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I'm not a Southern Beauty,
I'm not an Eastern rose;
I'm just a lil' Western Gal
With freckles on her nose.

Monday, June 21

The Nature and Ultimate Decline of Blogging?

Hi donkey frens! If you've followed this blog for any length of time, or any of my older blogs, you know I am prone to thinking I can feel various "vibes." This vibe-catching leads me to believe personal blogging as we know it may be in a decline.

I do not have a Facebook account and don't intend to get one. I was using Twitter, and then began to feel uncomfortable with how much time and attention it was taking. This led me to re-examine how I feel about the whole online experience: Is it just (1) frivolous and ultimately empty, (2) a true way to connect, or (3) something in the middle?

Humans are not known for moderation. I think online lives ping-pong back and forth between choices 1 and 2, above. Choice 3 tends to be left out, in part because of the very nature of online interaction. You snooze, you lose. You miss a post, or stop tweeting for a few days, or don't update your status or stop replying on forum threads, and you are quite quickly forgotten.

I am not faulting this behavior: it's a lot like having a neighbor you get along with, but they move...or a roommate who moves...or frens up at your summer vacation area who stop coming to their cabin in the summer...when the commonality is removed, the relationship is discontinued. It cannot stand without the structure that was an intrinsic part of it. It's a "shipboard" friendship. That's neither good nor bad; it just is.

So it may be with the online world and the blogging world. If someone in effect "moves away" by dropping out of view, it guts the connection. It's not like you can just walk next door and see how your neighbor is doing, or give a quick call on the cell, or know that you will run into them at the grocery store at the summer place. They are simply gone from your sphere. And if they return, the feeling of community, of friendship, must be rebuilt. If they repeatedly appear and disappear, self-interest might dictate that it's not all that safe to try to maintain a link with them.

Blogging takes considerable devotion. Some people are happy with using what I regard as shortcuts to a feeling of community -- participating in this or that "theme" or "meme" or other structured posting schedule about a particular subject. But that builds numbers, not community. If someone runs out of vintage redos or new dishes or the like, they don't participate, and they won't be a part of the group any longer, either.

But that might not be as negative as it seems. If someone is looking for a very light way to interact, it would not be upsetting to "drop out" of a loosely knit community. But some folks out in the bloggie world are quite lonely and quite isolated in life, and I do worry about them. People aren't known for altruism. If someone can't "keep up" by offering what others want, they get left behind, many times. They offer up their lil' crumb of interaction, and it isn't even noticed. Sometimes it's even sneered at. Not too many angels in the bloggie world, just as there aren't in the real world. When we happen across one, we are grateful. 

My point, long in coming, is that it's easier to feel you are part of a community through these newer means of interaction -- Twitter, Facebook -- than to do so through the blog world. I don't think it's any truer a connection, or less of a connection. It's an easier connection, and people tend to like easy. I think we will see fewer and fewer "personal" blogs -- blogs meant to just be like a coffee klatch sort of thing.

The bar has been set higher and higher and higher in terms of immediacy, too, and blogs lag on that. A post a day isn't immediate enough. It's rush, rush, rush, this is NOW, five seconds ago is passe. The beast must be fed, constantly! Just as people are uninterested in reading news that happened even 3 days ago, they are uninterested in the flotsam and jetsom of previous posts. Some blogs have valuable archives; most don't. It's not their nature. Websites tend to be more "storage" areas for valuable content.

Enter Twitter. One way around it is to put Twitter on yer bloggie, or have a Tumblr blog, which is basically yer Twitter feed in a nice form. But then yer back at the beginning of the puzzle again: Too much time and effort on something ultimately ephemeral?

So here's a Big Hilda - by artist Duane Bryers - fer a cheerful end to an overly long post. Dig her flour sack 2-piece -- I'd pay good money fer one, only I'm not sure flour came in the size of sack I'd need:

27 bloggie frens have visited the Comment Corral:

  • Mary at Deep South Dish

    Haha, I KNOW for sure flour sack doesn't come in the size I now find myself needing!!! Looks like Hilda might need to hike her britches up a bit herself.

