Long and Healthy Lives
Meditation for Elders

Blogging is Dead, Long Live My Blog

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?

Comments

I love this old blog!

Long live "Time Goes By"

Great. Another thing I like to do (and have been doing over a decade) is now considered dead and on the road to Buggy-whip Village to hang out with the drive-in movies and floor standing radios of my youth.

I hate Tweeting. It took me years to learn how to string a bunch of sentences together that makes sense and now I'm supposed to communicate in 120 characters? I'm lucky when I can come up with a title for a blog post that comes under 120 characters!

And FaceBook? It keeps me connected with nieces and nephews but young people really don't care what people in our age bracket think about the world around us. And if I want older people in my family to know what I'm thinking about, I'll pick up a phone.

Anyway, I'm glad Time Goes By isn't going anywhere soon. I really like reading it with my morning coffee.

Keep on keeping on! So glad you're here doing what you do so well!

Let's not forget another form of communication which has a purpose but is gradually slipping into oblivion—letter writing. My "writing" has become typing, because I have less control over my hand, and brain, but tweeting and its brothers will never make up for the "written" word.

I agree, blogging is a conversation -- often insightful, provocative, interesting and thought-provoking. Facebook is too narcissistic (like forcing friends to watch your vacation slides); and twitter is just the murmur of the crowd.

Anything—and I do mean anything—that does not have commercial value (in the form of money) to a corporation in today's world will be denigrated and
probably bullied by the class of people who do not know the value of real information and connection with other minds that brings understandings and caring....

LONG LIVE THE BLOG! the CIVIL telecommunication medium

Ronni, thank goodness you are you, and you are there!

I agree with you and Onur Kabaday that the blog has matured, and the committed and skilled -- like you -- will remain an integral part of our days. Thank you.

So glad that you realize the value of your efforts in this blog. I personally have been alerted to issues that affect me and also have learned so much because of your focus on important issues that are often relevant to our age group and sometimes the extended general population. You are appreciated!

It was disheartening to see Andy Sullivan step down, because one of his remarks had to do with there being no demand anymore for blogs that just discuss random issues (like his and mine). But I do what I do for me, first and foremost, so I'll carry on, content to have "morphed into a mature part of the publishing ecosystem." I hope.

I agree with Tom Sightings and his comments about blogging versus Facebook and Twitter.

Ronni, your blog has enlightened and entertained me. I can't imagine not reading it! You have enriched my life.

People said real, in the hand books were going to be dead too, remember? Hey, and remember how computers were going to end the use of paper? Etc, etc . . . things change over time and, if they are valuable in some way, there they still are.

Once again, "blogging is dead," is an emphasis on youth culture. Once again, young people are setting the path and not anyone else and, so what?

Brava, Ronni. I echo what everybody says above. and BRAVA too to Beryl Ament. I continue to mourn the virtual disappearance of letters [handwritten ones in particular, but I too now type my letters] precisely because they are not tweets or whatever all those things are called. Among other great blessings you have shared with us, Ronni, are your recommendations for reading, such as Brain Pickings, which has become another favorite. We NEED words. We NEED discussions. We NEED communication that does not reduce everything to a twittering.

("…it thrives off of familiarity. Social media encourages content that can travel all on its own."
Three grammatical errors in sixteen words. If this is Klein's standard of editing I am not impressed!!)

Seriously though: the bloggers I respect--and you are one of them Ronni--are real writers who enjoy and respect language and have something to say that is almost always meaningful, usually interesting, often informative and occasionally inspirational.

These are the folks who will keep writing, regardless of fads and fashions. For in blogging we have created an entirely new and wonderful vehicle for personal expression. Facebook and Twitter are great vehicles for personal expression too, but comparing all three is like comparing apples, oranges and bananas.

Call it a blog, call it a website. I go to Ronni (and others) for info and to read the comments. While I don't care what the blogger had for breakfast, his love
life or how much he likes his new car, it does give an insight into their personality and therefore, where his head is at.

Bruce hit the nail on the head when he implied you can get to know a person by reading their blog.

I am feeling guilt now for putting other projects ahead of continuing my blog. I have waited so long that I now doubt if I will ever blog again, but it is there waiting if I have the courage to figure out the new format.

Ronni, you are the one who introduced me to the blog world and I am always deeply grateful for that. I call reading your blog my daily "fix".

I too am keeping on keeping on at my blog. I engage with the world through my running commentary on how the world engages with me and my neighbors. My interests and activities are wide ranging -- and so is the blog. The other social media don't well accommodate that sort of engagement.

