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Whither Blogging?

I haven’t written as much here in the last two years as I did in the years before that. Part of that is because most of the conversation happens on FriendFeed these days, part of that is because I’ve been sick the whole time. I have all kinds of post stubs in my drafts that I just didn’t have the energy to flesh out into real posts with, you know, full sentences and maybe a paragraph break.

In that time many of my favorite blogs have petered out, a few have blown up, and a couple people whose opinions I respect a lot have told me that blogging just isn’t worth it any more, that they kind of wish people wouldn’t keep throwing posts into the void. And for a while I was inclined to agree and acknowledge that it’s perfectly likely that people see Pegasus Librarian pop up in their aggregators or on FriendFeed and think “Aw man, her again? Doesn’t she know she’s boring? *mark as read*”

But lately I’ve felt more and more like posting mundane little things here again, and maybe soon I’ll start working through a few of the more promising post stubs from the dark period of the last two years. For me, worrying about the death of blogging and worrying about whether anyone cared that I post here seems to have been more tied to my feelings about other things in my personal life than it was to the actual act of posting here. For me, realizing that I care again that I own and archive my thoughts, that I’m ok with this not being a conversation space if conversation doesn’t happen, and that it matters more that I have a thinky space for me than that I have one for anyone else — these things are all making me feel less like I’m clinging to nostalgia or that I’m in denial whenever I post. When FriendFeed dies, I still want to have access to some of my thoughts.

Of course, I say this just as Fall Term is about to start, so there’s no telling when I’ll have time to write much. But you never know.

8 thoughts on “Whither Blogging?

  1. Readers are wonderful, conversation is amazing, and I’m always up for more of it in blog terms. Fundamentally, though, I blog for me.

    Sometimes I’m working out how to articulate things to other people: simply writing notes to myself doesn’t do it (I know what I mean!) but writing for even a very theoretical audience in a public or semi-public space forces me to look closely at what I’m trying to share and how I’m doing it. That’s always good practice, and it benefits so many areas of my life when I do it regularly, whatever the topic.

    Sometimes, I’m writing stuff that will be useful later. And I’ve written posts in other settings where the initial post got no interest – but six months, or a few years later, it’s suddenly exactly the right thing for someone when they find it through a search. That’s pretty cool.

    And right now, I admit, I’m also blogging to demonstrate some of how I do this librarian thing, for people who might want to hire me. (Interestingly, it’s also making it easier for me to find a consistent voice/tone while blogging than I had been, which makes me happy.)

    I’m often lousy at commenting on blogs, but I’ve enjoyed yours since I found it, and I would love to read more, when and if you’ve got the momentum. How can a thoughtful person sharing interesting stuff be a bad thing? It’s not like we have a shortage of Internet. People can read it or not, as they choose.

  2. That’s kind of you to say, Jen. Like you, I’m terrible at commenting on blogs for no good reason, so I’m grateful you commented on mine today. :-)

    I’m not quite sure what’s going to become of this space, but for the first time in a long time I’m sure it’ll be something. At least for the next foreseeable while.

  3. I can tell you that, of all the blogs I read (and I read quite a few still), there are only maybe 3-5 where I read everything the bloggers write and get really excited when I see that they’ve posted. Yours is one of those 3-5. I know I’m only one person, but I’ve actually missed your musings on academic librarianship and technology and small slices of your life as a librarian. I love that I can see you actually working out your own thoughts on an idea within the content of your post (I do that too!).

    I know that since having my son it’s become more difficult to find time to post, and I’ve gone through those dark times when I didn’t really see the point of blogging or feel inspired enough to do it. But I love having a space where I can work out my ideas, share interesting anecdotes and feel like I’m contributing to the professional conversation. And I don’t care if people say that blogging is dead — I loved blogging when I had four people reading my blog, I love it now when thousands of people read it, and I’ll love it when everyone stops reading what I write. Because many of the reason why I do it have nothing to do with my audience — I also blog for me.

    I’m just glad to see you working out your thoughts on this issue on the blog rather than closing up shop like Steve did. I’d hate to lose all of my favorite bloggers!!!

  4. Ditto on the previous comments! I actually have a little file for “great ideas from Iris” and posts from this blog that have particularly resonated with me. So count me in as an appreciative reader.

  5. Although I don’t have my own private blog, I have recently started up Yammer for our organisation and for our library. I think the motivation and the ability to sustain it has come from over the years reading other blogs and getting ideas and inspirations from these blogs. Coming from Australia, and working in law libraries, we have very few bloggers so we tend to seek inspiration outside of Australia. I think to start blogging is a brave initial step, you have put your ideas out there and to continue it has been a great professional step, it has shaped your thoughts and got others thinking. Thankyou for your blog, I am always interested to hear your experiences with students, as I am also a trainer of law clerks and law grads so i often try out some of your ideas to engage them. I am very grateful that you share your way of doing things. I look forward to more of it!!

  6. Thanks Cindy. That’s very nice of you to say.

    It’s funny because I often look to Australian librarians for inspiration. Seems like many of the interesting ideas I’ve heard about for the last few years have come from Down Under. :-)

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