    Very insightful post Holly. I have a lot I could say about the "community" of blogging, but I'd best keep my mouth shut lest I place my foot into it.

  • OldeAnniePrimitives

    It's funny you should write about this as I'm feeling that way myself. Blogging has reached it's hayday and I'm feeling the downswing. I, myself, no longer feeling the urge to blog or even to visit. Although, when I visit YOU, I make sure to go back to where I last visited. And I'm not as quick to comment anymore. My posts are fewer and farther in between. I DO have a facebook page, but basically use it to keep up with family back east. And that's seldom, as well. Very interesting....this insight! :) ~~Annie

  • debbie


  • Doris Sturm

    It's "funny" (not har, har, funny) but interesting, that you should write this post because I have been pondering that very subject. I think a lot of older people blog because it takes a lot of us older people a little longer to catch up (or get the hang) of new stuff and we tend to not make changes easily. I'm not a big Twitterer, but have finally submitted (after a long stretch of refusal) to joining facebook and as you said: it is quite convenient. I was actually impressed to find some of my family members (including Germany) on there and am beginnign to wonder if you could reach God Himself on facebook too...

    I do, however, spend too much time on the computer because I feel obligated to visit all my followers and comment (after reading everything) and that takes time and committment. I must say I have 92 followers and that's almost more than I can handle (not that all 92 visit me regularly)...still, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.

    But, when I didn't have internet for a while, I did miss my blogging buddies - my regulars! - and was glad to discover that someone out there seemed to care! I'm sure eventually it would have fizzled off if I quit blogging altogether, but it's true: I often wonder, who would notify any one of us if something were to happen with another blogging buddy - who would think to notify "followers" like next of kin - nobody! Here today - gone tomorrow - it's the virtual world. It's fikle and fleeting, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts. I do find a great support system in my blogging buddies and have met some very nice ladies this way ;-)

    I really wish I could visit some of them in person...take a trip and just plan a visit - that's what I would like to do - I heard it said that if a realationship stops growing, it dwindles away because everything must grow, all things change - evolve; thus with blogging! Only time will tell.
    Thanks for this very interesting fuel for thought. I enjoyed it!

  • GrandmaK

    I agree. That being said, I miss those I visit on a regular basis when they are away. In some ways this avenue of communication has offered me insights into the world around me through the eyes of others. Thank you for this post for I think I needed to reflect on the Blogging I do! Wishing you well! Cathy

  • Carmen C.

    I agree with all you said, and I really don't write my blog for *others* pleasure anymore, but I like to go back through my posts and I can instantaneously see what I was doing on May 3rd of last year, if I happened to post that day, so I do it more for me now. I don't use facebook and have no desire to, I'm too old fashioned, I would sooner pick up the phone and just call someone:) Love the Hilda, and would love to explore that old house too;)

  • AkasaWolfSong

    Well, you've certainly given us food for thought Holly! I do not do Facebook...I had caught a nasty virus on Facebook earlier this year which totally wiped out my hard drive so I will not ever use it again. I am still missing things on my computer which cannot be put to rights without me spending big money.
    As for blogging I do what I am able to do when I am able to do it. I love being able to share from my heart and I connect with others for the same reason. I realize all of us lead busy lives and especially during the summer months. Yes, we do worry about our bloggy frens and rightly so. I have recently realized I may need to trim my reading list as I get so caught up in reading I forget to put up my own stuff, lol.
    Anywho...Hilda's looking good in her flour sack and thanks for sharing all of these with us. I wish you a Happy Summer Solstice too! Stay cool, be happy, and breathe peace!
    Bright Blessings! :)

  • Holly, the Old Western Gal

    A quick note -- I am NOT criticizing those using Facebook -- just too ol' a donkey to change my ways and embrace it fer some reason.