PTL! The preceding remarks have convinced me that there are among us, many sane folks. Therefore, I conclude that not all in the world are mad! Blog on, Ronni. You make my day:) Dee

Couldn't agree more. Blogging is NOT dead, and I hope it will never be. Facebook and Twitter have their place, but they will never substitute for actual communication in what is still our common language.

I think there is a huge social loss when people, young, middle age, or old, when people sacrifice depth (of conversation) for 140 words that do NOT a conversation make. And will, also, hamper the ability of humans to evolve - but that's another conversation - hopefully that ability will still be part of the human experience. Ronni - this blog is a huge gift to all of us!

I just looked up (in online dictionary) twitter: quite an apt definition, I'd say

• talk in a light, high-pitched voice
• talk rapidly and at length in an idle or trivial way

a series of short, high-pitched calls or sounds
• idle or ignorant talk : drawing-room twitter.

(Sorry, I misblogged this on the opening page--talk about ignorant?)

Ronni, I start my day with your blog. There is where I learn about the vital, the silly, the general and the specific. I would feel left footed without your blog. So glad your are staying with it. I just don't comment often.

And I don't comment often, but I never miss reading your daily blog. I absolutely LOVE "Interesting Stuff" on Saturday and often sit with my headphones on so that Hubby isn't bothered by something he's not watching, but my laughter will often make him wonder what's so funny. :-)

Keep it going Ronni. We need you. You don't see life through rose colored glasses with your blog we get the real deal.

We humans, at least many of us, seem to have an inherent desire to leave something of ourselves behind when we depart this life.

In addition to starting a conversation that may attract important comments, our blog posts will survive us for a very long time.

I would prefer to leave a few thoughtful commentaries in the "cloud" rather than hundreds of inane tweets.

Ditto, to all of the above. Positive reinforcement I hope for a job well done and appreciated by so many of us. I would like to think I have turned on at least some portion of that 15% growth to your blog. I have certainly tried.

When did blogs get kicked out of the family? The organizations with which I deal still list blogs along with Twitter, Facebook, etc as social media.

I love Twitter, tolerate and occasionally enjoy Facebook, but have no plans to stop reading "long form," or writing it, for that matter.

Ronni,
I am among the 15% who discovered you and your blog in the past year. So many of the previous comments resonate with me. I am incredibly grateful that you are there doing what you do. I have too little time left on Planet Earth to spend it reading (or writing) tweets. Even the word sounds silly! But "blog" , now that is a word with substance. I know it is a contraction ---but somehow it has heft.

I so enjoy reading your blog. And the comments give me the enjoyable impression of being around a group of people my own age again!

Ditto! Long live the mature blog and especially this one!

Love TGB. Very appreciative and happy that you do too, Ronni.

And the commenters round out every day's post. It's a good, good way to begin and end a day.

Good talk never goes out of style.

The difference between thoughtful social media and that push type of communication which relies on humor, shocking and/or faddish ideas...quick to digest and just as quick to forget.

The person who declares the blogging dead because HE is giving up his blog . . . Who smells ego?

I appreciated the quote you included from the Guardian, that blogs had morphed into a mature part of publishing. When the agency I work for did our "Social, Silver Surfers" research, a significant number of older adults told me they didn't use blogs. But then when I asked folks about their sources of online news, they'd name blogs!

What mattered to our respondents wasn't the type/method of the blog "publication," it was the content and convenience provided.

Your blog was mentioned in the monthly publication of the senior community where I live and I will be forever grateful. I agree with all the comments above.

Thank you, Ronni for all your good work. You are appreciated. Long live TGB!

It doesn't have to be either/or, I blog, tweet, use Facebook, write letters, reed books, paint, take photographs - sometimes I even talk to people. Human beings communicate by whatever means they can. That's what makes us human.

...and yes I can spell read!

People who insist that blogging is dead, remind me of those who believe that phonics have no place in an elementary school, and that handwriting is for losers.

Ronni's blog is like the newspaper that lands on your front porch every day.

You look forward to it.

Nothing wrong with social media, nothing wrong with oldies music either, mixed in with today's popular sounds.

There should be room for everyone on the dance floor of life.

Even if we dance like Elaine on Seinfeld.


I guess blogging will remain and will certainly be more geared towards those who don't want only selfie images or quick messages via social media. We all need substance at the end of the day.

There’s been tons of talk on this topic. For new and/or up and coming blogging sites, it can come across as… discouraging. However, the internet is not dead, so blogging is still possible. Blogging has simply evolved and those who adapt, survive.

#GFEPart2

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