Because life is a series of edits

The Report of Blogging’s Death Is an Exaggeration

In Internet, Technology on January 27, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Is blogging dead? Several people have asked me this question over the past week, presumably having read one or another article claiming it to be. The argument goes that social networking services (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, et. al.) are replacing the impersonal(?) nature of blogs, and that bigger news/corporate blogs are filling the need/desire for an opinionated blogosphere. In essence, they say, the curtain is dropping on blogging, and personal bloggers are just in denial concerning the inevitable.

I started blogging in August of 2003, mostly for the purpose of providing semi-fresh content for twenty-somethings visiting what was then the official TwentySomeone book site. While I don't have numbers, I do know Doug Serven (my co-author) and I had a lot of good conversations with a lot of different folks for several years. Over time, however, and in preparing to go to seminary in early 2005, I wanted to write for a broader audience than just those in their twenties, so we shut down the blog and called it done.

I took a six-month blogging hiatus, which was nice in many ways, but I missed the writing "deadlines" as well as the reader interaction. Upon starting seminary in June of 2005 – in the midst of learning to be a graduate student and having to do so with Beginning Greek – I began an anonymous third-person blog called Seminary Tychicus for the purpose of chronicling my first two years as a full-time seminary student (there, I confessed and the secret's out – it was me – as if anybody cares now…or did then).

The Tychicus blog began as a pseudo-creative way to journal (writing about yourself in third-person is an interesting exercise), but quickly morphed into a form of personal therapy for dealing with some of my insecurities honestly (and often humorously). I didn't allow comments and only sent the link to a few friends, but others (many new seminary students themselves) came across the site and seemed to resonate, sending an email every now and then to say so. It was fun sharing my schizophrenia.

I regret not ending that blog well – I just stopped writing around the middle of April of 2007, presumably because of the month-long push of finishing the semester, and never came back to it. By then, however, I was already 16 months overlapped with the Second Drafts blog, which I began in June of 2006 for the purpose of writing as "me" and interacting with folks again. Keeping two blogs was also a great diversion from Hebrew (the language I was studying that summer…and failed twice), but now that I think about it, perhaps keeping two blogs was too much of a diversion. But I digress.

Now almost three years into Second Drafts, I suppose I've entertained thoughts of letting this one go to seed as well; after all, it's about that time in terms of my nearly-seven-year blogging history and career. Since transitioning platforms from WordPress to TypePad last month, my readership here is down, as are the number of folks willing to comment and interact. Still, I find too much enjoyment sitting down every couple of days to think through something – albeit ever so minimally – by writing about it.

If you're a semi-regular reader of this blog, you know its title is intentional in that what I write is (usually) readable and a step above crap, yet also very much in process and not quite publishable "as is." This is how I've always thought personal blogging should be – not drudgery to read, but not definitive in its importance, either – and that's how I'll continue to blog (if I continue to blog) in the future.

So is blogging dead? I suppose, like everything else having to do with technology, it's fading, but I enjoy it enough to maintain the fantasy that people still care enough about ideas to read some of mine. When they stop caring or when I stop thinking (or some combination of the two), I suppose I'll move on to something else, but I doubt it will be the Twitter route. I'm just not that interested in trying to make myself that interesting.
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  1. A step above crap. I like that, and I admire your high aspirations. Keep it coming.

  2. If you get to “almost dead” and need mouth to mouth give me a call.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, Leura…and Mitchell (I think).

  4. Hey, you’ve got to keep it up. I’m still out here reading, ever since Scribbling, circa 2003! I’ve enjoyed watching you progress in life, career, and family!

  5. I appreciate your blog. It gives me something to think about besides work . . . and it is how I found you and was able to re-establish contact!! Thanks for your time, effort and thoughts.

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