Friday, November 25, 2016

Thoughts on Blogging

I follow a number of bloggers. In the last year or so, some have stopped blogging. Some have made comments about declining readership. Some have written increasing numbers of sponsored posts.

This has me wondering about the status of blogging as a communications medium.

Web sites/services/apps generally have a limited lifespan before their popularity plummets and/or they become commercialized and infested with ads. I'm old enough to remember AIM buddy lists, ICQ instant messaging, forums such as alt.gothic, and Geocities personal webpages that were little more than lists of links.

Then came Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram. And no doubt there are other sites and apps ready to burst into popularity.

So I wonder...
Is one of these (or some other site or app) replacing blogs?
Do people still enjoy reading blogs, or do they prefer other media?
Do people enjoy writing blog posts, or do they prefer to publish elsewhere?
Do bloggers now blog only (or mostly) for money?

I've read the news stories and trend reports. But I'd love to know your thoughts.

57 comments:

  1. I love blogs and still read (or skim) lots of them. I use bloglovin to keep track of them. I also just started a blog a few months ago, no money involved (unless I can make a little bit on Amazon from book reviews, but that's incidental, not the goal).
    Now that I think about it, I don't technically visit a lot of blogs. I skim bloglovin to see what's been posted but I only click through to the actual blog if the post interests me (like this one). So while I'm a reader, I'm not adding to the blog visitor numbers on a regular basis. Now that I've realized that, I'll try to click through and actually visit some blogs more often.

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    1. I use bloglovin as well. That's a good point about the click-throughs.

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    2. I'm guilty of this as well Bane. I enjoy blogs (and yours particularly) but have gotten out the habit of interacting with them.

      I will make a point of reading and at least letting you my thoughts on your blogs.

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  2. I guess it depends on what blogs you gravitate towards reading. Personally I don't think I read any blogs that are sponsored, I prefer to read about my friends' everyday lives interspersed with some creativity.
    But yes, I have gotten worse at blogging since I started Instagramming. For the longest time I had a really old and crappy phone and couldn't take good pictures. But with my new phone I enjoy instagramming more than blogging.

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    1. Me, too. I like personal blogs.
      I imagine that's not an uncommon sentiment as phones keep getting better. The photo quality is pretty impressive with some of them.

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  3. I do not make any money at all off of my blog, that is not the point. I basically enjoy reading about other people's lifestyle, clothing, projects, etc. and I enjoy sharing stuff that I do and my style. I don't really like fancy, perfect looking blogs that are obviously making money. I think it is interesting to read about what everyday people like myself are up to! Sadly, I have noticed that many people have stopped blogging....maybe it wasn't fun for them anymore. I don't have a huge number of readers or followers....to me it doesn't really matter because it is just something I do in my spare time, it was never intended to be a big deal.

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    1. Agreed, I don't like blogs that are clearly there to make money. I think blogging can start to feel like an obligation, and that takes all the fun out of it.

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  4. I have actually just now found blogs. I have used IRC and forums like craftster.org etc, but now that people actually make good content blogs, there's finally blogs I actually want to follow! Before Facebook I hated blogs, because I could not find a good one.

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    1. That's interesting. I hadn't thought about Facebook being a good place to find blogs.

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  5. This will be the first I will have posted a comment on your blog page. The reason why I haven't before is that I always have issues with the comments. I'm pretty sure that this will show as "Unknown" because of the said issues. Maybe that's why some people don't stay very long with bloggers, because it is like knowing an awesome group of friends, but you are literally unknown. But if you do move your awesome page to another platform, please let us know.

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    1. Is it an issue with the Blogger/blogspot platform? There are some blogs that I read but don't comment on because the process is too complicated.

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  6. I've noticed the same thing! Most of the bloggers I used to follow just disappeared, started vlogging or prefer instagram these days. Or their blogs have turned into superficial and commercial mess which really isn't my cup of tea.

    I've seen people complaining that blogging is time-consuming and they want something easier. That's why they prefer instagram.
    Also the lack of comments might be one reason for some people to stop blogging? It's not fun if you don't get enough feedback.

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    1. It's true that blogging is time-consuming if you want to provide decent content. I can see why many people would go for the easier route of vlogging or Instagram.
      Good point about the comments!

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  7. As much as I love social media, I still enjoy reading blog posts. After all, there's only so much you can say on Instagram or Snapchat, and blogging allows for more in-depth posts.

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    1. Indeed. Instagram works okay for outfit of the day but isn't good for a complicated tutorial.

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  8. I still like reading, and writing blog posts. Blogs allow people to get more in-depth with their thoughts. Unlike twitter and instagram. I use those sites to see little snippets of people's lives. VIVA LA BLOGS!!!

