A MinD in MoTown

Walk the plank.

I think the New York Times summed it up best when they said “When the Thrill of Blogging is Gone…” in a recent article.

To those of us who run in the same (or nearly the same) blogging circles, the disappearance of many popular bloggers is becoming more and more noticeable. Others are changing the way they blog, simplifying their techniques and sporadically posting rather than regularly providing readers with quips and banter.

The amazing Arjewtino called it quits in early April, saying he “just didn’t have it in” him anymore. At the same time, the ARW (…the almost right word) said she’d be back “at some indeterminable time,” yet few of us had heard much from her since, quite unfortunately. And most recently, SO@24 bid farewell to his loyal readers earlier this month.

And then bloggers like RS27 and Chris from Surviving Myself are reformatting their blogging methods while others – such as GoLightly’s MegKathleen, Wild ARS Chase’s Andy and Kendall from The Odd Duckling – have stepped away from their keyboards and taken “temporary” leaves from their sites, much to the dismay of readers who hope they return to the blogosphere in time.

Has blogging become our generation’s 21st century version of pogs or the Tamagotchi? Is this just another trend that us 20-somethings flock toward then swiftly ditch within a matter of months or years? Will our blogs be little more than a “phase” in our lives, just like those toys of our prepubescent days?

I’m beginning to think so, although I’d love for someone to prove me wrong.

As the aforementioned NYTimes article notes, some people seem to board the blogging ship with dreams of treasure and fame. The moment those distant hopes turn to ill-fated desires, bloggers abandon the deck and swim toward land before drowning in a sub-par-writing sea. Others remain at the hull, braving the storms and riding through, until boredom arises and life on land, away from the blogosphere oceans, seems more appealing*.

Regardless, many great bloggers are departing this Internet-world for a variety of reasons and most of us are likely wondering “who’s next?”

Will it be that blogger you check daily, soaking up every written word, wishing his or her life was your own? Will it be that person who rarely has much to say, but when he/she does, it’s extremely thought-provoking? Or could it be your favorite photo-blogger, fashion-blogger, news-blogger that says farewell? It could be me**, it could be you, it could be Joe Schmo, but someone else is bound to fall victim to blogger-death sooner than later.

And because of that, I’ve compiled a few tips for anyone who feels that demise is imminent:

  • Write for yourself. Once you start shaping your blog around the opinions and thoughts of others, the writing becomes contrived and you won’t necessarily feel as happy with the words you’ve shared.
  • Creating a blog in the hopes of it becoming a book/movie/anything else is ridiculous (really, this goes back to the first tip). The NYTimes article notes that, according to Technorati, “at any given time there are 7 million to 10 million active blogs on the Internet.” Of those, less than 100,000 have a sizeable audience. That’s a very small margin of hope in making a blog more than just ramblings on the Internet.
  • Vowing to blog every day is unwise. Personally, I think people are more likely to continue blogging if they do it when/if inspiration happens. Forcing yourself to write something each day, whether or not you have anything to say, could potentially make for less appealing postings, thus a slow demise.
  • Quality over quantity. Sure, TONS of readers are great. But sometimes, a few dedicated readers who actually enjoy your work is better than hundreds of readers who comment only because they want you to “follow” their blog, too. Don’t get bogged down or frustrated by lower-than-preferred readership (again, back to the first tip!). Just because the hoards aren’t flocking to your blog doesn’t mean what you have to say is any less interesting than someone who regularly receives 1,000 hits. Maybe that person networks better, has stirred more word of mouth or simply make his/her presence known on more blogs than you currently do. It’s a combination of factors, if you ask me.

So if you’re reading this and thinking about jumping ship, maybe I helped talk you into riding the waves a bit longer. Personally, I’m finding this an enjoyable and rather cathartic ride and I hope to keep trudging through with my 12 readers intact, ha.

What, if any, tips can we add to this list? Because really, none of us want to turn around and watch another beloved blogger disappear any time soon. Maybe, just maybe, we can prove this blogging-trend will hold out longer than our Tamagotchi digital pets did.

* I may have overdone the “pirate ship/sea” analogy just a wee bit.
** No worries, I have no plans of “peacing out” yet.

48 Comments so far
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[…] in Life, School, Work. trackback So after reading Mindy’s latest post about bloggers fading away, I decided it was time for me to start writing again. I’ve been quite recently, because I […]

Pingback by Is it mid june already? « Engineering My Life

Oh, so that’s what a ‘Pingback’ is. See you learn something new everyday. I agree that you can’t blog waiting for fame, you really just need to do it for yourself. And you don’t really appreciate that until you can go back and read really old posts about how you felt about something long ago. Sometimes I’ll look back on the old LJ posts, and just laugh at some of the things I was worried about back then.

Also, I prefer reading blogs that have fewer readers. When you’re the 20th person to leave a comment, you just don’t feel like your opinion means as much then if you’re one of 10 comments.

