Wednesday, December 16, 2009


A Visit from St. Nicholas,

wood engraving signed R. Roberts,

New York Mirror, 1841.

Carnegie Mellon University.

Is it just my imagination or is blogging on the decline?
Going through my favourite's list, I am appalled at the number of people who have deleted their blogs -- their words gone like the ghosts of Xmas past. And the many (like myself) who post less frequently.

I hope it is a seasonal thing -- holidays demand much of one's time and effort. A troubled economy and a troubled world also suck time from contemplation and creation.

And as the light dies toward the solstice and darkness pads closer to our windows, there may be more who huddle scentless by their hearths and who, like me, fear another Winter of the Wolves.

Perhaps Twitter - which reminds me of nothing so much as those old contests demanding an entry of "twenty-five words or less" -- is a significant factor. I can see its facile attraction, though I have not (as yet) succumbed. One can slide on superficiality as on ice, only suggesting depths beneath.

As a light in the darkness, Jason as announced another Clarity of Night contest in January, with his usual evocative and stunning photo prompt.

May your mind soar like the image.


sex scenes at starbucks said...

I think it's Facebook, actually, and the conversations there. I ran a post on my blog recently and all the discussion around it took place on Facebook. Odd.

But I'm blogging less because sometimes I just don't have good news to share or feel happy enough to share. (Husband out of work, various other minor complaints.) I'm also concentrating on my WIP more, and promoting QUENCHER. Maybe other people are writing more fiction, too. Our subs are way up at Electric Spec.

Natasha Fondren said...

Definitely, it's Facebook. I even find myself posting less, because I get my online socializing on Facebook. The conversations that used to take place in the comment sections now take place on Facebook.

And I've had blog-block lately. I used to have things to say. Now, it seems, I don't.

raine said...

Blogging's definitely down, & I'm sad to see it. For those who don't belong to writers' organizations, etc., it was a great way of networking, getting news, sharing (sorry, not into the Facebook stuff...and I have joined Twitter, but find I use it rarely).

I find myself blogging less too, but there are only so many ways I can say "I'm working on a ms, this is how it's going, & I don't really have much news". And, like Starbucks, I hate going online with depressing stuff, which has been at a premium in the past months.

I still make the rounds and enjoy visiting my favorites though.

fairyhedgehog said...

I hate Facebook, so that's never why I'm not blogging! Twitter is just a bit of fun - never a substitute for a post.

For me, it's just life getting in the way and I hope to be back to better blogging soon.

The word verification is upses but currently I'm experiencing downses.

pjd said...

I'm with SS@S and Natasha on this one.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Betsy, Natasha.
I wondered about Facebook.

Raine, we share a reluctance to repeat ourselves.

"The word verification is upses but currently I'm experiencing downses."
Fairy, seems you, me, Betsy, Natasha and Raine are not into spreading angst.

Bernita said...

PJD, looks like I'll have to check out Facebook more thoroughly.

Carla said...

Good question. Maybe blogging overshot at its peak and is now finding a natural level, maybe Twitter and Facebook are attracting some people, maybe a lot of different factors. I like the longer format of a blog post more than very short postings, myself.

BernardL said...

"And as the light dies toward the solstice and darkness pads closer to our windows, there may be more who huddle scentless by their hearths and who, like me, fear another Winter of the Wolves."

Very nice!

Steve Malley said...

Real life has impaired my own blogging/blogreading. Starting a new business and still keeping my writing schedule has *seriously* impaired my webtime...

StarvingWriteNow said...

I don't trust Facebook, so I don't do it even though I have been pestered by several friends to sign on. No thank you!

Grad school is my no-blogs excuse, and I will admit that, sadly, sometimes my life is so incredibly UNexciting that writing it down would be embarrassing, lol!

Bernita said...

Those venues so seem restrictive, Carla.

Thank you, Bernard!

Steve, those are the best of reasons.

So is grad school, SWN!

McKoala said...

Facebook's definitely an element.

Also, many of us started blogging around the same time - the Miss Snark Years. Perhaps we're a little over it? Or perhaps we have found our writing networks and these now exist both off and online, plus Facebook, which takes away some of the need to blog so much?

