Sunday, October 11, 2015

Facebook Killed the Blogging Star

 I’m trying to decide whether to call the days of the blog over or not. Blogging seems to have been hanging around on life support for quite a while now, but not really capable of breathing on its own. I remember the heyday of blogging. In my experience that was back around 2010/2011. I’d easily visit fifty blogs a day and would have liked to have visited more. I’d post most every day, and would quickly get 20 or 30 comments, which would grow over the next day or so.  My blog links took up the whole side panel of my blog. There was a vibrant community with everyone linking back and forth to other blogs of interest. That just isn’t really happening anymore.

As facebook became more popular, I saw the blogs decline. Why spend a good chunk of time constructing a thoughtful and well researched blog when you could type in a quick status update and get a dozen immediate ‘likes’ on FB? It’s not like a lot of people were really reading the blogs carefully anyway. Then came Twitter and it got worse.  I never joined Twitter. You can’t convince me that important things can be said at such short length.

I remember reading somewhere years ago that: “A bumper sticker is not a philosophy.” That may be the most profound single line of wisdom I’ve ever seen. A blog wasn’t a philosophy either but it allowed people to expand and expound on thoughts. Through that kind of process, philosophies are born. But it would appear those days are pretty much over. What say you?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It has slowed and changed, but certainly not dead. I still get more comments than I can handle. Yes, many bloggers have fallen by the wayside, but new ones take their place. I think Twitter and Instagram and Tumblr are more responsible for the decline, as all offer fast methods of keeping in touch. But there are still plenty who want more and want what a blog can offer.
At any rate, as long as the IWSG continues to grow and flourish and I keep writing, I'm not going anywhere.

Chris said...

I still prefer blogs. I don't visit as many as I did in the past, and I'm certainly more selective, but they are still my preferred means to interact with people. Twitter is kind of an aggregate for stuff -- in some ways it has replaced my google reader that they disappeared, as I follow most of the people there whom I also follow for blogs, and that is how I am alerted to them. Facebook is far and away my least favorite of the mediums, but for some people it has replaced email.

Liane Spicer said...

It's been feeling that way for a few years now. Every year I wonder whether it's worth my while to continue blogging. It appears that most people prefer the instant gratification of Facebook etc. which I admit I'm not all that fond of. Blogging has been such a great experience for me. I began my personal blog in 2007 and found a wonderful community of writers and readers, some of whom became good friends. I've learned so much from them. These days I have to go to FB to catch up with them. My negative experiences in the writing/blogging community have been close to zilch.

Walker Martin said...

I understand what you are saying and I've noticed the impact of Facebook. But except for looking at photos of friends and relatives, Facebook is useless and very trivial. Not much of substance and the comments are short and of little interest. I have my favorite blogs which I follow and comment on but Facebook is of little real interest or value to me. A business has to have a Facebook presence because that's what is popular. I'll stick to reading blogs because they have more meaning and interest however.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, you mirror my thoughts. I've had mixed views about blogging and Facebook. While my frequent status updates on Fb are no more than ten lines and last no more than a few hours, my detailed blog posts give me more satisfaction and have a longer shelf life. I'm on Fb for the fun of it, while I blog with serious intent. It's true, together, both eat into my time, especially time I should be spending on other writing, like fiction.

Fb has helped me to connect with "lost" relatives and friends, but that's about it. Otherwise, this morning's status update is this evening's status history. There is a sense of permanence with blogging.

Sidney said...

I tend agree with you. I had many friends and many comments around that 2010 time. I kind of plan to keep blogging for me if nothing else. I discovered recently looking over old posts helped fill in moments where memory failed and gave me some perspective on the last 10 years - when things happened in relation to other things etc.

BernardL said...

I don't think it's over because the social sites can all be linked now. Blogger posts show on Google + and can be linked to Twitter and FB. The exposure even on a small scale helps with name recognition, and keeps a spot no matter how small where readers can reach us in each venue. Even on Twitter, full posts, links, and new releases can be accessed there.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am thinking about this too. I get half the number of visitors I used to get on a good day. Yet on facebook I can get many replies if I throw out a question. But there are some people not on facebook and I would hate losing contact with them.

Adventuresfantastic said...

