Thursday, September 15, 2011

Old School Blogging

A couple of nights ago, I was thinking about how much I miss Old School Blogging.

You know? From a few years ago, when things were just... blogs, and nothing more? Just our stories, written from our hearts, here for the world, for our little community, to read? When we had more time, it seems, to sit down and read posts from start to finish, when we were able to comment without problems because we weren't doing it from our iPhones, and when we didn't "favourite" every post we wanted to eventually get around to reading... (because we don't always get back to those posts, do we?)

I started blogging in 2007, which to some of you is still not even that Old School, but to me, it's well... old enough. My first born son, now in grade one, was only 18 months old when I started this little blog. This little blog has been very good to me, for so many reasons, mainly because of the friendships I've formed, and the opportunties I've experienced. I'm very thankful.

I've written before about the top ten things blogging has taught me but let me add to that. Blogging forms real friendships and relationships, and bloggers are united despite the distance in miles. The support can be incredible. Meeting your favourite bloggers in real life is awesome, and reading blog posts from talented writers helps you become a better writer, and a better thinker. A few years ago, the blogosphere was more quiet, and keeping up with my favourite blogs wasn't a problem. Lately, it's getting harder to keep up, and to comment as frequently as I used to, and I'd like to change that back to the way it was.

Mom 101 and Girls Gone Child were the first two blogs I read all those years ago. Liz and Rebecca continue to inspire me to write, to be a better blogger, if you will. And if I ever need a reminder about why I blog, I just visit their sites. Can I just add that the talent in the blogosphere is so incredible?

A couple of nights ago on Twitter I said: "I miss Old School Blogging, circa 2009-2010". Many awesome bloggers chimed in, and we started talking about blogging and how it was, and how things have changed. (Thanks, Angie, Bon, Ali, Isaa, Casey, Leslie, and Neil for the discussion!) And thanks for chiming in too, Liz. We talked, in 140 characters, about how Twitter has changed the landscape of blogging, but not in a bad way. In fact, for most of us, Twitter has opened up new doors, and has given us amazing opportunities - like new jobs.

Bon mentioned how for most of us, comments on blog posts were the first way to measure our "success" online. Recently, (like many of you) I've noticed a huge increase in numbers reading my posts, but a decrease in comments.

Ali wrote a while back about trying to comment on 20 blogs a day. It's not that hard, you know? All it'll take is for us to get off Twitter for like... 20 minutes. Can you do it?

Also, a friendly reminder: people prefer comments on their actual posts, not on Twitter. It's awesome when posts get re-tweeted, but save the actual comment for the blog post! Comments make the world go round. Comments and a nice glass of white wine.

Although things have changed in the last couple of years, I'm still as passionate about blogging today as I was back then.

What about you? Have you noticed a change in the blogosphere?

32 comments:

joely said...

I have noticed the blogs becoming more commercialized, which is not bad, but it changes the intimacy level of the blogging world. Honestly, if my blog only ends up in the hands of my three girls, and they read it to their children once I am gone....it is all worth it, old school or not.

anymommy said...

I've noticed the change in commenting and the shift in use of free time from reading and commenting to twitter and other quicker, instant chat sites. I'm guilty of it myself (and it's fun for its own reasons). But I've been making a huge effort lately to read and comment on a few blogs a day.

Love the post!

alimartell said...

It was such a great discussion....definitely lots to think about. I absolutely love twitter...but I just couldn't help thinking that this amazing discussion we were having was hard to have because of the less-than-140-character space (since we had to include twitter handles)...and had we had the discussion on, say, a blog, it could have been more lengthy, more in-depth. Interesting, that.

I am writer at my core. I write 5 times a week at least and I put it on my space on the vast world wide web. I miss how my comments used to look, I miss the community feel of them...but I'm still writing, the same way I always did.

the face of it is all changing. It's quicker, there's more business, it's, well, different.

But i'm still on my site, writing away. Because at the end of the day...I'm a writer telling my stories.

Who comments on at least 20 blogs a day :)

Chantal said...

I have been scaling down the number of blogs I follow so that I can comment more often and visit more frequently. I think that is the other problem. There is so much quality out there, not enough time to read it all. I mean if I only read blogs from bloggers I have met in real life (like you), I would be reading for at least an hour nightly. Not to mention all the blogs from authors I don't know. It is all so much :)

My blog is still old school ;)

moosh in indy. said...