Good point. There are some bloggers who have TONS of fans and while I figure my comment just gets lost on there, those bloggers prove it doesn’t. But either way, what they write is nearly always worth reading. I guess it just depends on the blogger whether or not each comment truly matters.

Comment by Patrick

I’m always really sad when I see another blogger is leaving us. It makes me question what I’m doing, but still the feeling I have is that blogging is the best thing ever and I’m not going anywhere.

My advice is pretty much the same as your first. I wouldn’t say I write for myself, but I write about the things I want to write about. It’s amazing how diverse each of us can be. That keeps me interested day to day. Sometimes I write a lot about writing. Other times I’m all about politics.

My second piece of advice is kind of a contradiction to one of yours, but I think this will depend on the kind of person the blogger is. For me, waiting for inspiration is a recipe for disaster. Once I get out of the blogging habit, I tend to lose the motivation for it. I’m amazed at how many ideas come my way when I sit down and write every day. I think it’s about getting in the habit of doing something with my creativity.

I guess waiting for inspiration versus making it a habit to write would depend on the blogger. For me, there have been days where I’d want to blog, but had nothing to say, so I’d be unable to type even a few sentences without it sounding forced. But that’s a good point. It’s certainly dependent on the writer and what works best for him or her.

And like you, I tend to write about the same things – journalism, namely. But we’re told “write what you know,” and maybe, for us, that’s what comes easiest.

Comment by Ashley

when i first started blogging i felt like i had to…or wanted to blog every single day. it was fun and new and exciting. now it’s just a part of my life. one that is important to me, but not something i need to do every day. in fact, i’ve been on blog vacation for quite a bit now. haha=)

good post. and excellent tips! i couldn’t agree with you more on those points. especially with the quality over quantity tip. i would rather have a hundred people who loved my writing than a thousand people who kinda sorta liked me.

I never even tried to blog every day. I knew it’d be impossible for me, and blogging even twice a week was tough for a long time. And I’ve noticed the vacation, so come back, damn it!! Ha.

Comment by maddie marie

This is so sad yet so true, many of my favorite bloggers have either take temporary hiatus or quit blogging altogether. The more famous a blogger is, the pressure will be higher. I guess it’s so true your point about writing for yourself, lately I’m in one of those dilemmas in writing to please too. Or worry so much about comments. So far I’m still hanging on the deck although storm is coming, I love blogging.

I love that you used my analogy, ha. I never thought about the pressure someone popular in the blogosphere would feel, but I’m sure it’s much higher. The more people demand of you, the harder it is to perform. Makes total sense!

And I love your blog, especially when you talk about things that are important to you – your brother, for instance. I find it interesting, with you specifically, to read the thoughts and every day life of someone on the other side of the world, yet still very similar. I hope that made sense…

Comment by andhari

This is fantastic. I’m linking to it tomorrow since you said everything I wanted to say but more smarter.

College degree in the house!

More smarter. That’d be me. =P

Comment by rs27

This was a great post…I totally agree with the quality over quantity. There’s no way I could ever post everyday and still be semi entertaining.

I think that’s how it is for a lot of people, but they get in this mindset that they won’t have followers if they don’t post every day, and then the blog quality suffers as a result. Plus, I don’t need my GReader clogged by everyone posting crap every day. As a reader, I’d choose the occasional blogger who’s great over the semi-decent daily blogger.

Comment by Matt

I hope our generation doesn’t consider blogging a fad, but then with the fast pace of social media trends, it’s hard to know.

I think motivation is key. It gets challenging when there are major life changes going on (good or bad), high readership (which usually means some are demanding & look for a post everyday), or there is nothing worthwhile going to inspire writing.

I think it comes down to finding a healthy personal balance and not putting any pressure on oneself about it.

So true. Balance is key. And sure, as a reader, I completely understand if someone’s real life comes in the way of blogging. That’s to be expected and really, blogging shouldn’t take precedence over reality away from the computer. Maybe it is the pressure getting to these bloggers who quit; too much demand, not enough attention or motivation anymore. Rather unfortunate, either way.

Comment by thatShortChick

i hate to think this is just a trend. i’m in it for the long haul.

Glad to hear it! And likewise for me.

Comment by floreta

I’ve noticed the same trend too. That’s okay, though, we’re not all going to be bloggers. I think that the blogging phase is past, but that doesn’t mean it’s out, just that those who remain are more faithful. I’ve been at it for 3 years now, with no signs of quitting. The more I blog, the more I enjoy it. But that’s me. I don’t expect it to be the same for everyone. You bring up some excellent points. Blogging for yourself is so much easier to keep up than blogging for a fickle audience.

It’s good to see some people stick with it through time. Three years! Wow. Great job.

I had a LiveJournal for a LONG time, but it was very personal … and rather mundane, discussing my daily life/activities/etc. It got to a point where I didn’t want to talk about how work was yesterday or about my plans to meet up with a friend for coffee. So when I started this and could talk about issues, talk about things that mattered to me more in depth, it became easier to write and I was way more motivated to do so.

