Social networking websites, like Twitter and Facebook killed the blogging community. It is not difficult to find these sentiments, as they are prevalent throughout the blogging community. The once tight-knit, active communities of bloggers have splintered into Facebook fan pages, tweets, or short 140 character posts.
I admit it. Facebook and Twitter have replaced much of my blog content. I have reconnected with high school, college, sorority, childhood friends, former co-workers, and family friends. Do not get me wrong, it has been worthwhile. Nonetheless, in the process, I have not been consistent with blogging here or even commenting on other blogs.
I spent some time this weekend trying to reconnect with some of my bloggy friends and found several abandon websites. Sadly, many of my once devout blogging friends have deserted their blogs. Some webpages were nothing more than 404 errors or “page not found,” while others had not been updated since well before last summer.. In fact, much of my Facebook friend’s list includes the authors of some of those phenomenally written blogs that have been MIA from their blogs or blogs GONE.
Instead of an beautifully written, exciting race report, running friends have condensed their achievements into blurbs like, “Just finished the New York Marathon. Now, off for some breakfast.” Mommy Bloggers major milestones worthy of an entire blog post are truncated into, “Johnny went poo in the potty! Hooray!” It is not that I want specific details of bowel movements of children throughout the world. I miss the intimate connections between like-minded bloggers sharing in a seemingly, more personal way.
In visiting some of these blogs, I found many blog posts, with their authors lamenting, “I really need to get off Facebook and blog more.” I can relate. My blog has been in some desperate need of face time. I miss the witty stories, inspirational posts, and intellectual commentary that cannot be abstracted into a paraphrase or two of 140 character repertoire.
Curious what “the internets” had to say about the subject, I found numerous Google results on the subject. Jon Lund, a interactive media blogger wrote a post in Spring 2009, examining this specific topic. He does a great job summing up some of the popular sentiments out there in the blogging community. The jig is up. There is no mistaking that the blogging world has been much less verbose.
I know there are cane wielding, elderly folk that will wag their fingers and shake their heads, bewailing the “long-lost art of letter writing.” “In my day, you put a stamp on your well-thought out letter, carefully handwritten on scented stationary, and THEN, you mailed letters. Phooey on e-mail.” In this digital age, those letters on paper risk the yellowing, degradation of age, (to say nothing of the deforestation of our rain forests and trees that have wasted our precious resources), stamps are expensive, mail is slow, our memories are preserved much longer and conversation much more instantaneous, through digital media, such as e-mail, texts, tweets, video messages, phone calls, and instant messages. A heartfelt letter holds as much meaning as a honest and wholehearted outpouring in e-mail. Some elements in our electronic culture take very little from our traditions. Some deplete more than others. Social Networking certainly has taken as much as it has given. I am sure the advent of television left some radio listeners nostalgic. Technology often begets new burdens, responsibilities, and regrets. Sometimes, technology changes our culture in big, meaningful ways.
The past month, I have scaled back my time on those blog killing, social-networking sites and have successfully blogged for 26 straight days. It is a huge accomplishment for me, since the social network invasion! I have enjoyed getting back to the blog and spent far less time tweeting messages such as, “MAN, I need coffee.” Yet, mostly, I have heard crickets chirping out there. It is awfully quiet in the bloggy blog world. I know, however, I need not look very far. The chatter of Twitter and Facebook is palpable, almost audible.
How has micro-blogging transformed your blog? How much time do you devote to your blog today, compared to a year ago? Two years ago? Do you miss it?
(If anyone is up for a challenge in the month of February and would like to bring their blog back, check out the National Blog Posting Month website. See if you can blog everyday. If you sign up for February, let me know, so I can follow you!)