  • Beansieleigh

    Hi Holly! LOVED this post, and the Hilda pic! I have definitely been MIA for a while. I have been so busy with so many things, that it's enough to drive me crazy; but then I doubt it would be quite enough to entertain or even remotely amuse any reader(s) who may stop by my little blog! From time to time, it gets frustrating to me too, that I must rely upon the low-quality, dysfunctional camera that I've got!.. But STILL, I started my blog NOT with the intention to ONLY entertain everybody else! It started because I had hoped it would serve as more of a journal.. a therapeutic and fulfilling experience, with maybe a few "A-ha" moments that might open my eyes and clarify life for me a little better.. Craft-wise, I had hoped to inspire, and BE inspired.. Of course, I also thought it was a great way to keep distant family members up-to-date, and I had hoped to make a few new friends in this new venture. It's a great blessing to me that I've done just that!.. and now I have TWO blogs!.. But I agree. We are quickly forgotten when we don't post.. nothing but a spec in the rear view mirror, if even that, to most! I am grateful for those who do stop by and say "Hey, where've you been? Is everything o.k.?!".. Now THAT'S a friend! THAT matters!.. NOT the number of followers, NOT the number of comments, and not even the events (fun as they often can be!) I have not yet succumbed to the forces of Facebook and Twitter as of YET. I feel very leery about so MANY strangers, and just feel more comfortable, I guess, right here where I am, in Blogland... Well, that aside, hope you enjoyed your weekend, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead! I don't know about your neck of the woods, but the weather is definitely getting warmer around here again! We've got ALL the fans running! ((hugs)) ~tina

  • ~~Carol~~

    Great post Holly! I'm finding it very hard to stay interested in blogging, once it becomes nice outside. And I wish I hadn't become a follower of so many blogs. I find myself popping in to my favorites, like yours, and that's about it. It just takes too much time! And I will never ever join Facebook, because I really don't care to know what someone had for dinner, or all of the other trivial cr*p that alot of people write about on there! Sorry, but that felt good to get out!
    Happy Monday!

  • sallypaper

    Lots of good food for thought in your words today Holly. I don't feel obliged in post everyday on my blog. I've just got too much to do! And I started my blog most to prove I could "just do it" and share things happening in my lil' ole life. I usually don't have anything earth-shattering or crafty going on but I wish I finished more of my projects. I use Facebook mostly to daily quick-connect with friends and family with pics of the kiddos. Oh well, enuf of my's hot and stormy today and everyone is tired and restless after a busy weekend. You take good care Holly. Smiles, Sally

  • Debra

    I agree with you Holly- if you don't post constantly the connection is lost. I am on Facebook but I will admit I really don't like being there- people link up with each other never to be heard from again- it has all been for promotion purposes.
    I love big Hilda- wonder if her top says"sugar"!

  • Anvilcloud

    Hilda's end is quite an end to your post.

    My blog connections have, for the most part, circulated a few times: people come and people go. That's okay for me because I write mostly just for the exercise of writing and also of keeping a record of my journey. The fact that it will be read, even by a few, keeps me at it. Otherwise, I don't think I would get around to writing at all. In other words, the social connection is nice and helps me to write, but it's kind of secondary in a way. I think many female bloggers do write primarily for the social connection, so I can see why the coming and going could cause some concern.

    I think many women

  • Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space

    Good heavens dear, when did you start letting us comment again? I thought you were just posting and didn't want the back and forth? Well, glad to see you are back. As to the post above, blogging seems to be alot like life to me. The more demanding someone is the less satisfaction they get out of things. And the less people want to come by. You are always so giving and so you will always have visitors if you want them. You have a fun time with your blog and that is what is important. Love your humor and I think your kindness and smiles are what will attract true fun and friends. Gratitude is the key to feeling joy and I really think we are all lucky if we have even two friends that stop in. I think of it like having people you just love to fall into laughs with them after not seeing them for awhile. Like you, always feel like you know you are cared for and welcome at my blog and I am at yours. No demands, no requirements, like meeting someone on the street after a time had passed and you say, "Hey! Are you free? Yep, I have the afternoon off! Well, then come on over for some lemonade and let's catch-up!" You know what I mean? This was an interesting post. Got me thinking;) Enjoy the day dear one! Blessings.