Because of this format I’ve chosen – and I’m definitely writing more for me than anything – I think I’ll be here for a while. If I have readers, great. If I don’t, then so be it. But at least I’m putting something out there I’m proud of consistently.

Comment by Ronnica

i admit, i’ve stepped back from blogging a few times this year, but i’ll never completely stopped. i’ve just met too many amazing people thought this and its such a good outlet for me that my life just wouldn’t be the same if i quit.

A break here and there – especially if inspiration completely fails – isn’t a bad thing. It probably helps to step away for a bit and take a breather. I just wish so many people didn’t quit altogether. Go all “Ross and Rachel” and go on a break, then return with more drama than ever before! That’s how I’d like it.

Comment by rachel

I noticed this one too, and it made me miss Tristan (ARW) something fierce. As for my own leave of absence, I still love blogging too much to hang it up. And with the emotional roller coaster my summer has been thus far I may be writing more than I thought.

I used to blog everyday when I first started last year, yeah, that habit was killed. Quickly.

Should I one day “peace out” I’ve made too many friends to say goodbye entirely.

I do think you are one of few who will go on an extended break then certainly pick back up where you left off – or so I REALLY HOPE! Ha. If not, I’ll just text you all the time until you change your mind and make a valiant return.

Comment by Kendall

Awesome post. Well done!

Ever since December when everyone broke for Holidays I feel like none of us came back as strong or engaged as we once were. It used to worry me and I’d get caught up in the fact that less comments were being passed around even though I was trying harder to get them (an issue in itself). Having talked to bloggers who have been around longer than I have, I think it comes down to ebbs and flows of blogging. There will be times that it’s just gold all the time and there will be times where people step down to make way for others. I don’t think blogging is dead especially for us 20SB crowd but it’s definitely changing.

Thanks for the comments hun! I remember you talking about struggling with what to write on your blog not too long ago (don’t leave!). And it’s been an issue with a lot of people, so it seems.

I hope it isn’t dying, but change seems imminent. Obviously we all see peaks and valleys – my entire hit chart looks like the damn Andes sometimes – but I think less concentration on that and more on writing to make us happy will keep us all going.

Comment by Ben

Now that blogging has exploded and the term “blog”is becoming more and more well known I think the relationship that the blogging community has is still misunderstood. (Another day. Another topic)

Anyway –

I started blogging about 10 years ago, believe it or not, and at that time no one I knew really had internet access and so my thoughts were just that; mine. I think the idea of people reading what I write and responding. Since I write a blend of humor and personal experience including relationships usually people can find something to relate to.

That being said, what do you do when people you don’t want to read start reading? I’ve mentioned my sex life, vagina and plenty of other things that while I’m comfortable with sharing with you all, I don’t want my family or potential employers reading.

My mistake was tying my last name to that blog, and having to pay the price now.

My advice is some that probably already everyone in the ‘sphere knows, but remember that any and everyone can come across your blog. If you wouldn’t want your mom reading it, then make sure you go anonymous.

And not just “sort of” anonymous, but entirely. I’ve reads blogs where people consistently felt anonymous, then let one detail slip and felt their hidden identities begin to crumble. Likely not a good feeling.

That NYTimes article mentioned some people blogging with that secrecy element, then leaving the blogosphere once that anonmity was no more. That departure truly makes sense. I only write what I’m comfortable sharing. I don’t delve into any topic where I’m having to tiptoe around the subject or pray so-and-so never reads. I think choosing one path or the other – not straddling the line between anonymity and spilling your guts – is the safest bet for ensuring longevity.

Comment by Katie

This has been happening since the beginning of blogging. My favourite bloggers from six years ago disappeared and were replaced by new favourites three years ago, and so on.

It sucks at the time, and Twitter and Tumblr are stealing some of the talent, but even as you posted this, someone interesting was getting started with their first blog.

(That was more coherent in my head.)

Well, it made complete sense to me anyway! And I didn’t think of that whatsoever. Sure, there are great bloggers moving to greener pastures, but there’s some brand new hidden gems out there, too. One leaves, another one arrives. I’m trying to think of a comparison for that, but I’m drawing a blank. Hm…

Comment by Peter DeWolf

Good post. I’ve been feeling the tug of stopping completely, but I haven’t gone through with it just yet. I just think it might be time to move on, away from it. Maybe start again, on another blog, maybe not.

It’s no secret that we’d all hate to see you go! You were one of the very first bloggers I began regularly reading (aww). As much as I hate to say it, you have to do what’s best for you. If that means ditching the blog, just know you’ll be VERY missed by a TON of us. Maybe I should’ve written this posting earlier so you could’ve employed some of these tips, ha, stuck around a little longer.