Bernita said...

The "middle age" factor, McKoala? You could well be right.

Whirlochre said...

That's the pace of modern day evolution for you.

Now, the infantile ADHD-era-spawned Blogger is looking down its Google-eyed nose at upstarts like Facebook and Twitter.

Whatever next?

Facebook, I'm afraid, is an irritation I was lured by misfortune to subscribe to — like a drunk you walk safely home, who then clubs you half to death and has sex with you (while fantasising about someone else).

Twitter is absurdly precocious, and I don't mind that so much.

But my blog — and those of the people I frequent twixt insubstantial quixoticisms — is where it's at for meaningful cyber-contact short of that teleporty telepathic thing. I think.

Ric said...

Blogs apparently have become passe. Everyone is migrating to Facebook - I haven't yet, seems, however, that my children and other relatives have. Perhaps something to look into, yet, I find myself spending enough time clicking from blog to blog and more time spent away from writing would be unfruitful.

As the temperature drops into the single digits, and birds huddle closer to the window panes, the nadir of light always reminds us of the unknown in the dark.

Bernita said...

"meaningful cyber-contact short of that teleporty telepathic thing. I think."

I think so too, Whirl.

Ric, have we become...sedate?

sylvia said...

I don't know anyone on twitter who doesn't blog as well, so I don't think it's that.

I think McKoala has a good point - I know a few people who have recently stopped blogging with the comment that they don't have anything to say. That never stopped them before but I think perhaps now there is more pressure to be meaningful?

Angie said...

Facebook has had security issues, and I'm not touching it. I've come to sort of get Twitter, but I'm not touching that one either because it feels like something which could become a huge time sink.

I seem to recall, though, that blogging (and journaling and forum posts and what-have-you) has always gone down in December. People are busy, shopping and baking and doing family stuff. It'll pick up again in January.

For myself, my blogging has always gone in cycles. I admire people (like you) who can post something interesting and significant on a regular schedule, but I'm not one of them, and I refuse to bang out whatever irrelevancies pass through my brain just to have A Post Today. December is looking to be one of my quieter months, at least blog-wise. I might feel chatty later, after I'm up at my mom's, or I might stay quiet (and behind on reading other people's blogs) until after we've moved in mid-January. We'll see. I'm still here, though, and I think most other people are too. :)


Scott from Oregon said...

The novelty is gone.

Now it is a tool you choose to use or not to use.

Like a screwdriver.

Bernita said...

"perhaps now there is more pressure to be meaningful?"

That's an interesting comment, Sylvia.Could you expand on it?

Angie, it's the "time sink" aspect that has held me back from exploring those venues.(Plus my post-Luddite timidity.)

Definitely a factor, Scott. Maybe a large factor. Bloggingmay no longer be NEW, FRESH, EXCITING-IN-THING-TINKER-TOY.

writtenwyrdd said...

I post on Facebook and occasionally Tweet, but I blog because I like to talk about writing. I can only invest so much time in it, however, and because I post six posts a week, generally speaking, that's a lot of time. and reading blogs is getting overwhelming because there are so many of them I like to follow.

Glad you came back to us, Bernita.

Your post makes me more inclined to do a dreaded move back to blogger with the blog, because once I quit paying for typepad, it'll disappear into the ether!

Bernita said...

Written, please, please don't let it disappear!

Anonymous said...

I think that those of us who endure will still burn bright for a while. :) There is a depth that only blogging offers. Facebook and Twitter fall very short.

Thanks for the mention!!

Gabriele C. said...

Don't worry, I'm not touching Facebook or Twitter with a five foot pole. :)

Life gets in the way of 2-3 history posts that need rsearch these days, but I try to at least post once a week. Won't abaondon my blog any time soon - I like sharing my photos.

Bernita said...

"those of us who endure will still burn bright for a while."
You certainly do, Jason.Your recent "Scene of the Crime" is a brilliant piece.

"I like sharing my photos.."
I like you sharing your photos too, Gabriele. They capture the clashing echoes of swords and the scarlet of trumpets.

SzélsőFa said...