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    1. Yep. Blogs can provide a lot more depth.

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  9. I read every one of your posts, even though I don't comment often. It seems silly to say "cool!" when 20 other people say the same thing. If I have something insightful or your work is even more badass than usual, then I'll make a comment.

    I've been neglecting my own blog as well, due to life getting in the way. It's hard for me to make time for leisure sewing when I know I have to exercise and sleep regularly to still stay functional, on top of working 45 hours a week, playing with my feline babies, and trying to maintain my romantic, platonic, and familial relationships.

    I think it's harder to maintain a blog if you're not getting paid. The novelty wears off and it can begin to seem like a chore.

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    1. Same here. I often don't comment because it feels redundant. But I suppose I should comment anyway because even redundant comments are important to blog authors.

      Life can definitely get in the way. I get busy at work or with tedious things around the house, or I don't feel well... and I suddenly realize it's been a month since I posted.

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  10. I personally prefer blogs to any social media! Social media is rather limiting (character or image limits) and doesn't allow much personalization. It's much easier to post on sites like FB and IG, but things really worth talking about still require a full blog I think.

    However, because of the work required for actual blog posts, it may be a discouraging point for bloggers to put in that much work. It's also much more difficult to find blogs as they are spread across various platforms.

    I only just found your blog... yesterday... via Pinterest, actually! Since I run a blog as well (with very low readership) I definitely understand why it is discouraging to see blogs dwindling, but in the end, lasting content tends to be blogs compared to other "fast" social media.

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    1. Indeed. Particularly for tutorials - or my long-winded DIY explanations ;) - a blog post works much better. I post on Facebook because that's where many people like to receive information, but generally I just post a link to the blog.

      Welcome! :D Pinterest has turned out to be a great source of traffic (second only to Google). When I find new blogs, it's usually via Pinterest.

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  11. To me Tumblr has replaced blogs in popularity sense, since they are easier to market and get popularity. Tumblr is supposed to be blogs, not in exactly the same format, but blogs nonetheless.

    I actually only check my blogger dashboard anymore for this blog. Seriously. This is it. I'm not even Goth anymore! I'm a dazzled in pink pastel girl. I just really, really love seeing all the cool stuff you do to your house. I'll keep checking until you stop.

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    1. Yeah, I've heard Tumblr referred to as "microblogs."

      Aw, thank you! That's so nice to hear. :D Of course, all the stuff I paint black could be painted pink instead. ;)

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  12. Yeah a lot of people have left and not many new blogs are replacing them. I read both long form blogs and microblogs... Blogger and Instagram respectively. I used to be on tumblr but even that got old. Things change. I'm going to keep on blogger until something better comes along.

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    1. Things indeed change... particularly online, where the rate of change continues to accelerate. I don't mind change; I'm just not sure I'm savvy enough to keep up! :P

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  13. I'm also curious to hear about your thoughts on this.(and everyone else's!)

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  14. 1. I started a Facebook page and post on it more often than on the blog but it wasn't for replacing it (before you click, it's not a goth blog - I intended to add one, but I don't have it yet), rather for small updates, showing new things that don't require a full explanation or WIP shots intended as "yes, I'm the slowest person on earth, but I haven't abandoned this project". My readers seem to be okay this arrangement, and it's easier for them too - they can simply "like" a post and I take it as "I read this and I agree, but I don't have time to write a meaningful comment".
    2. I enjoy reading blogs. My husband keeps asking me to make my tutorials in video form, but I hate tutorial videos. I'm a text/image person. I plan to make a vlog, but it will be craft supply reviews where twirling small beads around while talking about them in real time actually makes sense.
    3. I'm quite happy with Blogger's interface and I've made it so the readers don't have to remember all the curse words they know before they can post a comment. It's not that I don't enjoy writing BLOG posts specifically, I have health issues that prevent me from both doing things to blog about and taking photos/writing the blog itself as often as I would like.
    4. I have never blogged for money (small audience, not even worth thinking about it). I mainly blog to keep my head in order, because I used to do stuff and forget how it's done. Now I have a little archive of projects and it's helping/entertaining other people as a bonus. I can't imagine how good one has to be to make a living out of blogging, so for the 99,99% of us who aren't, I don't think sacrificing one's integrity and fan base is worth the few cents received through sponsored posts. Not that I'm against them entirely, but I'd accept only offers that agree with my point of view. I've read quite a few sponsored posts that were no different from the blogger's other posts except for the "sponsored post disclaimer".

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    1. I sometimes have photos or updates that don't warrant a full blog post. I've been thinking about whether to post those on Facebook, Tumblr, or someplace else.

      I prefer reading also. I almost never watch videos.

