The future of blogging

I've been a bad blogger. Okay, honestly, I've been cheating on blogger -- with Facebook and Twitter. I'm such a social media whore. But I'm not the only one. I've noticed that posts on many of the blogs I follow are fewer and far between and that comments have dried up. I've gone from having a couple thousand people look at my blog each week to around 600. Meanwhile, the number of people I'm interacting with on Facebook and Twitter continues to grow.

Yes, there's been some Conquering Venus overkill here, but I've also found I have less and less time to write blogs with any kind of substance. I'm working on the second novel, writing poetry, giving readings, working the day job and just finished up co-directing the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival. I'm hoping that with a little break over the holidays, I can return to more normal blogging. The question is will anybody be reading? Is blogging going the way of MySpace? Mashable posed the question in this article over the summer, which predicts blogging will, basically, adapt or die.

It's no secret that MySpace has become yesterday's news unless you're into music. I'm not sure why MySpace hasn't just switched over to an all-music platform and stopped trying to compete with Facebook. I've got two MySpace pages and I'm toying with deleting them both, since I never bother to go there. The numbers of people connecting with me through MySpace has dropped to zero. I feel like I'm wasting bandwidth. Facebook has become the portal where I do the most interaction with friends and those who have read my work.

For years -- I'm about to move into my seventh year blogging -- I was a loud proponent of regular blogging and always had a retort for those who said they didn't have time to write and blog, usually along the lines of "get better at managing your time." I apologize to all of you who received that response from me. I know better now. With changes in the economy, I'm busier than ever at my day job as an editor, I have multiple writing projects going at once, I freelance, plus I'm trying to keep the momentum going with Venus. The idea of adding "write a blog of substance" to this list makes me tired just thinking about it. That's why I -- and many others -- have turned to Facebook and Twitter. It's easy.

Twitter limits you to 140 characters, so you have to be short and to the point. If you post something of interest on Facebook -- a news item an observation about politics, for instance -- a dialogue is instantly created between you and your friends and followers. I've received more feedback on Facebook than I've ever received here, except for the Poets on Twitter posts.

So, where do I go from here? Well, early next year Modern Confessional is moving to WordPress. There will be dedicated areas for news about my novels and poetry. It will basically consolidate the three blogs I keep up now into one easy-to-navigate site. And although I planned not to blog about American Idol next year, I've changed my mind. Which means more snark and laughs for all those who follow those posts. In between the Idol posts, I hope to post more about what's going on with social media, fiction and poetry. In short, I'm going to try and be a better blogger.

In the meantime, I'll be whoring it up over at Facebook and Twitter. If you're still reading here, what are your thoughts?


Nancy Devine said…
it is hard to maintain a blog with so many other social media outlets. i love twitter, and i'm trying to rekindle my relationship with facebook.
a blog offers something i can't quite put my finger on that i love. it's through blogging that i've made important online connections that got my going and that sustain me.(like connecting with you)
will blogging continue? i hope so, though in a year maybe i feel differently. a year of internet time is like a dog year...a lot of things change.
Karen J. Weyant said…
I love my blog -- and I love to read blogs -- however, I have to admit that I don't really believe that I write blog entries of deep substance. I save whatever "deep substance" I have left in me for other avenues of publishing -- however, I think blogging, twitter, facebook,etc.. are all important for promotion and selling our work -- which is what we have to do!
Collin Kelley said…
Nancy - Yes, I'd say I've met my most important connections via my blog, so I plan to keep it up.

Karen - Yep, we have to shameless self-promote. No one else will do it for us. :)
DeadMule said…
Collin, I know exactly what you mean. I haven't written a decent blog entry in months. Facebook takes a lot of time but has a lot of benefits. Still, I "met" a lot of neat people (you included) through regular blogging. I hate to give it up, but promoting a book takes forever, to say nothing of the fact that do write and occasionally engage in events that don't even have a computer or a book involved. I wonder, too, if blogging the election kind of did us in a bit. :)
Ronnie Lee said…
I waited on a temp from myspace the other day. I couldn't help but to ask how business was. Her reply was something like, "we'll you know, it's a check. We all sit around the office sneaking time on Facebook." I knew it! That's probably why it fell apart like it has. We'll that and Facebook is so less invasive (in ways). I think people have too many blogs to choose from these days and the over-kill is just leveling out. And I think the new fad is short postings on twitter and facebook. People like little tid-bits here and there. Maybe we should proclaim blogs simple Tweets from now on... I mean lets face it-- good blogs are hard to develop and/or come by in the first place. Having tweet blogs would lessen the chance of people loosing interest. Call me crazy.
Rupert said…
I def stilll ck in here most days - love the music/film, dvd tips etc. - plus the A community news and views - the password to comment deal prob suppresses some commenters' response since we're all used to the F'book open platform deal - maybe the blog spammers have all dried up and blown away . . .
Collin Kelley said…
Thank you, Rupert! Unfortunately, the blog spammers are still in full force. I still get spam even with the password protect sometimes.

