Blogging; What's changed in 5 years?

>> Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The lovely Iota over at 'The Iota Quota' wrote last week about the changes she's seen in blogging over the five years she's been doing it and invited some 'bloggers who've been around a while' to share their thoughts on this one.

That's nice, I thought.  Until I realised I was on the list.  'Been around a while'? How very dare you, Iota;  I am but a spring chicken.  Surely I only started blogging in the last year or so?  Except... I was definitely blogging before we came to Russia, and that's nearly 3 years ago.  And I was blogging before Boy #1 started school - and that's 4 years ago.  And in fact, I was blogging when Boy #2 hit 18 months old which is - oh, dammit.  More than 5 years ago.

OK, you've got me.  I am an old, venerable, and be-whiskered blogger.  Pass me the tweezers, somebody, but in the meantime, what's changed in 5 years?  I'm guessing you're not going to just accept it if I write: 'What Iota said'?  (Because honestly, she covers more or less everything I would have written, it's just that she puts it better.)  Let's see...

You'll have to bear with me - because I'm so old and be-whiskered, my memory is not what it used to be...

Posts have got shorter, I think.  I'm not sure if we've got better at saying what we want to and then stopping (one of the best pieces of advice I've ever read about writing), or if instead that those of us who have been doing this for a while have worked through our issues (on our blogs, obviously) and now find our urge to share less compelling.  Or maybe it's just that I self-edit on the blogs I read; there are so many more out there than there than there used to be (look at that - I just seamlessly segued into my next point - that's because I'm such an experienced blogger, donchaknow...) that if I'm to have any hope of keeping up with them all I have to select them carefully.

There seem to be less 'car-crash' blogs out there.  By which I mean, blogs that contain such dreadful situations for the writer that you can't bear to look away.  Whilst this may also be down to that pesky self-editing on my reader list, I actually think that some of the people who did this now use Twitter and FaceBook etc to share their pain, and the others - well, they worked it through on their blog.  (I always say that blogging is the cheapest form of therapy I ever found).  But perhaps it's also that people are getting wise to the fact that once they put something 'out there' on the internet, like it or not it's there for good - so they decide not to publish.

Which leads me onto the fact that there appear to be fewer 'anonymous' blogs out there.  Once upon a time we (and I include myself in this) naively believed such a thing was really possible.  As if.  Nowadays though, I think many of us have faced up to the fact that if you blog more than once a twice, you are probably going to have to 'fess up to it for a number of reasons, such as;


  • People want to know just what it is you're up to when you spend all your time tip-tapping away on the lap-top. 
  • They now know about blogs (it's no longer seen as the underground activity of choice for nerds who never go out - no, really, it isn't!) so if they get the merest hint that you have one, they want to know all about it
  • If you refuse to tell them which yours is, they have also become more savvy on google to find you, blast it.
  • Blogging can lead to proper, paid employment.  Even - gasp - outside the home, with coffee breaks and everything, so it's no longer uncool to include it on your cv.
  • It can lead to fun opportunities and to great friendships (mind you, that hasn't changed - it was always that way)
  • If you've been doing it for a while you develop a sense of pride in your accomplishments, and if you're a normal human being and not a saint the urge to shout 'Look what I did!'- especially when you reach some significant number like, say, 1000 posts (cough) - can become overwhelming.  Blogging becomes not just something you have to admit to, but something that that you want to talk about.


I could go on but obviously, being so venerable and everything I have lost my train of thought.  Also, I realise that to carry on any longer totally negates my point about posts nowadays being short, so I will take that piece of advice I mentioned earlier and now that I've said what I wanted to, I will stop.


9 comments:

Expat mum 2 October 2012 at 19:08  

Oh sh*t, that reminds me, I need to do that post.
I might just put a link in to this one ;-)

Expat mum 2 October 2012 at 19:12  

PS. It's the Iota Quota these days? Remember? Oh, no you don't do you?

Iota 3 October 2012 at 10:21  

Ah, so you originally said "Not wrong, just different" did you? THAT dates you!

You're spot on, on all points. Yes, blog posts are shorter. I hadn't realised, but you're right. I agree - either we're more efficient at wittering, or blogging is less therapeutic in nature than it used to be. Maybe it's also because we're all getting shorter attention spans. Twitter, and all that.

By the way, no, I didn't mean you to tag other people. It's so long since I did a post with a tag, that I obviously didn't remember quite what that meant. I'm now trying to think what I should have said. "I'm inviting other bloggers to have their say" or something like that (sounds a bit pompous, though).

Tim Atkinson 3 October 2012 at 10:49  

What a fascinating post! In response I immediately checked my own 'puerile witterings (Daily Mail) to find that my first post hit the ether on April 14th 2008... meaning I'm not that far behind you all. And do you know how many page views it received? 6. Yes, 6. Mind you, the second post (according to the stats) only got one. (Thanks, mum!). So what's changed? Well, that has (obviously) but I also notice an increasing use of audio-visual technology. Some of the best blogs now are more like mini multi-media websites, with podcasts, video, audio streaming, animation and a whole host of other things I know nothing about (but wish I did). What a lot has changed!

Muddling Along 3 October 2012 at 17:04  

I think it goes in cycles - there are weeks when I seem to see nothing but endless sponsored posts out there and that frankly bores me

I also wonder if the bloggers I follow are, like me, older and moving on and so their blogs are doing the same - evolve to survive?

Potty Mummy 3 October 2012 at 18:00  

EPM, thankyou - for the heads-up about the change of blog name for Iota (I DID know but - well - had forgotten), and the mention in your own post on this.

And Iota, curses, I was found out...

Tim, it's scary to look back, isn't it?

MA, I think you're right - we are definitely evolving to survive.

Adventures of a Middle-aged Matron 3 October 2012 at 19:20  

Fascinating summary. Being a not-quite-year-old blogger who had no idea what a blog was last summer it's interesting to glean how it used to be.

nappy valley girl 4 October 2012 at 16:00  

I agree with all of that. Well put. Not sure what I'm going to write in my post now!

Potty Mummy 5 October 2012 at 07:09  

Adventures - I'm not sure it's changed that much. Good writing still needs to be at the heart of it.

NVG - will wait with interest to find out!

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