Having an online business for more than decade has been a constant exercise in learning and adjusting to new technology. I’m usually pretty quick to accept and adapt, with of course a few exceptions (SnapChat). More often than not, the advancements improve things and I get used to them so fast that I never look back (MySpace). The one exception to this is what has happened to blogs. I started reading blogs close to when they began, back in the livejournal “emo” days of blogging. I started my own blog in the early 2000’s, although thanks to many platform changes, I have no record of anything before 2006 (thank goodness). Besides changing platforms, I have had a handfuls of URLs, names and topics I covered, but I have for the most part just done it because I like to write. About a year ago, you may remember that I decided to finally split the Manic Trout blog off and regrouped as a “life style” blog so that I wasn’t hurting the brand by rambling on about things like deep thoughts and exercise.
Well, when this happened, I began spending more time thinking about what I wanted to write here than actually posting. I thought a great deal about how blogs have become mini magazines. I thought about that I did not want to write articles that fit in with an editorial calendar. That this was a space that I intentionally kept removed from business simply because I enjoyed writing as a hobby. I then started to get really upset because I noticed in my own blog reader, where I gather and read my favorite blogs, that all of the bloggers whom I have followed for years and years because I loved their writing, had stopped blogging. Mainly because they were tired of having to integrate products into their posts in order to earn a living writing, and because oddly, most people who read blogs complain about them doing this. (which is wildly unfair by the way, if you want to read free content, then you have to deal with ads, or your are literally starving bloggers). But they also stopped due to their own burn out over writing constantly on such specific topics. SO anyway, this made me feel like blogging was dead as I knew and loved it and I didn’t really know what to do about this. I am a tiny bit comforted in knowing that I am not alone in these feelings though. The biggest testament to this is the Times article written almost exactly one year ago today.
In the midst of all of these feels, three different people sent me messages that they loved to read what I wrote. This made me fee warm and fuzzy inside and again remind myself that I really enjoy writing and in this non business space, I can do whatever I want. I do not have to have a topic that I obsess over and focus on, that if I want, I can just ramble on. This is not a monotized blog, I have no one to really answer to, so here I am, returning to ramble mode and sharing my thoughts as they tumble out. If however, you take away one important thought from this post, it’s that I miss the bloggers who wrote for the sake of writing, whose words I read every day for so many years that I still crave their thoughts, and I swear that there is an emptiness in the bloggersphere without them.
Before I sign off, I want to share this info graphic that I found about the evolution of bloggers, as it illustrates this evolution so well is cute.