Comment by apollocreed

I started blogging at the recommendation of some folks who worked at PR/Community Relations dept for a video game company I wanted to work for. They asked for some writing samples, and I had a difficult time finding something worthwhile to give them. The blog was intended to be more like my easily accessible, amateur writing portfolio for next time someone wanted to see some of my work.

I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, since I follow the rules above. The blog is mostly for me but I enjoy reading my reader’s input on my stories.

Also, I have personnally avoided writing about current events in life. This sort of forces me to think about interesting topics from the past to write about and analyze. Who really wants to read about what my dog ate today, or what color socks I’m wearing? I sure wouldn’t! Besides, isn’t that what twitter is for? 😛

So, what color socks are you wearing? Hehe.

I started my blog for similar reasons. I’d love to be a columnist some day, but I never truly had much practice doing so. I figured my blog could be that practice I needed. I take a topic – sometimes personal, like my family or my dog, sometimes more current-events-related, like journalism/politics/etc. – and discuss it. If people offer comments, great. I love reading how people react, what they think, what else they can add. That’s what makes blogging such a great medium.

And I tend to follow those tips, too. I write when I can, when I have something to say, and that’s it. I think it helps keep me wanting to blog, and those are the biggest keys: desire and motivation.

Comment by omegaradium

I really hope that this is part of the growing pains that will make the 20SB, and blogging community in general stronger. I think that with the start of 20SB we all found this amazing community to immerse ourselves in… and then maybe it got a little overwhelming. I would be extremely interested to know how many active profiles actually exist on the site right now, I think that our core group is quite a bit smaller than we might think.

I used to play a lot of world of warcraft and the cycles that MMORPG players go through seem to really imitate blogger cycles, but the blogger cycles are much more exaggerated. You start out figuring things out, you get really into one aspect of the game, then you explore another aspect entirely, then you quit, then you come back- but maybe you rename your character.

But with gaming you can’t play from work like you can with blogging. You can’t be in game chat like you can be on twitter. Player meet ups are far less frequent and there’s less pressure to be part of this massive community, you just stick to your in game peer group. You don’t get e-mailed all the time about messages or networking, there’s alot more respect for personal space. It’s really odd, but blogging is much more invasive than being a serious MMORPG player, but it’s interesting that we don’t look at them the same way.

To be totally honest, With the amount of access we all have to e-mail and the internet I think it’s surprising that more of us don’t burn out faster. Adapting my style to something a lot more amorphous and abstract, and posting a lot less, has helped me find a balance between being part of the community and feeling overwhelmed by the community- but I think it’s a difficult balancing act at best.

Awesome post, thank you!

When I found 20sb, I was so thrilled to be part of that community. It opened up many possibilities for readers of my own and to start delving to the words of others. It was great. But you’re right, fewer people use it now. It was the jumping platform, but most of us have strayed a bit (I’m trying to get back into the groove of things as of late). Maybe 20sb and that core group of bloggers is evolving and the loss of some bloggers is just part of that.

I never heard blogging compared to WoW before, but it’s a good comparison. And with the friendships that have formed from our blogs, it is shocking that more people haven’t called it quits.

It took me a long time to really find a voice for my blog, but it’s like I just found my niche in the blogosphere, and so many other bloggers leave. It makes me wonder if I jumped on the wagon a bit too late.

Comment by Kyla Roma

Great post and excellent points! Since I stopped working a desk job (and with the weather finally getting nicer) my reading and writing has definitely gone down… at least on the blog front. I think the point about writing when you have something to actually talk about is key… far too often I find myself struggling to come up with something about my cats.

If I didn’t have a desk job, I can’t imagine keeping up with blogging whatsoever. It’s great for those down moments. And talk about your cats all you want! I love talking about my dog and her crazy antics. They actually make for hilarious stories sometimes (er, at least in my own opinion).

Comment by Racquel Valencia

Writing is a part of who I am. It’s not a trend.

I might blog less on my personal site because of two other sites that I am hoping to launch this summer but that doesn’t mean it fades away. Writing is like breathing to me. It just doesn’t fade away.

Could the blogging aspect be a trend? I’m a writer, too, through and through. But I’ve written in personal journals, various blogs, for my job, etc. I can’t imagine a life without writing. A life without a blog as my medium? That’s more possible.

Comment by PQ

Succinctly put.

I deleted my blog, started over, and this time around I’m not worrying about comments/followers and just sort of using it for me. Before I was too aware of my “audience” and worried about losing readers. I followed some invisible rules to please others, like not posting multiple times in a day or posting too many videos etc. Naturally I got burned out. This time I am really enjoying it since I stopped giving a shit about everything and just post whatever I feel like.

Your advice was spot on.

For someone like me, whose regular readers are few, it’s easy not to concentrate on appealing to them over writing whatever I want. Hell, when I post about news, I expect only a handful of people to care. And I post about gay marriage rights often, which I’m sure grows tiresome to others. But it definitely helps me to say what I need to say about whatever the hell comes to mind (that isn’t overly personal, of course).