  • Faith


    What is left to has been covered. When
    I first started the blogging business...I wanted to be like all the other "in blogs" have lots of visitors and see how many followers etc...It was all about me. That was then....

    I have come to appreciate those who stop by, even 1 or 2, make an acquaintance and begin an electronic pen pal .. It is about giving and receiveing. I found it difficult to keep up with the contests,meme's etc, and for me it took the fun out of blogging and turned it into another thing I had to do on a particular day. It soon lost it's luster. So I shortened things up a bit,and tried to go more simple and not move with the fray...I am a happier blogger...I am a regular for a few, and have a few is good enough for me. Hilda...where does she find those flour sacks...I dare say I would need a 25#
    for me...maybe more....have a good day.. Hot here today in Ohio 88 degrees...good for the garden...

  • Linda in New Mexico

    Wow, I really am from another planet. I blog because I do. I don't care if anyone else enjoys what I do, because I do it for me and mine. The grands get a big kick out of "starring" in things we do. I enjoy laughing at myself and keeping track of what insanity we are up to.
    I am not immune to folks coming and going but we all do in life, in blog, in this existance. I guess I just am from another planet....I enjoy it while I can. If I can make someone else laugh, yay for them, if I can make someone think, yay for them. If I feel good or bad about what someone says, yay for least I'm feeling. I do care if I have followers but it isn't why I blog. As for Munching Monday, Threatening Thurday....uh, not so much. Don't have alot, don't need to flaunt it. Yeah I get that part but I'm just having fun....cuz like Hildie, girl's just wanna have fun.

  • Amrita

    Another thoughful post from you Holly.

    I blog for relationships , this is my friend s network, a place I can interacxt with other, pray for others and ask for prayer. I also want to share about my life , work, country and stuff on my mind. I could compose a post every day but I don 't. Sometime s I find it difficult to keep up with daily bloggers.BUT CERTAINLY NOT YOU. This is my relaxing place. Those are the more heavy blogs. Some of the blogger may update only a few times a month or less than that but I don 't mind.

    I have a facebook account where I have found many long lost Christian friends. I ignorer total strangers.

    I have to see Hilda dressed in a flour sack next.

  • NancyD

    Well Holly, I think everyone has said it really well. I also blogged for my own reasons, starting out to journal our trip across the States to Ohio and share it with family. I don't have enough to share on a daily basis but like to change it up with how I feel, crafts, recipes, just sharing who I am. My biggest fans aren't followers...they are family who keep in contact with me and nobody but me even knows they have been visiting. I have met a lot of wonderful people through blogging, some not so wonderful too! But I love to visit some regularly and just have fun, I don't want to feel like it's a job....then the fun would be out of it. As for Facebook...I wouldn't be there if I wasn't addicted to a game on there! LOL Like I have time for that!
    I really hope that blogging isn't dying out, it's a wonderful way to connect with people with the same interests and get to know others so different and so far away. The world is full of the most incredible people and this is a small insight into a few. I appreciate all your devotion to it and hope you keep it up, I love to visit you. Now - how else would we have "met"??

  • Tabitha@ichoosebliss

    Holly, I fully agree with you! I no longer care about numbers. the relationships that have been built through my blog are very important to me. In blogging I've learned so much and have gained much as well.

    Thank you for being a constant in my life and heart!

  • dogsmom

    When I decided to begin blogging I had lots of ambitions. I wanted to expres opinions, make friends, and impact the world in a positive way.
    I did not realize that having a life and blogging would take more hours than I can find in a day. So, at least for the summer months, while I am trying to enjoy a life away from electronics, I am playing on my blog. Joining memes and parties, and getting to know people the way I would on a vacation. Some may turn out to be lifelong friends. Others are those you wave at when you see them. There is nothing wrong with that.
    I enjoy reading others' blogs the way I enjoy magazines. Always new content, often an inspiration for something I would like to do or try. And for now, I prefer blogs to vlogs. I want to skim or read at my own pace.

