Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Decline of Blogging

Every once in awhile, in a fit of nostalgia, I go back and read old blog posts.

I know, it's embarrassing to admit it.

I'm struck by a kind of golden era, a couple of years ago, when I was writing a lot and reading a lot of blogs, getting sometimes twenty comments on a post. I'm struck, sometimes, by the elegance of my writing (this is sort of embarrassing to admit as well), and I yearn a little for the good old days, when it seemed like I was reading everyone's blog and everyone was reading mine, and we were all on our way up.

It's times like these when I consider what people are saying about the "decline of blogging."

Some people are even more blunt. "Blogging is dead," they say. They mean, of course, that they used to get twenty comments and now they get two, or one. Or none. Or they mean that they just don't have time to "blog" much any more.

I have been feeling the same way. But I don't think that blogging is dead. (Just ask Andrew Sullivan, for one.) However, I do think a particular kind of blogging, the blog-as-journal-type-blog, is in a temporary or permanet decline.

It has to do, at least in part, with a certain popular social media which starts with "FB". There we can leave six word personal updates. I can tell you a little bit about how my dog broke her toe (something I used to do on this blog), and I can update you all on how my knitting is going. I can post a video link that I like, old pictures of my family.

So, what is my blog, "faith in community" for?

When I posted more often, it was kind of a mish-mash: I told stories about Scout, and my church (not revealing any confidentialities, of course); I posted theological and pastoral reflections, and talked about walking around the lake in the summer. Sometimes the connections to "faith in community" were apparent and obvious, other times more tangential. Sometimes (I'll be honest) I just liked putting words together in fun ways and hearing how they sounded together.

I love the title of my blog, "faith in community." I think I would like to keep it, but try to be a little more intentional about what I write about. I'd like to take more risks in what I write, do things that are a little harder for me, that will take some time.

Or, I'm thinking about starting over with a new blog. I have attempted it a couple of times. I have a pretty good title in mind, even posted a little, but found that I couldn't keep up two at one time. Especially in this era of blogging decline.

I know I'll never be a Lutheran pastor version of Andrew Sullivan, but I'd like to create something a little more cohesive. So, I'm searching for themes, ideas, what to keep, what to discard. I don't think I'll be writing about Scout, unless, of course, I can wring some sort of a theological message out of her. (that is not outside of the realm of possibility, of course.) Perhaps I'll do less posting about the books I read, unless I can give a full review.

Also, if there are any lurkers here, is there anything you would like to hear more of? Less of?


Cathy said...

After having left blogging for awhile, I have returned - knowing that it's on the decline. Some of it was because I wanted to, and some from the encouragement of my children, who liked reading it. So know I am one of your readers :)

zorra said...

I'm still here...but I came over from FB today. It is hard to think about letting the "golden age of blogging" go, but FB has taken over the purely social aspects, for sure. I'm still trying to decide what to do with my blog.

zorra said...

I'm still here...but I came over from FB today. It is hard to think about letting the "golden age of blogging" go, but FB has taken over the purely social aspects, for sure. I'm still trying to decide what to do with my blog.

Elaine Dent said...

I have only been blogging for 14 months. I too wonder whether blogging is worthwhile. People are so busy. Then I will hear a stray comment about someone reading the blog. And I realize how much I myself learn just from the discipline and practice of blogging. If I learn and a few read, is it worth it? I enjoy reading yours. Thank you.

Chris Duckworth said...

Yup, I've wondered the same thing (and have written a few "this blog is now dead" posts on my blog). I blog much less than I used to, owing in part to the decline in blogging, and also to the increase in my real-life responsibilities. (Blogging was great when it was an escape into the church world. Now that I'm a pastor, I find less time or inclination to write.) Nonetheless, I keep my blog, even if it is more of a monthly than a daily place for pixel rearrangement ...