Ronnie Lee - MySpace killed itself with being ugly and hard to use. Facebook, while it has it's problems, is just a cleaner, richer looking experience.
jonathan said…
Interesting topic. Just as with all technology based apps, every six months or so, we see a new refinement on what the noun Blog and verb Blogging mean in our society.

In the end, I believe in quality content and that these methods of proliferation (myspace, fb, twitter, etc.) are just the spokes in the wheel - quality, insightful content has always been the hub.

Content (text, pics, video) is becoming more and more portable. How long until the spokes simply grab your content from your desktop and publish automatically saving you the time and hassle?
David H. said…

On with the whoring!
Supervillainess said…
You know Collin, I've wondered about this myself. But as someone uninterested in either reading or writing "tweets," and only somewhat interested in Facebook, I've remained an active blog-reader and writer. I guess, as a writer, I want to read things that are longer, more in-depth than 142 character updates. I certainly don't think in 142 characters. And new writer-blogs are popping up all the time that have interesting posts. Maybe blogs will be replaced by something else, but I don't think it's Twitter.
AlexG said…
altho I struggle with trying to present something fresh every day on my blog I feel it has a different function -- & perhaps audience? -- than FB.

but the internet world is constantly in flux. I still remember spending entirely too much time watching Sean Patrick sleep. how long ago was that?
christine said…
Collin, the most hits I've ever had was 100! You're an entertaining writer, and your content is eclectic.We all go through phases with our writing, and I think most bloggers understand that. The one difference between a blog and facebook is that this page is all yours. On facebook your words compete with all the ads, the incoming feeds, etc... . Here, we can tune in to your unique perspective.

I think you'll like Wordpress. Have you looked at their magazine style templates? They're pretty nice.
Radish King said…
I guess it's your why. I write on my blog to practice writing and it's been that way from the start. My readers come and go. I keep practicing. I don't worry so much about who is keeping score.

Besides, it's more fun for me to whore it up at home than it is sitting alone at a computer.

T. Clear said…
More troublesome, I think, is the future of Books on Paper.

But as to blogging vs. facebook (I don't twitter), I see them as two entirely different forms of communication/writing. Facebook is kind of like hanging out at a virtual party, whereas a blog leans more towards a hand-written letter.

Blog on!
Yes, I know what you mean. I thought that when I got my new computer, I'd spend more time reading and writing blogs, but am only just starting to catch up. In fact it is becoming something I am looking forward to doing during the holidays! Somehow life seems to have got busier in other ways. I'm not even tweeting or using facebook very much at present. And I'm not getting much traffic even from my few faithful readers.

And yet...

Yes, facebook is easier and myspace is still hard to navigate in some respects. Yes, WordPress does seem to offer interesting possibilities and I have lately been thinking it would be good to have my ridiculously proliferating blogs all in one place.


I still love the scope for creating beautiful pages on both MySpace and Blogger, even if what some people create is not to my taste.

I still like to read what my favourite writers at either place have to say, even if I don't do it as often as I once did.

And of course I'm a writer and like to indulge my wordiness. (As you see.)

So I rather hope that blogging doesn't become empty and meaningless. Shall I give in and post "notes" on facebook instead?

(We haven't mentioned LiveJournal, which I've got fond of, and which still appears to be going strong. It's like a cross between myspace and facebook, without the faults of either.)

I find Blogger very easy to use. I had a go at WordPress and didn't care for it at all, as a blogger. But a well-organised WordPress blog is a joy to use as a reader. Will you be using the free version or the other?

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