Thanks for the comment! I see people refer to you often, so I’m glad you stopped by.

Comment by bakingwithplath

VERY well said and great tips! You’ve included everything.

I blog for myself, write and post what I want. I’m not going to lie, I love it when people read my words and comment. But if they don’t, that’s ok. I do it to get something out there, whether it be serious or something hilarious I wanted to share.

You summed up my thoughts exactly!!

Comment by Marie

What a great post. I’ve commented on the same thing over and over. Blogging has nuances and you’ve nailed quite a few of them.

Thanks hun. Care to share a few more?

Comment by dshan

Oh I loved this post. And agree with all of it. Blogging everyday is just not possible to do. Plus for your regular readers if they miss a post there is too much for them to catch up on. For me that is when I don’t even try and catch up on all of one’s posts.

And really it is about all the dedicated readers. I do love seeing a new face on a comment but it’s like the Cheers song, Sometimes you just want to go where everybody knows your name.

I just took a blog break myself. Mostly, because I really was not feeling inspired to write anything that even I wanted to read. But the blog break did make me miss my blog and I am not ready to give it up yet.

I often wonder if I’d miss my blog or miss the blogging community more if I stopped, even momentarily. I love the bloggers I read, I love finding new blogs to discover, and I even love the Twitter banter, ha. It’s great to have that core group sometimes, those dedicated readers.

Although, unlike many, when my GReader is empty and I want to read some more, I turn to the 20sb friends I have listed, and check out random blogs. Sometimes I had them to my reader, sometimes I don’t. But it’s great having that source for them at my fingertips.

And I *can’t stand* bloggers that post multiple times every single day. It clogs up my reader and then I mark all of theirs as read only because I don’t want to spend an hour reading three days worth of their material. One big pet peeve I have with blogging.

Comment by lbluca77

I’m sad to see SO@24 calling it a blog, but there is a definitely a life-cycle to these things. We’ll see how long I last….just one of those things I guess.

Definitely depressing for SO@24 to cease his blog. I loved it. Now it’s time to find a new reader to fill that void, I suppose. Life cycles is right.

Comment by Therapeutic Ramblings

Acckk! You are so right! I find myself, trying to convince myself to go out and leave more comments so I’ll get more hits, make myself more well known, but this is only a recent habit. I’ve had my blog since 2005 and never used to care. And yes, occasionally I just have to remind myself that it is a “Web-log” and that it is just there to serve as a log of my happenings and musings. It shouldn’t be for anyone but myself. Very well-said and insightful!

Thanks! =) I tend to comment a lot when I read the blogs of others, but moreso because I’m a talker who nearly always has something to say. There’s never a guarantee that anyone will stumble on your blog just because you commented, but it might help spread the word. Best of luck!

Comment by Lost Artist

This is fantastic, chica. I am in 100% agreement, particularly with your “tips”! I plan on being around for a long, long time… even if I’m the only one reading it. No matter what, the end result is a record of my life, thoughts, feelings… and that, to me, is PRICELESS.

Priceless. Well put. I mean, even if I don’t maintain my LJ anymore, looking back on every entry I wrote is great. I can remember what sparked the post, why I said what I did. Sometimes, reading my own thoughts is better than pictures, and that is what a blog is for. Maybe mine is more column-like, but I write about stuff that matters to me in the moment. What better log of my life can I ask for?

Comment by LiLu

Nice blog and lots of good points, but there are still lots of good blogs out there. I read plenty. Oh, plus I write one.

I agree that being discouraged by not having lots of readers/followers/commenters is counterproductive (though it’s painfully easy to do) but if you’re just writing for yourself you could keep a diary. The thing that makes it fun is connecting with others and there’s no harm in looking at what you’ve written and thinking “is this really going to be interesting to anyone other than me?”

True. Having those readers sometimes make people more accountable to keeping their blog rather than turning to a diary. Personally, I like the blog medium because of the interaction. Even if I get one comment, it’s a reaction to what I’ve said. In journalism, I don’t often get that – unless people vehemently disagree – so it’s nice to get it from somewhere.

Comment by Mr London Street

I love your tips…

I have 2 blogs…dalipstickbandit and a personal blog and I’m glad my personal blog hasn’t turned into a popular blog. Its a lot of pressure to be ON. DLB blog…man, sometimes I feel like quitting that too because its just a lot and its a commitment..i don’t think bloggers take it into account…*shrug*

I never thought of it on the other side. How the popularity adds pressure and makes bloggers not want to perform constantly. I’m sure I didn’t think of that cause my blog isn’t overwhelmingly popular, by any means, so I don’t stop to think about what writers with hundreds of readers feel like. Hm, something to consider, for sure.

