Every year or two, the internet announces that blogging is dead. Most recently this happened when long-time political blogger Andrew Sullivan announced in late January that he was hanging up his keyboard:
“...although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career,” he wrote at The Dish, “I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job.”
There immediately followed, to mix metaphors, an orgy of blog burials. Here are a couple of them:
”The sudden halt represents both the end of a blogging era – and perhaps its most famous blogger, watching a new, blog-less era pass him by,” wrote Michelle Dean at The Guardian.
Jason Kottke was a year early with his obiturary at Nieman Lab in December 2013:
”All media on the web and in mobile apps has blog DNA in it and will continue to for a long while. Over the past 16 years, the blog format has evolved, had social grafted onto it, and mutated into Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and those new species have now taken over.”
Judd Legum on Twitter seemed to believe there is no difference between a blog post and a 140-character tweet as he joined the blogs-are-dead bandwagon in January:
”The kind of blogging that @sullydish [Andrew Sullivan] did is not dead. It's basically what we are all doing now on Twitter.”
Ms. Dean again, in The Guardian, confirmed that social media has made a dent in blogging but did not mistake those media for blogs:
”Blogging dropped off dramatically with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their many cousins."
Young folks, those under 30, these people tell us, don't start blogs anymore. They do only social media and that means, apparently, that anything else is, or should be dead.
Ezra Klein at Vox, however, takes exception to the death of blogs meme but explains that the cultural moment on the internet – which includes both blogging as big business and the abundance of social media – is not, for now, conducive to old-style blogging, which is what I do. As he explains:
”Links from other bloggers — the original currency of the blogosphere, and the one that drove its collaborative, conversational nature — just don't deliver the numbers that Facebook does.
“But blogging is a conversation, and conversations don't go viral...Blogging encourages interjections into conversations, and it thrives off of familiarity. Social media encourages content that can travel all on its own.
Klein is more polite than I am: social media value fast and dirty without context or strong connection among participants. Blogs require thought, development, and a connection between blogger and reader.
So old-fashioned or not, TimeGoesBy will remain a long-form blog and oddly enough, given the death sentence from many, readership here has grown by about 15 percent during the past year.
This is what I do, this blog. It has been my job these past ten years to chronicle my observations and what I learn about ageing in America at this time in history. I'm not done with that yet and I am not the only blogger who believes in doing this, whatever the online noise machine says.
I agree with something Onur Kabadayi said about all this blog death stuff in The Guardian a few months ago:
”Blogs haven't disappeared – they have simply morphed into a mature part of the publishing ecosystem.
“The loss of casual bloggers has shaken things out, with more committed and skilled writers sticking it out. Far from killing the blog dream, this has increased the quality of the blogosphere as a whole.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Bettijane Eisenpreis: Is My Number Up?