I've noticed a drop in traffic at my blog, but some of that is because I changed platforms and the hits on older posts at the old site are still fairly high. I don't use Facebook because lost friends from high school are lost for a reason and should remain that way. I've thought about a Facebook page just for the blog, but I want to make sure that it doesn't turn into a personal page.

The thing that strikes me about social media is that it is anything but static. It's going to change and evolve. I think there will always be a place for blogs, but there will also be some hot new thing. Those who are most comfortable with blogs will continue to maintain their own and read other people's.

Unknown said...

Charles, I confess that I also believe blogging seems to dying. Mine is on life support. Everyone here seems to measure s blog's value by numbers of visitors and comments. Perhaps that is the problem.

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, I do see you've been a rock in the ocean and not wearing away swiftly. Kudos to you.

Chris, I've noticed that I'm essentially getting emails on facebooks lately.

Liane, that is true. I've had no really negative experiences blogging but have had some on FB. But many of my friends I can only catch there these days.

Walker, pretty much sums up my feelings as well.

Prashant, indeed, a sense of permanence and importance.

Sidney, I hadn't really thought of blogging as a kind of recorded history. Absolutely, though. Great point.

Bernard, I confess to knowing nothing about twitter. Suppose I should find out.

Patti, absolutely. There are many good things about blogs.

Keith, you're right. change is the rule. Social media moves so fast.

R. T., if no one visits and reads, though, then the point of sharing thoughts is lost.

eric1313 said...

Definitely agree. But I noted I still somehow picked up 7K visitors during the last ten months (up from very low), from doing nothing, more or less.

FB is the only thing I can think of. I noted this last week whilst posting for the first time in years.

Oscar Case said...

Charles, I hadn't noticed. Everything takes time and the wind flew by.

Ty said...

Another thing that took place about 5 years ago was Google made some major changes to their search algorithms, mainly in an effort to cut out a lot of those junk get-paid-to-write-posts sites. In all of this, blogs took a hit and generally aren't as profitable or easy to discover as they once were.

I pretty much just blog little things for myself nowadays, though I still get the occasional comment and draw at least a few thousand views/reads a month.

Erik Donald France said...

Charles, good topic. I keep a blog as an archive & library. It's sporadically "snapped" by the Wayback Machine, the internet archive. And I use blogs as a database, with keyword search, to find stuff within each blog. FB and twitter (and Google +) I utilize mostly as links to blog reading and for marketing. With seven billion plus people in the world, there are sure to be more readers who come to a blog via keyword search down the line, especially for specific topics not covered much elsewhere. This is certainly how I've met some new people with at least one important shared interest, internationally.

ADHD readers will have forgotten everything on their way to Alzheimer's anyway, or they will have never remembered enough to forget to begin with . . .

Charles Gramlich said...

eric1313, I still do get quite a few page views and visitors. Fewer comments but I suppose that is natural. Definitely a decrease since the heyday, though.

Oscar, I'm trying to remember how long you've been blogging. I've been doing it quite a long time by now.

Ty, I had forgotten about that change. Probably has a role to play.

Erik, I've not done a thing yet on Google +. I do search blogs when I'm doing something about books and reading. There is a lot of stuff out there archived that can be helpful.

the walking man said...

I say do what you will just do not delete your blog because one day you may wish to write a piece with some strength to it and come back here to do it. Them that folow you will have Razored Zen pop up top on their list.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Yes, it is certainly a pattern. There is a double-edged sword, too. Now, when you make a blog post, you can add an update/link to your Facebook newsfeed about it. You might get more people to read than your standard blog followers. On the other hand, It becomes easier for someone to simply 'like' or write a quick reply while they are on Facebook - rather than making the effort to sign in (again) and post a lengthier reply at the blog itself.

On the other, other hand - if you get a bunch of 'likes' - maybe more people are reading your blog than you realized.

The funny thing about Twitter is that I agree with your view - yet, there are so damn many political/social/religious memes on Facebook, I am reaching the point of skimming Twitter (for some reason, on my twitter feed anyway, memes don't seem very popular?) and getting more in-depth reads on blogs. I'd take a Facebook holiday but I also get news there about new releases, events, messages, etc. I guess that's what the Facebook developers are aiming for, right?

nephite blood spartan heart said...

So right, it gets to the point of me saying, Oh Yeah, I ought to do a blog post and space it. I certainly don't post like in the glory days.

