Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Why Do I Do This?

     Blogging is essentially dead, outstripped by platforms that are more succinct (Twitter), more visual (Instagram) or aggressively social (Facebook), stabbed in the back by adware (the gradual perversion of Sitemeter is one example and the flip side would be Technorati's death-by-unprofitability) and generally, by 2014 standatds, sluggish.  Readership has dropped off; I was running a good, steady 500 per day at one point and it has faded and faded; if the trend continues, it'll be back to me and the 'bots like it was when I started.

     Possibly for the best -- there was less pressure then.  As a loner and introvert, anymore I feel kind of hemmed in and elbowed no matter where I am or what I'm doing and yet I find myself complicit in it; in particular Facebook's social feedback is as addicting as it is bad for me.

     Oh, I'm not quitting, but one of the intangibles was looking at the S---meter count and seeing if I'd broken 500.  No more; all things change.

     Hey, ho, another day in the future.  I suspect I'd better enjoy it while it lasts.

36 comments:

Old NFO said...

Well, 'some' of us enjoy the writings and your take on life... Hang in there please!

SJ said...

I do notice that blogging is much better for multi-paragraph writing.

Relative to FB, that is.

(Did I just about say "long-form writing"? I used to enjoy Kevin Baker's Überposts. That is long-form writing.)

Tam said...

The problem with Facebook is that it's too ephemeral. It's too hard to reference something I wrote last week, let alone four years ago.

fillyjonk said...

I like blogs. FB has way too much drama, and it's exhausting because everyone you ever met in your life wants to be your "friend." (Or FB wants you to be their "friend," I don't know). Most of the more visual media seem to be the same fifteen pictures passed around from site to site. And don't get me started on the "listicle" sites, where it's giant ads with minimal content.

Gladorn said...

What is your reason for writing? Money? Other people? Entertaining the net bots?

You write for yourself.

Therefore, numbers shouldn't matter. All of this, the Facebook, the Twitter, even the MySpace will all come and go over time.

Unfortunately, most of what is written online shall mostly end up in the electronic aether. A small few will be fortunate to share their thoughts with millions.

Technology advances. The phonograph, the newspaper, AM radio, over the air TV signals. It all serves a use, until it is superseded by new technology. Today's hot technology is tomorrow's buggy whip.

Keep writing. Less stress? All the better. And I'm sure the bots appreciate it.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Facebook is not a place for considered, reasoned posts, partly because of what Tam says about its ephemeral nature, but also because reason gets lost in the midst of all the cute cat pictures, "I can't believe s/he did that" videos, and crock pot recipes that everyone else posts.

Which is probably why I post there more than on my blog anymore. I just don't have the energy or the time.

I have a Twitter account but don't use it. And Instagram doesn't interest me.

I suspect blogs will always have a niche. Like op-ed pages in newspapers.

Jeffrey Smith said...

Blogging does take energy, which is why I let mine go dead years ago. And the blogs I read are less in number, because I drop the ones that are merely part of the echo chambers on either side. But that means the ones I keep reading, like yours and Tam's, I value even more.

Paul Schwa said...

There are about five blogs that I read day in and day out. I feel something missing in my day if I can't. Yours is one. I love what you do.

T Putnam said...

For the record, I got here from Tam's blog a few year's back, and stuck around because I enjoy it. I'm reading via RSS feed. I wish I had the time to visit pages individually, so the reads would be counted. But, I plow through about 500 blog posts, news items, and assorted miscellany a day, and RSS scrolling by hitting "j" repeatedly is a lot faster. Regardless, whether blogging is declining, or simply moving to new, short-format platforms like Tumblr or Medium or (ugh) Facebook, I will keep Robert X on my RSS feed as long as there's an RSS feed.

Cheers,

Trevor

Hat Trick said...

You and Tam are in my reader feed because I like to read your expressed thoughts and opinions on the variety of topics that you choose to write about. Plus I like to see updates on Huck's antics too. :-)

skidmark said...

Blogs are becoming the private clubs where folks can come to discuss, argue, disagree and maybe find common ground even if it's "we both hate each other" - without the kitten pictures, Aunt Martha's recepie for bat guano stew and the tousand and one "What he/she said" and "+1" contributions to the intellectual conversation.

Sure, blogs have become the refuge of curmudgeons young and old but I'll take the insularness and waiting for some noob to discover the place through a misspent Google search. That keeps a good portion of the riff-raff out.

stay safe.

Brick O'Lore said...

If it makes "just one reader" happy, I think you are obligated to continue. ;)

I use a tool to "spam" my Twitter and Facebook with links back to the blog posts. No special content in those places - I figure there are some who wouldn't visit or don't use RSS, but do have Twitter/FB.

Educated Savage said...

What the above commenters said plus there are some of us who appreciate the little gems you tell us about related to engineering. I read your blog on a daily basis because of those.

aczarnowski said...

I also appreciate blogs more an more. Their longer form is where real thinking happens. Thanks for all the effort to put thoughts into words and then sharing with the rest of us!