If I am at a computer with both hands? I comment. It doesn't happen nearly enough but I am making an effort.

Issas Crazy World said...

I loved that conversation.

For me, I love both. I adore blogging and the community I feel in my and other peoples comments and I also adore Twitter. It's instant. That was always the hard part for me about old school blogging. If you weren't email friends with someone...you could go weeks between hearing about them.

Both have their place. I am going to go back to Ali's challenge though. I can handle 20 comments a day.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

Like I said in my posts, it's not better or worse, just different. Be the change you want to see, and you'll get more out of people than you think.

Word up, lady!

Redneck Mommy said...

I followed your twitter conversation about old school blogging and comments the other night and I thought about it. Certainly the number of comments I'm getting has decreased while my readership has skyrocketed.

But it doesn't bother me. While I love the comments I do get, (oh, how I love them, I'm like a greedy little comment hoarder) I love even MORE the fact that so many more people are taking the time to read my words.

However, I do miss the intimacy of the 'olden' days of blogging. Typing that sentence out made me feel old for the record.

Now y'all get off my lawn. *shakes her cane*

wratwrds said...

I'm fairly new to the online community and I'm dazzled by the different voices and stories. The talent is incredible.

I do try to comment quite often -- I mean daily, on numerous sites -- but I'm also like a kid in a word-candy store. And frazzled, with real -life deadlines of my own.
So if you don't hear from me, know that I'm probably stopping by anyway. And I'm saying Hello.

P.S. Must have been so cool to meet Heather Graham. Exciting!

SUEB0B said...

It used to be that I commented on every post I read. Clicking away without commenting was inconceivable! Now I figure I can always catch up with people on Twitter or Facebook. It isn't the same, though. In some ways it is more fun and free-flowing, but it is also like the circle has stretched out to the point where it doesn't feel so cozy anymore.

EatPlayLove said...

I do miss the way it was when I started as well ('07). I didn't even use a reader back then, I can recall clicking on my favorite blogs a few times a day to see if they posted yet.

That seems like lifetimes ago! I am trying to comment a few times a day and spread the love.

Elaine A. said...

You know I'm right here with you on this one.

I noticed a while ago that my comments were going down while my subscribers and traffic were up. I totally blame twitter and FB! HA! But I'm at those two places a lot myself so...

I do still try to comment as much as I can but there are only so many hours in the day.

I also just kinda miss the way blogging used to be like you said in the first part of this.

Ahhh, the old days... ;)

Elaine A. said...

Oh and p.s. sorry I missed the twitter chat about this. I would have been totally into it.

Ironic, huh? ;P

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I agree with much of what you said! I think we tend to evolve, but come back to this because we like being able to speak our minds in a longer character count!

Nenette AM said...

OMG, I wasn't on twitter for that discussion, but I'm constantly mourning the loss of the blogosphere circa 2009-2010, or what I like to call "the glory days of blogging"!

It was all stories and life. It was fun, and people read each other because they were like girlfriends, and family, and sisters. There were no blog hops or linkys, just sharing experiences and laughter and sadness.

I look back at the comments I used to get back in 2009/2010, and they were so full of life and truly so engaging. And boy, did my commenters ever make me laugh!

I miss those days.

Neil said...

I was one of those people during that twitter conversation complaining about the changes in the last few years when some clever person turned around and asked me how I have changed. And I had to admit that I spend a whole lot more time on Twitter and Facebook than reading new blogs. So I am my own worst enemy.

Working Mommy said...

I started blogging in 2008/9 - when twitter wasn't very big yet...tribrr was non-existent (as far as I know) and you didn't have to "like" everything. Things have definitely changed, but I think it is for the better...now it is a way of getting information out to the masses and asking for sound advice from those who have been down that road before.

wm

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

I've really noticed a drop in comments but a rise in page views too. Sometimes it's disheartening, but as long as my core group comment on occasion, I feel as though my tribe is still there.

WILLIAM said...

Twitter and FB have definitely changed things for blogs. I started in 05 and I loved seeing new blogs pop up all the time. I loved seeing comments on my "friends" blogs and vice versa. Then slowly but surely most of those friends, that circle I was in, stopped blogging all together. The blogging pond got so big it was hard to keep up. Great topic.