      I don't mind the occasional sponsored or collaboration post if it fits into the blog. But I'll stop reading a blog if I feel like a target for marketing.

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  15. I enjoyed this reading post feel you bring up a valid point

    Sadly, recently some bloggers have left never to return. I think many people are opting for either using more instagram and vlogging. I think some people are using more blogs to promote products and being paid for I don't mind that to an extent as long as it's a true and honest opion about the product.

    A lot blogs are starting to look and sound the same, which is annyoying as I think alot of yhe unusual blogs are getting rarer aand there seem to be fewer new blogs comming to the scene of alternative subject matter.

    I recently started to use Twitter merely for a platform blog /brand Ijoined excahnage and its a good way of keeping in touch with the llovly bloggers I've met. Recently, I've attended a few blogger taster events which have been for some local places and brand events nights, which have interested me.Meant I've been able to meet other bloggers.In exchange for a blog post. I also wrote album review in exchange I got a free mp 3 version their album as the band wanted normal people to review it. I enjoyed. I've probably made two pound from advert sense in the 2 years. I don't care I love blogging and reading people's

    I so happy that you continuedto blog as I think your is a whole niche of it's own.Your blog has defiantly inspired me when I've revamping my new house.I hope you stay for many years to come snd keep inspiring us with you many projects.


    I

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    1. Ps. I appologise for the bad grammar and mmising words of my comment.

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    2. I love the community aspect of blogging. I haven't yet been able to meet any bloggers in person, but even the online community is hugely positive for me.

      I don't have any plans to stop blogging. My house still needs a lot of work. ;)

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  16. I've noticed a good number of bloggers leaving and am trying not to take it so personally (ha, not really ;D) but it does feel a bit like they're leaving our community which gets me down. I've met three blogger friends so far and have become closer with them because of it. That's part of why I started blogging again.

    For the most part, it seems like those who are leaving just are not connecting with their old blogs for whatever reason so I have to respect that they're letting go. I've been blogging since 2006 and from experience with my other blog, it sometimes feels like a job. If ya don't love it, you shouldn't feel obligated to continue. I don't think I follow any sponsored blogs.

    Post-election, I'm using Facebook less. I was already organically moving away from that anyway. Now I'm running from it. My Instagram is small and quaint. I prefer that. I'm way too wordy for Twitter.

    It's been a busy autumn so I have written fewer posts but I don't plan to go anywhere. I've met too many awesome people :D

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    1. People's lives and interests change, and yeah, sometimes blogging doesn't fit anymore. Blogging shouldn't feel like an obligation. It is a bummer when people leave the community, though.

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  17. ...Well...I started blogging about five, four years ago and I really enjoyed it. My depression worsening added with the simple fact that I consider myself even less of an interesting person and lack of enthusiasm has been the reason why I've stopped blogging. I want to use Tumblr again (though exactly what for, I don't know, yet) and Blogger...but I need to get my personal life in order, first. It's so out of whack.

    I love reading blogs. I try to comment, when I can. Though, again, considering myself a really boring person doesn't help with that. I don't think I've ever read sponsored blogs...I really don't think so. I miss many blogs, and another Blogger I've been following for a while now is thinking about going away, too. I don't know...

    I want to be an "online presence" again...but I just...need to work on myself...

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    1. I never thought of myself as interesting or appealing. I started my blog because I had a few possibly useful ideas. I expected it to be short-lived. I was astonished that people were interested.

      Blogging has been great for me because it helps me feel useful and provides motivation. But I still withdraw on occasion because I don't feel I have anything to contribute.

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    2. Exactly! After writing most of my posts I think, 'Who'd want to read this crap?' And then I don't blog for months, lose more readers, and on and on it goes. lol

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  18. I've been blogging since 2010 and have recently done a very similar blog post about the decline of the blogger, or at least how things used to be. It certainly has changed!

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    1. I started blogging in 2011. Things definitely feel different in the last year or two.

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  19. I haven't posted any short stories for a while so my blog is mostly fashion but I still care about blogging. I really enjoy reading others' posts too. I often skip sponsored posts

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  21. With Blogspot's changed interface I found your post as late as now. Oh yes, we just needed another nail to the coffin of traditional blogging.
    For me the problem with blogging will always be lack of response. With Facebook and Tumblr (and probably Instagram, but I don't really know how does it work) people got used to fast interaction - you just make one click to show you liked it and move on. And writing a comment would be so time-consuming. These platforms also made blogging faster, because you only post a photo and that's all, instead of taking your time to write an entry, or, god forbid, expecting your followers to sacrifice their time and read it. I could say 'ain't nobody got time for this'. But it's a bigger issue with our lives generally becoming faster - a flow of information and trash which is so massive, that people can't really slow down and check something more in-depth.
    But I love to read comments, I love responding to them, I like to read other blogs - even if I'm myself guilty of commenting rarely, too - I like to write entries. And even if blogging in this form is dying, then I'll die with it, because there's no other media that would let me continue existing in the internet in the way I want to.