Terri (AKA Mompriest) said...

blogging has never been for me about how many people comment on what I write. I write what is going though my mind and spirit. I try to think, usually, (but not always), about how, (whatever it is I am writing about), relates to my life as a person of faith and an ordained person. Blogging is a spiritual exercise for me, actually is more like a discipline.

You and I have been blogging about the same amount of time. I've read, and enjoyed your blog through out, and think of you as a "friend" even though we've only met once. So, I hope you continue to blog and share stories about your life and, as possible, connect it to your faith and life as a pastor.

Diane said...

Terri -- I like what you say about blogging as a spiritual exercise. First, blogging was not about comments. then people commented and I liked it! then, other things happens. sometimes, I have felt that the blog has just become too "fuzzy" and I'd like it to be a bit more focused.

Jan said...

I know I started blogging in the GOLDEN age of blogging. It is sad that it has declined, probably due to FB, twittering, etc., etc. However, some friends (like you!) help me so much by continuing to blog. Let's keep it going somehow some way.

DogBlogger said...

I feel a bit like Terri and Jan on this one. And I enjoy your blog, whatever you blog about. But, like Zorra, I did follow the link over from FB... which I admit I don't like near as much as blogs, but which I still spend a lot of time on. Sigh...

Dim Lamp said...

Thanks for this post. Like you & the others who have commented, I wonder why I continue to blog. I think--being a Lutheran pastor too--that my motives are very mixed. They range from sinful, turned-in-one-selfness, to proclamation, to friendship, to community, to hobby, and more.
DimLamp Two

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I've always blogged for the reasons Terri gives--or thought I did. But the comments thing is addictive--and intimidating--now I find I'm blogging much less than I used to because I keep thinking "What can I possibly say about X that hasn't already been said by much better writers?!"

Having so many talented and spiritual blogging friends has turned into a liability! ;-)


SingingOwl said...

Very interesting because I could have written this myself, with minor changes. It makes me sad, because FB is nothing like blogging...I mean, many FB friends are friends because I know them from the heyday of blogging. We can't share much that is worth sharing in status updates, can we?

Blogging as a discipline is exactly what I did for the days of Lent. It helped me to forget about whether anyone commented or not.

If bloggins is really dead because we are all over at that other place--which seems to be the case for now--I think it is sad. I'm poorer for it.

FB is a waste of valuable time, except....well except it is the only way I can keep even a little connected to people I have learned to care about.

I am still here. Not as often, and I am thinking that instead of not reading blogs as much, I should get off of FB. But then I wouldn't have found some cousins, ahd...well...you know.

Let me know if you do change blogs.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I get the same vibes too, especially echoing what SingingOwl said. I know that I'd never have "met" you and SingingOwl plus a few others if it hadn't been for blogging. And I am so glad I've met these new friends. FB is mostly about friends and acquaintances we already have. I don't link my blogs to my FB page because they aren't for the same readers. I read a lot of blogs, but since I write less often, I've lost most of my readers, I guess. There doesn't seem to be a happy medium. I don't comment as much as I used to either. I also read blogs about my hobby, but I seldom comment there, I just go there to look at the artwork.

Nancy said...

Lurker here. I do not comment often but am a faithful reader. I limit myself to about a dozen RevGals but it is a rich part of my life (I'd read more, but then there things like life and work.)
I do not blog. I do not FB (gasp!!)
Community, relationships, humor, anger, prayers, thought- and soul-provoking conversations. Caring for the human race. This is why I come. And I am nurtured.
Know that I pray for you often and am grateful for you all.

cb said...

I check your blog every day--I love reading your sermons, and your stories about your dad, and I really miss hearing more about Scout! :-)

many of your blog posts cause me to take time to think about my own life.

Crimson Rambler said...

seconding your comments, Diane, and I thank you for making them. Your remarks, I mean. Comments in blogspeak are something else. But I do spend more time on FB than I used to...and it does, and does not, fill the same function.
Much to ponder here, blogfriend!