I probably contribute to the numbers issue since I also use RSS through FeedBin. It's the only way I've found to sync what I've read with what I haven't across phone, laptop, tablets and desktops.

Anonymous said...

You are the sort of friend I'd like to have, but since face-to-face is less comfortable for you, I'm glad you're willing to write. You have an engaging storytelling style that makes even the most mundane activities interesting, and your enthusiasm for your hobbies is infectious. Please feel free to write when you want to, aware that you will always have an audience.

With respectful awe and friendly encouragement,

Ed.

PS. Concerning the Gored Ox project, may I have a 9.9mm. Tacti-Cooler with a porcelain frame so it won't show up on a metal detector?

Roberta X said...

I'm not thinking about giving up, only questioning my motives. :)

Sebastian said...

It's happening to everybody. There's also the factor that if you can't structure your "blog" such that it can be accepted into Google's "news" category, you can't really compete. There's also competition for eyeballs from people who are doing this for a living, and for people who do this as a hobby, that makes it hard to keep up with things.

Overload in Colorado said...

I've subscribed and read your posts through Feedly. It says that 175 people have subscribed to your feed. Don't know if we show up on your view count, but if not you can add 175 people who (may?) read your blog.

Merle Morrison said...

Some of us old dogs don't (*and won't) do facebook, etc. We need blogs like yours!

Merle

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

With all the above, I concur. When I read your stuff, or Tam, or esp. Brigid at HOTR it can cause thoughts to flow, instead of the emotional clap-trap on FB. You are appreciated, Roberta. You all are. Thanks for the free ice cream.

OldTexan said...

Cause you're fun to read and follow, that is why I check in here a few times a day to see what's new at the zoo.

I don't know about the rest of your readers but I am retired and have too much time so I like reading interesting, well written blog site about guns and stuff. You and Tam are fun to follow, kind of like my kids who are about your age.

I do post some stupid pictures on FB of silly stuff and pictures of my kids and grandkids so that my friends who are mostly old too can tell me how cute they are. To me that is what FB is for and I don't spend much time looking at other people's dogs and cats and homeless horses on the postings.

So please hang in there as long as it is good for you because you make us smile and we care about your trials, tribulations and acquisitions. Thank you for sharing with us. That's all.

Ken said...

Where else am I gonna find somebody who works on a starship?

jed said...

Waaay back, mid 2008, there was a Sitemeter dustup of some sort, and IIRC they backtracked quite smartly once the backlash got fired up. I switched to Statcounter then. I note they're still around, but don't know how well they work. I don't recall having any nits about them, back when I cared about such things.

I don't do any of that social media stuff, so for me blogs are still the shizznit. I sometimes even think I should fire mine up again. And I too feel as if my day isn't quite complete without a visit here and few other notable places.

docjim505 said...

Ditto all who said, "Don't stop"!

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Ed said - If you're most comfortable writing, then that's my best way to know you. And that's a wonderful thing.

Hammerbach said...

Ditto what Ed said - If you're most comfortable writing, then that's my best way to know you. And that's a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly I'm aware that blogging is old-fashioned. I feel incredibly old. Still, I'll continue to lurk here so long as you keep posting.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Daily stop, every single day.

Must be a good reason.

Anonymous said...

Do. Not. Stop! We need your voice.

Guffaw in AZ said...

Do it for yourself!
If it ceases to be fun or interesting, then stop.
But, don't worry about me. I'll be here.
:-)

gfa

Anonymous said...

While I enjoy your blog immensely, I wouldn't want you to do it if you didn't enjoy it. You were not put here for our entertainment, and the big, dumb Wookie in me doesn't want you in that position.

Konw that your stories are eagerly sought out and cherished, even by those of us who don't often comment. I pray that you might find some joy this season.

- Drifter

Opinionated Grump (Rich in NC) said...

If it make just one person happy...[ that person HAS to be you though] you should keep on keepin on...

I found your blog. I read your blog every day, even when you don't show up till later.....

Here's my top 6
HOTR
VFTP
AoRX
Borp
Ma-Rooned
Grouchy Old Cripple

After those 6 I go to Instapundit and GBBL to get the rest of the "news".

I'm glad you still write

Rich in NC

mikee said...

In 100 years we may all be moldy in our graves, but in 20 you can look back on a veritable treasure trove of saved memories.

You are the Boswell unto your own Johnson self.

Jennifer said...

Although I like the book of face and other things, the blog is mine. It's like a historical reference. It still serves its original purpose of brain dumping grounds.

CGHill said...

Numbers is numbers. Circa 2005 I was pulling a pretty solid 800 a day, and nobody asked where my feed was. Today I draw a hair under 300, but at any given moment I may have from 200 to 1000 feed subscribers. I figure I'm no more unimportant now than I was then.

naturegirl said...

A blog is perfect for us introverts - those that write them and those who read them. And they are lifelines to those of us with unconventional lifestyles; until we can get back to what we use to have. You obviously write because you have a gift for writing and a wealth of interesting thoughts so many of us can relate to :)

Ignore the numbers, it's not a reliable way to measure interest.