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    1. Indeed, life seems to keep getting faster and busier. We're surrounded by stuff and information and 100 things vying for our attention... and the general trend is to glance and move on. Some people just don't have the attention span for blogs any more.

      I don't really like superficial interaction; I prefer some depth. But I'm probably in a shrinking minority for this.

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  22. I haven't been reading blogs much this year because of work, because this year has involved a lot of 6 day weeks. It's also got worse since I started at a museum that uses googlemail - I now have to sign out of my work email google account and into this one in order to see my 'reading list'.

    I also just had a shitty year personally in lots of ways so I have no desire at all to update my personal blog right now. I'm hoping to start up my cemeteryresearcher.com one again in the new year (there is a post there explaining where I've been). Maybe I'll have time to take outfit photos again too when life gets less hectic?

    In the meantime I've just caught up on all your posts from the summer onwards and really enjoyed everything - thank you for sticking with blogging! Keeping everything in the comments here in mind I'm going to try to engage with the blogs I love more!

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    1. Ugh, I had a similar issue with Google mail at my last job. I love most things Google... but not their mail/sign-in system.

      Life can certainly get in the way of blogging. Sorry you had a bad year. I hope the next one is better for you!

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  23. The last week i discovered a blog what seems really cool to me. A started reading through and then realized that the last posting was in summer 2015. Thats sad. And so i decided to bring my own blog back to live. I stopped blogging because i had no reaktions to nothing i posted. But now i think if there is a single person reading my blog it is worth doing it. And maby this time a can really do this and going on with it.

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    1. Good luck with your blog. :) If you do DIYs, I suggest posting them on Pinterest. My blog gets a lot of traffic from Pinterest.

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  24. I have noticed my blogroll dwindle down to less than half of what I used to read 2 years ago. It's not because I deleted blogs from my list, it's because no one seems to blog any more. I like watching Youtube and enjoy instagram, but I just love blogs way more!!!

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    1. Yeah, it seems a lot of blogs have been retired, with not many new ones added.

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  25. Maybe the bloggers we read have grown ut of blogging? I found it much easier to blog while being a student compared to full adult work...

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    1. Indeed... with a family, life, and full-time job, it can be hard to find time for blogging.

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  26. I used to blog (and read blogs) a lot in my teen years (I'm 22), but in more recent years I just stopped, I guess it was a mix of no readers (I like to put efforts in my blog posts, so that demotivated me) and the passion just disappeared.
    And the past couple of days I've actually gotten inspired! I recently became a curator in the Gothic community on the Amino app, and we have been working on having more good content in there. So I suddenly thought; why not getting into blogging again? I used to love reading goth blogs! So I googled myself to the still active bloggers. I found you and recognized your awesome work from Pinterest! So you have yourself a new reader and soon to be a new goth blogger!
    Let's bring back the good old days, hahah

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    1. Wow. It feels surreal to be recognized from Pinterest. I wish I could be half as successful with my offline life! Ha ha! :)

      I'm happy you found GIY. Welcome! And I'm so glad you have been inspired! :D Please let us know when your blog is up (maybe put the URL in your comments) so we can check it out.

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  27. Oh wow, scrolling through this post and comments i guess it is some big topic :-O i do blog because i like to blog, i do read blogs and comment because i like to get to know (about) the people behind the blogs, made a lot of online and real life friends via blogging (ok, and instagram / twitter a bit as well) Sometimes i disappear (life happens) but always come back and sometimes i do a sponsored post but only if i really think the topic matches and if i REALLY can recommend the things they ask me... (aka if i would like to write about this without the sponsoring thing as well) if not, definitely not going to happen.

    but i have to agree, some blogs change the way you said and some bloggers just disappear, i think thats a bit sad because you somehow get used to the blogging people that you follow... i also feel a lot of people switched to youtube, i also did a few videos and probably am going to do some more but only to add a bit of media to my blog...

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    1. When a familiar blogger stops blogging, it's a little like a neighbor moving away. It feels odd not seeing them around any more.

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  28. I don't think blogs are going anywhere (knock on wood). The platform might change into something newer and fancier, but the basic concept of people sharing their thoughts and building a community is something that won't easily disappear... But then again, these kids now days have the attention span of a goldfish.

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    1. Indeed. Sharing (or oversharing!) and social media have become ubiquitous, and I think they are here to stay.

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