Is Blogging Dead? Or, the Psychology of Blogging, Part II

Mayberry Mom and I were discussing this question a while back, a conversation that was sparked by a post by Gwen Bell that proclaimed “Blogging is Dead (And Here Is Why).” Now, before anyone gets all huffy, I do actually agree with a lot of what Gwen has to say.

But no, I do *not* think blogging is dead.

First, let’s look at history. When radio boomed, everyone said print was dead. When television boomed, everyone said radio was dead. When cable boomed, everyone said broadcast was dead. When the internet was teeming with crappy sites that no one could find, along came Google. And last I checked, they were still publishing something like 30,000 books a day.

Just like anything else, all these forms of media evolved. Just like blogging is evolving.

Now, I see Gwen’s point about trimming the fat. IF you want to gain readership on a specific topic, that is. Blogging, to me at least, can be about anything you want it to be, and that is one of the major beauties of it.

When I did my guest stint over at Izzy’s , I talked about how fascinated I was with the how’s and why’s of Blogging. Also, why do people put what pieces of technology into their blog? Because, to me, a blog is a living, breathing diary. Sure, it’s the words and voice of the author, but it is also the technology that drives it. Which, like anything else, change and evolves.

Gwen says she spends more time on Twitter than she does on her blog. I first added Twitter to Greeblemonkey because I liked the way Secret Agent Josephine was using it to give mini-updates on Baby Bug all day long. The little fun things that that we do that aren’t worth a whole post. But now that I can follow Henry Rollins, I will admit I venture over to read everyone updates more often than ever before. It’s different than blogging to me, though. Little snippets of life. And just as anyone’s blog – some are more entertaining to me than others.

But while Twitter enchants me, Meebo does not. I am nothing if not a mix of opposites and have recently joked that if I was not too old for a tattoo, the ying yang symbol would be perfect for me. (Except that I think the ying yang symbol is fugly). My point is, I am an extrovert AND an introvert. And while I love email, text messages, blogging and Twitter – chatting feels intrusive. So, my Meebo account sits there gathering dust.

Which brings me to MySpace. The Hooters of the world wide web. As someone commented here before, THE GLITTER! Oh my, all that fucking GLITTER! James at work informs me that the new art form is to see how fugly people can make their MySpace… and I think I have seen ALL the winners. I grabbed my name on MySpace, but also do nothing about it because the graphic designer in me can’t stand the thought of actually representing myself in that P.O.S.-looking site. Um, but that’s just me.

Not that Facebook is all that and a bag of chips. But at least it’s clean. And I can throw food. Maybe I am getting old, but I just understand Facebook better. Not much, but better. If MySpace is Hooters, at least Facebook is Applebee’s. I still am not sure what it does for my blog, other than remind people that I exist… but Oh The Joys made me sign up and I do what she says.

My point being, all these technologies are extensions of blogging to me, rolling in some extra spicy social networking and a dash of chain letter. I remain fascinated with which new hot thing a blogger may embrace and roll into their site, or migrate to. Evolve into.

Yes. I realize some of the thrust of Gwen’s post may lie in the area of readership, numbers, advertisers, and – yes – making money. And I will admit, dear friends, that I am considering, at this very moment – GASP! – adding BlogHer ads to this blog. I ripped the Google ads off when I redesigned because they were fugly (see, aesthetics are big with me… morals – not so much). But whether this blog actually makes me cash doesn’t matter to me (much).

Because I love this little corner of cyberspace. As I was telling the Mile High Mama’s the other day, it’s like therapy for me. I get to express myself and you help me figure shit out. And I don’t have to pay you $100 an hour.

And I know that was also part of what Gwen was talking about. Writing for the sake of writing. Talking for the sake of expression. Sharing because… Well, just ’cause!

And that, my friends, is most of all why blogging is most definitely *not* dead.


P.S. Gwen had a follow-up post called “Long Live Blogging” to further her thoughts. Maybe she and I can go in together on that ying-yang tattoo?

This article has 17 comments

  1. Anonymous

    great post.

    and I hate myspace too.

  2. Sarah

    I need to check out Twitter!

  3. ali

    exactly…blogging is cheaper than therapy. bwah!