Comment by Nina

Nicely said. It’s funny, you can often tell when months in advance when someone is thinking about jumping ship and swimming back to shore. What it means blog, why people do it, is all still developing, though. For every good blog that goes away there are other good ones that emerge. I started blogging mainly as a way to keep friends and family up to date on life as my own family grew (I’m not as young and hip as you all). Sometimes I go off in different directions, but now I love going back through my blog and watching my life flash before my eyes.

Great post.

Thanks! As blogs become more mainstream, more generally popular, I guess what a blog is keeps changing, too. But you are right, you can tell when someone’s about to leave the venue. Their writing becomes less often, more forced. They repeatedly apologize for “not posting” and keeping readers waiting. They start posting photos instead of paragraphs. And I think seeing those things in a few blogs I love is what prompted this particular post.

Comment by James

I like 20SB, as it’s helped me find other bloggers/peers who like to blog, but I’m not one of the cool kids there (actually, I sorta tend make a borderline subconcious/concious effort to stay away from the cool kids… for what reason, I don’t know) — although I do have a couple blog homies — so I don’t really do anything but plug away for myself and not for the community. Sure, I like the comaraderie and I’d love to get 8 zillion comments per post or whatever, but it really does come back to just wanting to write, needing to write, and simply getting that which is needing to be written about out of my system. And I’m here on a twitter link; I’ve seen you around, but never read your blog before this. Good post.

I appreciate you stopping by!

I’d never consider myself one of the “cool kids” on 20sb. I’m just a talker, and I like networking. Also, for me, 20sb provides a great outlet to Internet-friends. Dorky, I know, but I moved two years ago and while I’ve made a lot of friends here in NC, close ones are few. Finding people online I can relate to and talk to through a forum like 20sb is awesome, even if lame.

I keep this blog because I need to comment on certain things. News articles pop up often that I feel strongly about, same with political issues. And if people read, I’m thrilled. It’s great to hear what everyone has to say, but I definitely do it more for the “need” to write than anything else.

Comment by joshlos

Maybe I’m taking a bit of a contrarian viewpoint here, but I see many blogs as a part of someone’s life. When that part of your life disappears or your life changes dramatically often the blog ceases to make sense.

I think that’s the way I’ve lost many of the best bloggers I used to read. I feel very sad to have seen them go as they were all talented in their own right, but at some point the window closes I think.

Of course, some people just keep reinventing their blogs (and not caring about the title), heck, even mine doesn’t make much sense now that I’m graduating from grad school on Saturday, but I love writing in it and won’t be giving it up anytime soon.

For those people though who find that the part of their life they loved blogging about is gone though, I completely understand why you’d walk away.

(Hope that made some sense.)

It makes complete sense! That was the case with SO@24. He started that blog, and gained vast readership, as a 24-year-old man who had to completely start over in the dating world after his girlfriend of six years said goodbye. And once he found a new relationship, he seemingly wasn’t able to be as dedicated to his original point with the blog. Clearly, he felt it was his time to cease the blog as his life moved forward.

And those circumstances will happen, no doubt. But some of us aren’t centered on a specific topic. Life goes on, and maybe the blog doesn’t fit as well anymore. Your points aren’t only valid, they’re very spot on. Sorry I missed that in my entry.

Comment by John

I’ve always thought of blogging more like that Jet Li movie The One, wherein every time one of us calls it quits, the power is redistributed evenly amongst those that remain.

I’ve never seen that movie, so I’ll take your word for it. Ha. But for every blogger that falls, another one rises. I guess blogging is somewhat regenerative (that’s a word, right?).

Comment by Jay

Great post…

Thank you!

Comment by Woolly

I’m still here.

Primarily because my real job is boring and there’s a possibility that Scarlett Johansson will read my work and have sex with me.

Let me keep that dream.

Ack! My boyfriend likes her, too. I just don’t see it! She’s not that great… But hey, dream big darlin’!

Comment by moooooog35

I’m pretty new to all of this, relatively speaking. I blog because I love to write and because I’ve decided that other people want to hear what I have to say. Well, and because I wanted to see if I really could write.

I can see how it might end up feeling like work for some. I’m trying to avoid that. Great post!

I dove into blogging head first and still haven’t surfaced. I love it, nearly every aspect included. But sometimes, when I have nothing to say and I haven’t blogged even a sentence in two weeks, it does feel like work. Writer’s block happens sometimes. I guess it’s about working through it and trying to keep the “magic” going. Thanks for saying the post was “great.” I appreciate it!! And good luck as you start out.

Comment by shine

I think you hit the nail on the head about writing for yourself. maybe a lot of bloggers become a bit self-aware when they start to pick up a readership, and that’s when they start to have doubts and anxiety about what they’re posting. So some very good points, well made. Plus I’m a sucker for maritime analogies.

Try being an English blogger. There are, at last count, 6 of us. It seems a lot of the bloggers I read (all, apart from people I know personally) Americans)are taking a hiatus, probably unlikely to return.