Like everyone else, I too, had my reasons for blogging less in the past few months - including taking up new activities, and a certain spur to gather information and brew it inside before spitting it out onto the public.
This latter one might be a false one though..., for blogging is not a serious writing where the standard is high and it does allow space for rants, little talk and such.
although I have not joined Facebook, neither Twitter, I do skype a lot. for a true communication between 2-4 persons, nothing beats it.

Bernita said...

Blogging as a place for "little talk"...SzelsoFa, I like that description very much.

sylvia said...

That's an interesting comment, Sylvia.Could you expand on it?

Hmm, in 500 characters? I'm not sure. :)

In 1994 I put my journal online on a web page. There was no software that did it automatically, there were no comments, there wasn't a search engine. But a lot of people found the page and read it because there just wasn't much out there.

In 1998 I left my job and spent 3 months travelling with my then-husband and my son. I set up a mailing list so that I could tell people about my experiences. It wasn't particularly good - I mean this, I'm not being coy - but I got 200 subscribers, just from people forwarding my name on to other people. It was new and sparkly and that was good enough.

Every year, though, there are more and more people relating their experiences. If I put up a webpage now telling people to give me their email address and I'll tell them about my trips, it would disappear in the ether. The competition for attention is now fierce. For a lot of people who liked the idea of sharing their thoughts and people paying attention, this can be depressing.

On top of that, things like "followers" on Blogger and Google Analytics means that you can see how many people are following other people and how few are following you.

So for example, Jack has a blog where he posts silly jokes and rhymes. Jill has a blog where she discusses wells and hills and asks questions like what is an acceptable risk when you need water.

Jack reads Jill's blog. Jack believes that she's pretty boring and self-obsessed. Jack can also see that Jill has over 150 different people on Blogger who pressed the button to say that they are a follower and yet on his own little blog (where only he can see) only about 5 people show up as following. And Jill gets dozens of comments on every post, while Jack gets a few friends who pop by and leave rude notes but no real discussions.

Even though no one else in the world is comparing Jack to Jill, it's depressing and he feels like he can't keep up. And so the blog he's been running for five years feels wasted. So he stops.

The thing is, his blog was funny and silly simply not the kind of blog that creates discussion and not the type of reader that feels it's important to press the follow button and express solidarity.

Jack also hasn't realised that some people press Follow this Blog when they see it is public on the site but not when the data is kept private, so the data is skewed.

SzélsőFa said...

on an additional note on blogging:

for those who feel there is a need to move on and create new posts; the pressure can be truly stressing.

that's why I prefer ongoing debates in the comments' section - although when a reader can not contribute, there is a sure want for a new post.
or search for a new blog to join reading...
not an easy question.

Bernita said...

Ah, I see. Good points and factors to remember.
Thank you very much, Sylvia, for expanding on your comment.

Bernita said...

SzelsoFa, you are quite right.

writtenwyrdd said...

Re following conversations, because I follow so many blogs these days, I haven't been checking back in to converse in the comments. And I believe that is going on with many others as well.

things change, and sylvia's points about feeling inadequit are right on. I feel that way too, a lot, because I get very few comments most of the time. But I have regular readers, and I like to blog for myself, so I plan to stick around.

But I think I'll move back to blogger in the nearish future-- as soon as I figure out how to get the html code for the current blog over there!

laughingwolf said...

dunno where folk go, but c'est la vie, i guess...

thx for the link to jason, again i seem not to be on his list :(

Bernita said...

LW, I have hopes some will eventually return.

Vesper said...

Yeah, it lowers my spirits to see that. But I know that I have so little spare time... Blogging and the contact with blog friends is important but I truly felt I needed to dedicate more time to my stories...

Bernita said...

"I truly felt I needed to dedicate more time to my stories..."
The very best reason, Vesper!

stacy said...

I've blogged once a week, tops, for the past few months. Just too busy with school, and like many people here, a desire to keep the depressing stuff quiet. Hypocritically, I've been disappointed when I go online to find that no one else is blogging much, either.

I hope the New Year will bring good cheer to us all.

Bernita said...

"I hope the New Year will bring good cheer to us all."
And the very best wish,Stacy!