Blogging Is Dead. Again.

I have been blogging since 2006. I started by posting my thoughts about learning and technology when I was working full time at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on the blog Serendipity35. That blog is still going and still gets about a half million hits each month. 

I have heard the cry that blogging is dead for about the last five of those years. Other social media have supposedly eclipsed blogging - including mini- and micro-blogs like Tumblr which allow you to easily post photos and brief post and especially to reblog other people's posts. Social media is very incestuous. If you are on any social media, you know that reposts and retweets make up a large percentage of what is out there.

I don't think blogging is dead, but what is disappearing are the longer, original kinds of posts that were common in 2006.

I started writing longer posts that were not about learning and technology on another site I called Weekends in Paradelle. These are posts that I hope are thoughtful reads. I knew I didn't have the time to write every day, so I made this blog one I would strive to write on every weekend. It is my little writing escape.

I do notice that longer posts often do not get as many "hits" as shorter ones, so maybe there is more of an audience for mini-blog posts.

I have been a volunteer in New Jersey for the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife. When my life and work got too busy to spend as many hours in the field volunteering, I decided to supplement my interest with a blog called Endangered New Jersey about the parts of New Jersey that are threatened or endangered. This is particularly about fish and wildlife, but also about natural spaces, historic preservation and the environment of our densely populated and wildly diverse state. 

I am also deeply involved in poetry and so it was a natural to start a website about writing poetry way back in the early Web days of 1998 called PoetsOnline.org.  When blogs came into their own, I added a companion blog about poetry at Poets Online that allowed me to post more often and on a wider palette of poetry topics than the poems and prompts of the main site that had become a popular -ezine.

I have always had a fascination with etymologies, so I also started a blog called Why Name It That? which looks at the origins of words and phrases, but also at the names of people, products, teams, and especially rock bands (which tend to be the most popular posts).

There are also a number of blogs I did that were abandoned, although a few are still online getting dusty. 

And I did start using Tumblr for those quick posts and reposts. It serves a purpose, but I don't really think of it as true blogging. But that's just me.

And all these blogs automatically push their posts to facebook and other places, so I am reposting myself.

I write tweets on Twitter for myself and for Poets Online which also has its own Facebook page and Pinterest site. Oh, it is a tangled Web we weave.

And this year I took on the job of doing social media posts for the National Council of Teachers of English. I have been an NCTE member since my college days, but could not have ever guessed that I could have a virtual job and be paid to post for them.

Blogs were a big part of "Web 2.0" and the idea that the web was not something to be consumed. The World Wide Web was for reading and WRITING. Consumers could be producers of content.

But most of the social web is not blogging, and real blogs seem less popular than it did eight years ago when I started. And that's too bad. Social media certainly allows people to be producers - videos and photos abound. But I'd love to see more people writing and posting online. It's a powerful practice and one that can really help you and others.

Is blogging dead? No.