@themom_ said...

I used to have a blog during my younger years (ok, just 6 years ago)I deleted it because I received some nasty comments. I just started blogging again, this year, as an outlet to pour out my thoughts. I used to feel spaced-out after a long day with my baby, but now that I write again, somehow I can now manage again to keep and follow a single train of thought. :)

Kathryn said...

While not a blogger, I work in the space and I definitely agree that things have changed so much in the past couple of years. In some ways for the better, in some ways for the worse.
Good reminder to people to keep commenting :)

Burgh Baby said...

In some ways, there's an upside to not being able to determine a site's popularity based on comments. It certainly gets rid of some of the gossip and shenanigans that can come with being "popular." Now it's too hard to know.

Avitable said...

2004 was old school blogging. You're just a young'un! :)

Amanda said...

I rarely comment on blogs for two reasons: 1) I am usually reading on my iPhone and leaving comments via my phone rarely works. and 2) I am more likely to read a retweeted blog post if there is some sort of comment attached to it that piques my interest.

But I started blogging in 2006 and I know what you mean, so much has changed, I find blogging to be less about connecting on a personal level (not in all cases!) and more about trying to attract more readers either by posts about controversial topics or hosting flashy giveaways for big name brands. I still enjoy reading many blogs, like yours, but I find I comment less. I should make an effort to do the 20 comments a day thing too :)

The Dalai Mama said...

I have been blogging since March of 2006 and there is such a difference. Comments have all but dropped off. Which in some way is fine--but I miss them--the comments from my friends. Those who I know still read me--but because we connect via twitter and FB so often, the need to comment seems to have faded. I am trying to be more aware and comment as often as I can. I miss those early days...

The Empress said...

I canNOT complain, I have no right to complain, about anything: I spend way too much time on twitter.

I enjoy twitter so much: it's instant, it's fun, but I have to realize I need to go back to reading blogs.

But, really: I could spend hours on twitter...

Sarah said...

You know, I had a blog AGES ago, when I got married (8 years ago) and it was awesome to have all the great comments. I do get sad when I don't have comments on posts, especially ones that I put a lot into, but I've come to the realization that my words are my words and I'm putting them out there for me (and my mom & one day my sons). The more I blog for me, the more traffic I've been getting. Amazing right?

Nenette AM said...

Addendum to my previous comment: I gotta say, though, that I think I hit my Twitter peak in 2009, around the same time as "The Glory Days of Blogging", so in my case, Twitter didn't really spell the demise of my blog or blogging habits.

But yeah, I'm sad that many bloggers feel the need to resort to gimmicks and commercialization for page views.

When I started blogging in 2005, I just had to tell a good story to get noticed.

Again, I miss those days.

Jessica said...

Things have definitely changed and I think that twitter is a big reason why. I used to have a much smaller groups of blogs that I read and now it seems like there are endless blogs to read and so many different forms of social media to keep up with that it is hard to manage everything. Blogging used to be just writing, reading and commenting, now it is so much more.

Jack said...

This discussion seems to come up every few years about how things have changed and how they used to be better.

When I first got into blogging in 2004 everyone used to talk about blogrolls and comments as being important.

Some people got insulted if you didn't blogroll them or comment on their blogs.

But to me what changed the game was the advent of readers. When RSS became popular and people didn't have to visit a blog to read the content, that made it all different.

At least that is how it felt to me.

lostandforgotten said...

I somehow missed this post when it first was published. I agree completely with you. When I started blogging I had no idea this whole world existed. People who read my blog were my real life friends, who I didn't see everyday and this was a way we kept in touch. It was about telling stories and commiserating. Now that I'm aware of this whole other world it seems like its so much more about stats, klout and who you know. Its hard not to get caught up in all of that. I've blogged about it a few times even.

I know how much comments mean so I always try to comment, and if I really love a post I'll stumble it or tweet it. As writers we want to know reactions not just see a number increase on our google analytics.

cham said...

Hello! I found your blog thru Life Candy (lifecandy.net). My closest friends aren't into blogging, sad to say, and my husband is the only real fan I have on my blog. But I'm happy. This just means that I'll get the chance to gain new friends aside from the ones I already have. :)

Keep on posting great stuff! :)

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