Paul nails my thoughts down too.

Snowbrush said...

I love blogging, hate Facebook, and am appalled by the success of Facebook. I am aware of a different feel on Blogger, but there are also a lot of us still here. If my experience is typical, we’re more likely to be older people than younger people, and that’s okay with me.

Riot Kitty said...

I refuse to join Facebook. Please stay!

G. B. Miller said...

I kind of agree with you on this particular topic. 8 1/2 years have I chugging away been at, and although there have been a lot of times where I would like to simply chuck it in and call it a day, I don't. I simply buckle down and decide on a daily basis whether or not I want to write a post.

I do keep two blogs going, one of which is a recap of what I've done on Blogger and that I use extensively on Facebook (contrary to popular opinion, Facebook is not your friend, but more like your Frenemey).

I definitely agree about the decline of readership. With my previous blog, I had a solid base of subscribers, which I promptly lost when I decided to start over from scratch again (burnout is such a good thing, ya know). I still have folks who stop by and I still have people who comment, but I don't know.

I'm still stuck with trying to answer the eternal question: Do I stay or do I go?

Normally an easy question to answer, I now find myself hemming and hawing because I finally found a project to work on and it's slowly replacing the blog as my release valve for the garbage that gets dumped on me at work.


Angie said...

I still read blogs, obviously. I don't post a lot, but then I never really did. I post when I have something to say, which is, I think, the optimum schedule. Non-schedule. Whatever. :)

I've heard people talk about the Death Of The Blog for a few years now. It hasn't happened yet, and when/if it does, I for one will be sad and upset. There's really nothing to take the place of blogs. Facebook certainly doesn't; I don't have a Facebook page, but every now and then I follow a link there, and I've read plenty of commentary. Blogs have archives where you can go back and look at something from five years ago, while Facebook isn't really set up for stability of archives.

Same with Twitter. Again, I'm not on Twitter, but I've read Twitter streams through links, and lots of commentary about it. It sounds like it's a great way to spread news quickly, and a lot of political and social activists have made and are making excellent use of it, so that's cool.

I've recently committed Tumblr -- I mostly read/post about knitting -- and Tumblr seems like a long-form Twitter, with emphasis on photos. But again, it's not set up for stability or archives. I can't even go back and specifically find stuff I'VE posted, much less someone else. It's cool for what it is, and I'm enjoying it, but it doesn't replace a blog.

The various journal systems seem to have had their heyday. I still have a couple of journals, and I post to one of them periodically, but I don't read anyone else's, and I'm not sure how much activity there is there.

What else is there? I haven't heard about anything that would really take a blog's place. The new stuff all seems to be meant for short, in-the-moment squirts of words and pictures, which quickly scroll up or down or wherever and vanish. Even if they're technically findable, if you're willing to scroll long enough, if you can't go right to them somehow -- the equivalent of a blog's calendar archive -- then anything more than... what, maybe fifty screens, realistically? backward is effectively gone.

I hope blogs stick around. I'll be here as long as there's anyone reading, and anyone to read.


Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, I won't delete it. I'm probably not even going to leave. Just sort of thinking out loud

Paul, true about facebook and the nonsense so often there. My knowledge of twitter is so weak anyway. I should try it so I'd know what I was talking about.

David, J., yep, the time it takes and the energy. Gotta wonder often if it is worth it.

Snowbrush, yeah, I'm ok with you old folks too. of course, I'm still very young! ;)

Riot kitty, I'm not really leaving. Just thinking out loud.

G.B., my blog has also served as a good release, but these days I'm concerned about repeating myself ad nauseaum on that.

Angie, Hadn't really been thinking of the archives for blogs but you're absolutely correct. it's an important aspect. I oftentimes turn up old blogs when doing searches for things.

Greg said...

I agree for the most part. I think people would rather read a quick status on Facebook than a whole blog post (unless they are really interested or passionate about the subject). That "bumper sticker" line is good, I like it!

Charles Gramlich said...

Greg, yeah, I've always remembered that saying

RTD said...

Please note that I have had to move and rename my blog:

Cloudia said...

Aint going nowheres!



jodi said...

Charles-facebook=trivia Blog=well thought out posts. I still love blogs and feel like facebook is total minutae!