I’ve recently been doing a blogging challenge with some friends, trying to write a post a day. I’m doing pretty well so far, managing a continuous stream of posts since the 19th. Some days it’s easier than others.
I like blogging. I try to produce complete thoughts, more developed than they would be on FB or twitter. Unless you’re doing a link blog, you can’t just chuck out a URL but need to give it some context. Writing daily is working well for me, and I’m looking at drafting my book by writing lots and lots of smaller posts.
My first blog started in October 2007. The initial post was throat-clearing:
I figured that it was about time that I put some stuff on my web-pages. I’ve put up pages before and then not touched them for months so I decided to use Blogger. This way I can add updates without having to use an FTP client. There is no guarantee that I will find anything interesting to say, but we shall see. Wednesday, October 03, 2001
I still have the files on my hard drive, and one day I’ll add them to this site. I’ve added content from some of the other blogging platforms I’ve used. A lot of the images have disappeared over time, but the text is there. And I like looking back on those memories, or being able to call up the little mini-essays I’ve written.
I’d love to see a revival in blogging. Facebook tends to produce less considered, less complete thoughts. And, while Facebook does a good job of distributing updates, it’s not as neutral as a blog. It shows you the things it thinks you’ll be interested in, the things that keep you interacting with their site. That isn’t quite the same thing as what is actually interesting. It also cuts out a lot of content. Some people seem to get screened-outcompletely by the algorithm. Facebook hides too much. It picks which posts it thinks should be distributed.
We need to see the boring posts. It’s good to know what other things someone is into, even if we find ourselves skipping them. It’s the same problem with online news – when you buy a physical newspaper, you get the articles you want and a load of other ones. You can see the space taken up by things you don’t care about, work out how important your passions are. As news becomes filtered and sorted, we lost that comparison with the boring things.
Blogging isn’t perfect. It’s not obvious to most people how to follow them, and it seems less convenient than Facebook. The Indie Web is promising, but it’s still difficult to use – it’s missing its Blogger moment, where it becomes easy for most people to get it working. And a guide on ‘how to follow blogs’ deserves a whole post of its own.
The best thing about blogs is that they produce a collection of thoughts, that they do some additional work with the links and ideas we encounter online. Quoting Warren Ellis for the second day in a row: “If we’re not doing something with the information we’re taking in, then we’re just pigs at the media trough.“If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list
2 thoughts on “The importance of blogging”
2007 or 2001? Both listed above…
And did I really start back in 2003? And am still on the same platform? How did any of that happen?
And how can we make more people make more blogging? I love following people I know, or just people that say something … interesting. Personal. Smallish.
Things what have affected my blogging.
1. Phones and tablets. I hate virtual keyboards with a passion – especially because the “convenience” of reading on a device seems to be totally out of whack with the “inconvenience” of virtual keyboards. Reading blogs is ok. Writing them and commenting on them is a pain. Maybe I should get a bluetooth keyboard or something.
2. Microblogging and long form. Twitter and gnu social have really cut it into my short short posts. On the other hand, I don’t have the time or patience for longer articles any more. So the nature of my blogging is somewhere in the middle, which is probably less content overall. Maybe I should get back into microblogging via my blog instead of other places. I use to post links to my blog, instead of to Twitter.
3. Ubiquitous content. I’m slowly rekindling my love of manually duplicating posts and my own content – I run/ran some automatic piping from one source to another, partly to save time and partly to fulfill my bastard database normalisation mindset. I still feel bad if I know someone follows me on multiple channels and there’s the risk they’ll see them same thing twice. BE CANONICAL dammit. no, etc.
4. Kids, obviously.
Oddly, lack of comments or engagement is not a particular influence on my blogging activity. I just like to write.