter service, but also nicely flavored with the passion I remember Barbara Ganley evoking in her presentation at Faculty Academy:
I want to speak up for blogging. For ourselves. For our students. And I know that some of you don’t want to feel obligated to blog just because you have your students blog, and that some of you have moved down the road, shedding your blogging for newer clothes. Don’t abandon your practice just yet…
So that’s a long pre-amble, maybe even longer than the statement I was hoping to get to.
Like others mentioned here, and elsewhere, I have gotten a good vibe from the whiffs of the things like tiwtter and other high engaging “presence now” social network tools. But I never, ever, EVUH see it really knocking off my dedication to the process of my blog. Maybe my attention gets slightly diverted, or posts get spread out, but here is my case for being true to your blog.
- Your blog is your one best public record of who you are, what you think, what you do. This place for me, since I started this back in 2002, was really about Me Documenting Stuff For My Sake. My search saves me, it is my reference, but this blog is the hub, the Grand Central Station, for most things I have done since then.
- A blog, with the appropriate addons, presents your public edifice. Okay, this is a restatement of number 1, but with syndication, flikcr badges, del.icio.us rolls, even tweet doo-dads, you can pull in the pieces of your external activities in these other nether places. Yes, technically, there are other “aggregator’ tools that can functionally do the same thing, but not in the personal, customized method a blog provides.
- You (mostly) own the blog. A bit tricky, but if you are running your own copy of blog software on your own domain, that you are God/Goddess of Your Own Data Destiny. Not at the whim of twitters cats or bloggers burps. Well, your ISP may goof up on you, but running your own software, or even using something like WordPress.com, you ought to be able to Get Your Data Out.
- Your Blog is Findable Do you think we will reallu be abel to dig out gems of important information from searches of past tweets? Where does all that flow stuff go? Into the lost sock bureau? Your blog is indexed by Google, Yahoo, technorati, and makes your presence an active light on the web grid.
- Your blog (can be) the most representative voice and mode of your communication. You’re not limited by characters length, or form of expression. You can be a link shover, a long essay-ist. You can write in picture, or in video, or mix them up. You can write novels, vague praise, etc. The blog has no limit really on the form.
Okay, I thought I had compelling reasons, but maybe not. So rather than thinking I can really convince anyone, I make my own statement of dedication to the process of blogging (not the presentation of it, once I referred to blog as both a noun and a verb), including the reflection and commentary on the worlds around me, near and far, of my own place in it, the importance of participating in other blogs via comments.
Take the time, as Barbara has suggested for the notion of “slow-blogging”- hammering out something crafted (not like this stream of consciousness) or worked over like hand made bread, ideas that you kneed (and need), that have had time to let rise a bit. Be provocative. or mysterious. Take a stand, even a I Refuse To Use Cat Ridden Twitter Stand.
As much as I have been excited about all kinds of technology over the last XX years, nothing truly comes close to the subtle power of being able to express ourselves, in the form, shape, tone, colors, that we choose in our own personal blog space.
So set aside twitter for a few nanoseconds of partial attention, and commit something meaningful to your blog, where it will always be, and where it can mean something to others.
Viva La Blog!