Sometimes the switch from a job people profess to hate is the catalyst- all of a sudden they feel they don’t have the time or the bile to produce an interesting or funny post.

Or maybe it’s just the oncoming summer. To quote a rap pantheon ‘weather is hot, girls are dressed in less’ – friends appear again out of the woodwork and people start to remember they had social lives.

I’ll keep checking my favourites, but I won’t lose any sleep over it, and no doubt I’ll pick up some new favourites in the meantime. Hey, I just found your blog, so it’s happening already.

Now flush out the studdingsails. It’s hot outside and we have not a moment to lose.

I love that the English put a U in favorite. It’s much prettier when spelled favourite.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand… Some bloggers, as Ben said earlier, began to lose momentum around the holidays. Real life got a strangehold on some fabulous people who have yet to make their return. The same can be said for summer, and for the unemployed who, without the constraints of a desk-life, find spending time in front of the computer a bit more taxing. Who knows. But for whatever reasons people may have, it’s happening and I’m hoping this snowball doesn’t become an avalanche, swallowing us all whole.

And you are welcome back here any time. Hell, add me to your favourites (with a U, of course). Ha. Although posts like this aren’t often. I seem to be a “talk about anything in a very wide spectrum” kind of gal. Perhaps a niche would serve me better in gaining readership, but I wouldn’t change this blog for anything.

Comment by Daniel

Very well written post…

I started blogging because I love writing but can’t get it in me to start a book. It wasn’t written for other people to read and I was actually shocked when I got a comment ten minutes after my first post. Now of course I love and feed off comments as we all do.

I went through a few months where I didn’t write or wrote sporadically and now I’m starting to get back into it, albeit still randomly.

There are just some weeks when you don’t feel creative or interesting and it’s bound to happen.

I AM definitely sad to see SO@24 leaving and there are many bloggers who are not writing as often as they used to be I think that itself is just a phase. I hope.

I can’t get into novel-writing either! I’ve tried, hopelessly, but I’m always missing something. I need a story, I need to outline it, and then I need to go from there. With my blog, I write off the cuff. Book writing, however, seems to require an outline. Otherwise, I’m left with undeveloped characters and no climax. Nobody likes anything without a climax…

I do hope this is a phase. Saying goobye to SO@24 and Arjewtino was horrible. I loved reading what they wrote. I’d hate to see others disappear, too. ::Fingers crossed that they stick around::

Comment by Ask Alice

This was so good! I, too, have noticed the disappearance of the blogs you mentioned. It’s sad, but, like them, i’ve had my moments of doubt as well. Should I continue?

The one thing you wrote that holds true to me the most is “write for yourself.” I started my blog with just that in mind. I didn’t have followers, I just wrote what I wanted. To this day, I still do, not trying to impress people. However, at times, I’ve noticed my comments drop. My stats drop. Should I change my style? Write something different to get more people? Of course those thoughts went through my head, but I decided not to. Because I like what I write and that should be enough.

Thanks for posting this, it’s really great. And, hey, you got a new reader! 🙂

Hey, thanks for reading then! Ha. I’ve definitely had those moments, too. The ones where you think “should I cater to what I know people read?” I’ve considered writing a TMI post on a Thursday, or talking about more personal things. But in reality, I like saying what’s most true to me, and more often than not, that’s commenting on social issues/current events/the news industry. I’ve realized – mostly because of my regular readership – that those aren’t necessarily things 20-somethings or bloggers in general (maybe) care about, but I do. So I stick to it. Glad you do the same!

And I know I’ve checked out your blog before. I’ll have to do so again!

Comment by Lauren

I’ve always seen myself as a lifelong blogger. While I don’t always love the writing I produce, I stick at it, because as soon as I cancel a blog or take a break I miss the hell out of it!
Writer’s block strikes whenever I’m tired or stressed. I get good ideas but can’t articulate them so I give up for a while. I’m committed though so I always wait for the bloggable moments + energy to blog.

I had a few moments where I checked out for a bit, completely unsure of what to write. I was lame and posted excuses about having nothing to say. It sucked. But once the inspiration happened, it was smoother sailing. I’d miss it, too, if I quit. Seems it’s that way for many of us.

Comment by Kez

(I still wish you’d reply properly so that I could get email notification of your response to my email inbox…!)

I set myself the task of writing every day. It was more of a work-ethic thing though, as I dumped some other obligations to put aside time to write. As you can see, I’m rather prolific.

No doubt it’ll calm down eventually (now I’m trying to keep to weekdays only, so that my fingers get a little rest… damn RSI…)

I think those that quit have simply run their course. Everyone blogs for a reason — when that reason runs dry (or, as you say, they don’t make it famous/rich), it’s time to call it a day.

I’m sorry I don’t reply “properly,” Seb. Ha. I like it this way though, and I’m sticking to it! Damn it.