  • Knitty

    I agree with Tabitha about not caring about the numbers and that I've built relationships with ..oh wait, she was talking about blogs, not about pounds on my hips wasn't she? Or at least I hope she wasn't talking about my hips!

    I check out Facebook once a day as I have relatives who don't snail mail, email or heaven forbid...pick up the phone. Facebook is fast food and not bad once in a while, but shouldn't be your main source of internet nutrition. :)

    I haven't played along with a meme in ages because most of them have such large followings, I don't have time to visit all the participants yet I feel that I should if I am playing. The instilled politeness that tells me I should visit and comment on every meme post is at odds with the part of me that thinks "oh my, that is the ugliest, oddest or most irrelevant thing I could imagine for this meme". After 14 other people have said "my, how interesting" what do you come up with that is polite and not a repeat? ;)

  • Bernie

    Hi Holly, I think you may be right but as for me I don't think I will give up blogging ever. I have kept a journal since I was 12 and since beginning blogging the written word has been few and far between. I like sharing online. I have met so many wonderful people, to think I have been able to do this through blogging well I just couldn't give it up......I do feel I have found a niche of where I belong and that is away from many blogs I have nothing in common with but the ones I follow I truly feel them to be part of my life.
    So love big Hilda, little did he know that there are many of us who don't find her very big at all........:-) Hugs

  • Country Whispers

    Haha...Sad but true those old flour sacks wouldn't cover my behind.
    I sure hope blogging doesn't disappear. I don't care much for Twitter or Facebook. I much prefer the old blog world and all the friends that I have met as well as the wonderful knowledge that one can gain from reading great posts. (recipes, crafts, etc.)

  • Donna

    Love this latest Big Hilda! Yep, I'd need an extra large bag of flour for my outfit!

    I love blogging and will keep on with it. I don't care if it is going out of style. Pbbtttt to that! I have "virtually" met some really terrific people and it is just plain fun. The added benefit to the whole enterprise is that I've become a better photographer!

    I won't do Facebook. I've heard too many horror stories about frying your computer on it, first of all. And there are some people out in the world that, quite frankly, that I never want them to hunt me down. Ever. And as a third point, I have seen several friends get addicted to it to the point of needing psychiatric intervention. Twitter, yes, I do that. Mostly to let off steam about politics (ha!) and also to give a daily update about stuff going on in our lives (in case anybody wonders what I'm up to inbetween blogging posts).

  • Walking on Sunshine...

    Yes, I've been noticing it also and am guilty of it as well! I feel life it getting really crazy lately and it's just so much easier to post what I'm up to on Facebook.

    I find it hard to really let my feelings show lately on my blog. Some people that I know in my "real" life complain when I get too personal. They tell me to not show all my feelings on line. Seems I can't make anyone happy. I started my blog 2 years ago for me, not for anyone else. It's been a wonderful experience and I've met many friends. But find it's hard to keep up with daily posts.

    I do read most of the blogs that I follow every day, but even find it hard to to their blogs to post comments. There's so much I want to read and not enough time to comment.

    You post is very fitting and right on target!!! As usual!

  • ClassyChassy

    Read this post with interest - seems you are right on target with your thoughts on blogs. I don't care for FB or Twitter - too easy to fritter away time, and nothing else gets done. Since searching for employment, everywhere you turn folks (and employment agencies) are recommending social networking sites. I feel too much info would get out about a person's private life, and that makes me feel unsettled about the whole deal.

  • Thoughts on Life and Millinery.

    Holly, I love it when you ponder things and scratch together a point of view that can be clearly communicated. I too sense a tipping point in social networking. For many folks who get shuffled about due to work related moves, the blog or facebook is a means of staying in touch. It amazes me who doesn't read my blog, and who does...dear friends who won't and total strangers who will.

    The best feature of social networking via blogging is it allows me to get insight into other people's worlds and then I care about their space on the planet...their weather, their economy, health issues etc.

    BTW..I count your posts as a bright moment in my day.

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