The year blogging died

I think it was this year. Or maybe it will be next year. But it’s pretty much over.

The only blogs left, the only really significant ones, are commercial. Increasingly, they’re owned by newspapers. The indies, like in every industry, are few and their voices increasingly small.

There was a time you could grow a blog into a brand. You could be bought out by some media conglomerate. You could make your millions, sell out, and move on. And a lot of people have.

The thing is — the audience has moved on. They still come to blogs of course, but in the same way they come to traditional news outlets. Through aggregators like BuzzFeed and UpWorthy. Through Facebook. And to a decreasing extent, through Google.

Blogs have become a sort of endpoint for the info river, but they themselves are not the river. Despite, of course, being organised in streams.

Which reminds me: RSS is dying too.

Thing is, I fully expect newspapers to outlive blogs. That’s the way technology is. What has existed for a long time will continue to exist for a long time. Technology doesn’t really have a defined half-life in that way, except to say that some things stick, and you won’t really every be able to tell what things will stick. You can only tell that what has been around for a long time will be around for a long time. The record is a good example of that. So is the newspaper. Blog? Well… maybe. We’ll see how it goes.

Comments section

Yes, I know there’s no comment section. Yes, I know this is an egregious oversight. I’ll be working on it tonight. I hope to have something to look at soon.

Under construction

undconstand

As I’m sure you can tell, this blog is currently under a bit of construction. I’m trying a few new things, one of which is custom post formats. Basically the idea is that instead of posting to Twitter or Facebook and then importing the post to here, I just post to here and IFTTT takes the RSS and posts that to wherever I want.

So you’ll notice things changing and bouncing around and being half-finished for a while. For instance… no comments yet.

But I have been dipping back into CSS after a long absence, and I like what I see. It’s no longer a huge pain in the ass to use. It’s just a regular pain in the ass now. I can’t wait for 3 more years of development, so it can be retconned into making sense and actually doing what people need it to do.

In the meantime, enjoy this handsome GIF I found using a time machine to go visit Geocities.

Why don’t I blog on Facebook or Google+ or some other service?

I have few simple reasons for owning and running my own blog on my own domain.

  1. I am not bound by any terms of service. I am not bound in my speech. There are not certain topics I am forbidden from addressing. I’m still under the limitations my country puts on speech, but I am under no other limitations.
  2. I am not going to be shut down arbitrarily. My blog is not going to be bought out and shut down like Posterous, etc, etc. As long as I have the pittance it takes to keep this alive, it will be here. A pittance, I might add, I gladly pay.
  3. I can do what I like with my data. These words are not inside Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or any other service. If I wish to share them there (and I do), I can do so. Because I use open formats like HTML and RSS. Social networks do no such thing. They generally don’t give you the ability to share out. They just give you the ability to share in.
  4. Finally, I’ve been blogging about live, love, technology, theology, and all this other stuff for a long time now. I write infrequently of late, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped. Not at all. I want my little slice of the web to truly be my slice of the web. Owned and operated, navigating flâneur-style through whatever at my own pace.

And that, ladies and germs, is why I still blog in the open.