You do blog a lot – filling up my Reader and everything on weekends – but it shows you’re thoroughly enjoying the process. I guess inspiration and desire do deplete for some, and that’s unfortunate, but it’s way understandable that someone would rather quit while he’s ahead than maintain something sub-par.

Comment by Sebastian

i’m beyond impressed with this post. i’m going to share it on twitter tomorrow.

you are spot on with your thoughts and i think that an evolution of blogging and how one promotes it rather through commenting or switching up their style is just part of the process.

thanks for this!

Well, thanks for sharing it with others! I’m shocked that people are, but it’s pretty kewl.

So much more than just writing a blog and posting it goes into the process. I was shocked when I realized how many elements were really involved. But it is evolving and I just hope the blog-carpet isn’t swept out from under any of us soon! I like reading everyone’s words far too much!

Comment by alexa - cleveland's a plum

Thank you. I appreciate this post and it has really made me think. I just found your blog and I will be coming back. xoxo

Thanks for that comment! And you are welcome back whenever the mood strikes! =)

Comment by Julie

I loved this. The first tip of “writing for yourself” is so important. I don’t think it’s any secret that I’ve lately been struggling with the ‘purpose’ of my blog. Family and co-workers have become curious about my website and it’s been very hard for me to remain true to myself out of fear over what those people will think. I don’t plan on leaving the blogosphere anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy trying to figure out what my blog is “supposed” to be versus what I want it to be. Thank you for remaining a fan…You’ve been one of the few that have stayed with me during my transition across the country. You’re absolutely right that a few loyal blog friends are more important than the quest for readers.

Great post.

Of course I’d stay a fan! With your blog – and many others – I’m reading so regularly that I feel like I know the person. Strange, I know, but maybe that’s part of having a blog in general. And at some point, there’s this investment (for lack of a better word) where I want to keep reading and “staying in the loop.” Plus, it was a big move for you! It’s fun seeing the transition.

I’ll have posts – like this one – with LOTS of readership and dozens of comments, and then some others were it’s like pulling teeth to have five people comment. But being able to look back and be happy and proud of what I’ve said, knowing it’s true to what I want for this blog, that’s enough for me. I hope others feel that way, too.

Comment by hautepocket

When I first visited this page, you had two comments. Now you’re at 43. My comment may get lost in the shuffle here, but I told you I’d come back and leave my two cents. 🙂

I’ve been blogging for a while (8yrs) and I’ve seen my fair share of great bloggers come and go. And it sucks. Some of these guys were really funny, some were insightful, some were just great people. Now they’re just dust in the wind… But while I was sad to see them go, I do commend them on following what should be every blogger’s golden rule. “Blog for yourself.” When they got tired of it, they left — no matter how big or how small their audience was.

Like you (and a few others) said, that should be the name of the game. It’s great to have others appreciate your work, but at the end of the day it’s not about how many comments you have or how many RSS readers you have, but how happy you are after dumping your personal thoughts online.

You aren’t lost in the shuffle at all! And trust me, I was just as surprised as you to see this kind of response from fellow bloggers. It was entirely unexpected!

I think it’s evident when someone is writing for him/herself or writing to attain readers. And because of how clear that is, it makes me less inclined to read someone simply striving for numbers and comments. I’d rather read the blog of an individual who puts only what matters out there. When a blogger stays true to that – as you said – and then doesn’t feel that drive anymore, you have a great point in commending them for remaining honest to that ’til the end. Maybe that makes it even more difficult to watch them go…

Comment by TOPolk

This is a great post, MinD. I deleted my blog, then felt bad and undeleted it. Now it’s stripped down to the bare essentials– no sidebar, no ads, and perhaps most importantly– no comments. I agree wholeheartedly on “writing for you”. I used to really disagree with that, but I lost myself in it. Caring too much about pageviews and subscriber counts and comment numbers made me a crazy person. And people leave some really dumbass comments sometimes! So now all of that’s gone. I write when I want– sometimes that’s three short posts in a day; sometimes I go days without posting at all. And I’m much happier with it.

Wonderful post!

I am SO very happy you commented here, mostly because I can’t comment on your blog and I hope you know I’m still reading! And you can see the difference in writing for yourself now as compared to maybe trying to please readers – sometimes, not always, of course – before. You do seem WAY more content with blogging now, and that’s great. I, for one, am glad you didn’t leave it behind because you’re an amazing writer and I would’ve been crazy sad to see you go.

Comment by Laurie | Your Ill-fitting Overcoat

Thank you, MinD!

Any time, hun!

Comment by Laurie | Your Ill-fitting Overcoat

Hey MinD,
I happened to notice this recently and, coincidentally, have decided to return to posting (which is the main reason I never deleted the blog altogether). I just wanted to let you know, since you were always a reader and I enjoyed exchanging emails with you from time to time.
I hope all is well and I look forward to seeing you around the blogosphere again, now that I’ve returned!

For real? Yay!!!! So very excited, and thanks for letting me know hun.

Comment by Tristan | the almost right word

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