  4. Oh, The Joys

    Oh, how I twist your arm. You were the one that got me twittering!!

    And Facebook? What is with all the poking anyway?

  5. Sizzle

    i am frightened by twitter. i won’t even go check it out. i only use my space for the band connections (i swear!) and facebook still confuses me.

    i didn’t even know blogging was dead or dying or whatever.

  6. mayberry

    Ooh, love all this juicy opinion — thank you!

    I’m back to not panicking that I am going to lose my job because the whole web will turn into myspace. I figure in order for all these social networking sites to survive, someone has to be creating content for everyone else to rank/link to/make fun of, right?

  7. aimee / greeblemonkey

    LMAO Dd.

    And Ali, totally – 😉

    OTJ, I was highly amused by your first Twitter though.

    Sizzle, do not taunt Happy Fun Twitter.

    And Mayberry, no way jose.

  8. Doodaddy

    I used to think I was Bryan — now I think I’m you. (And admit it, you’ve never seen both of *us* in a room at the same time, have you?)

    Totally. Facebook yes, My Space gross. Twitter the baby’s accomplishments yes, Meebo blech.

  9. soccer mom in denial

    Hooter’s v. Applebee’s.

    I can’t stop snickering over that.

    However this was an excellent post. Not that I know what Meebo is….

  10. painted maypole

    I’ve learned more about all sorts of technologies in just this one post.

    I registered for myspace, and have never looked at my site again. It’s just not for me. So, I never even bothered to check out Facebook.

    But blogging. It can’t die. I just arrived. The party is only getting started. 🙂

  11. Alpha DogMa

    I don’t care if blogging is dead or dying or haunting frat boys and torturing them in a hostel in Europe.

    Mostly I just keep my head down when it comes to this navel gazing stuff. I didn’t start blogging for the politics or the cache or to brand myself (who the fuck does that, really) or the chance to sell my wares (such as they are) or the wares of others (pay per post is so annoying). I blog for fun. I blog to laugh and to make others laugh and to connect with others. My needs are simple.

    The myspace page with my blogger name is occupied by a Fairfax Virginia based heavy metal band…and their site is fugly.

  12. sue

    I’ve got facebook, but am not sure I really ‘like’ it much…

    I can’t think blogging is dead, tho’. I’ve only been with it three years and it seems with each year I get more comfortable with it and seem to be finding more blog-friends. I’m always amazed at the quality of writing that is out there and can’t see it will ever stop. The little Twitter blurbs just don’t do it for me…

  13. Anonymous

    It’s fun to watch things “evolve!”

  14. Anonymous

    Great post! My motto about the internet, “if you don’t like it, don’t read it!” I really don’t care why you put it there in the first place.

    That said, I do like your blog and all the tech toys you’ve added (although it’s not as fun as I thought it would be to be poked-teehee).

    I NEED to see the plaid green Vans though-picture please!

  15. Nadine

    I love this post! I agree with you all the way. I have to check out Twitter. I’ve heard about it, but I would only use it, if I can incorporate it in my blog.

  16. Mitch McDad

    great post aimee. I blog because I like to write and I find it to be a great escape, just as writing fiction is for me. All the other ad on stuff seem to be coming at us exponentially and I’m having trouble keeping up. I still don’t rvn know how twitted works. Facebook is where I go when I’m really bored. Its my new cyber-pacifier, and that’s got to be better than looking for porn–I just don’t want to be “that” guy.

    Now I guess I have to go see what twitter is all about. Shit.

  17. gwen bell

    Thanks for posting this, Aimee.

    Thinking about blogging as therapy is definitely one way to go about blogging. I used to blog as cathartic release. I think it does some people some good.

    It is probably a bit more masculine to think about my blog in terms of providing value to my readers, but that is how I think of it now. As a person with a number of interests (a Scanner, in Barbara Sher’s book), I have been working on honing my focus for my blog, while writing about “whatever, whenever” on twitter.

    I’ve been pretty surprised by the number of responses to my initial post–“Blogging is Dead.” It was written to be a rallying cry and to explore what I learned during blogher. I think it served its purpose. I have two blogs. My personal blog gets half as much traffic as my travel blog. So, the proof is in the pudding for me, at least. Focus gets results. But blogging as therapy is fun. 🙂

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