Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, May 2, 2011

Blogging: On its way out? Or just hitting its stride?

Before April I was hearing rumors of the death of blogging. I noticed obvious signs of blogger fatigue here and there. Nathan Bransford wrote a post Have Blogs Peaked? with nearly 150 comments saying yay or nay. Most expressed the feeling of "Yes, it's slowing down."

As a host of the A to Z Challenge, I went through the over 1200 participants and followed as many as I could, visiting and commenting along the way. Many of them are new, with under 50 followers. If you ask them if blogging is on its way out, I imagine the response  would be, "I hope not! I'm just getting started here!"

From participating in the Challenge, I not only discovered some great new blogs, but I discovered the answer to the question "Has Blogging Peaked?" No, I'm not going to tell you my complete opinion, because it would add another three paragraphs to this post.  But when you see 1283 bloggers sign up for a month-long blogfest that requires you to post for 26 days in April, using each letter of the alphabet-- well, what do you think?

56 comments:

  1. People will always want to broadcast their lives to the world, we're really getting into the swing of that now with most people having accounts on several different social networking platforms.

    I think the problem isn't ever going to be blogging slowing down, I think the problem will be saturation of the internet. It will get harder and harder to stand out against the white noise.

    But that's what makes Blogfests fantastic. I gained over 40 new followers during the A-Z Challenge which is amazing. I don't think blogging is dying out, I think we're just going to have to work harder at it. (That'll sort the men from the boys, so to speak!)

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  2. Interesting question. I don't think I study the internet enough to answer it intelligently. But based on the way I participate and see other participating in the blogosphere, I would say 'no'. I guess the more exciting question is, if blogging is slowing down...then what's next and where and how do we get on board? :-)

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  3. I'm amazed at how many bloggers there are. I think everyone wants their voice heard, and so no I don't think blogging will die. But it is time consuming. For a writer, there's a lot of guilt of, "Do I spend the next hour writing, or blogging?" Obviously a writer should be writing.

    I don't think it has peaked yet, not with e-books on the rise. The joy of being able to connect with someone who's book you just read will increase, IMO.

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  4. I hope not! I enjoy writing, whether for myself or to entertain others. I will probably never write anything good enough to be published, but I enjoy it. It's been therapeutic and just a way to put my "thoughts on paper".
    Blogging has given me a way to get my voice out there...

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  5. By the way, your book Farm Girl is on its way via Amazon. I can't wait. It looks like my kind of read!

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  6. Yay for blogging!! :-) Take care
    x

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  7. I guess the response to the challenge would mean no, it's not on its way out. I hope not. I've learned so much from blogging and met so many great people.

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  8. I had this conversation with a few friends a few weeks ago -- the universal decision -- blogging comes in cycles.

    Some months, everyone is here and blogging every day, some months not so much. We all take breaks, we all have real life realities we have to deal with.

    I know after two years, summer is usually a slow time, and then a few weeks after school starts, things pick up. It's cyclical. I don't think it's going away any time soon.

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  9. Well doesn't that just figure? I always get interested in something just before it dissapears from the face of the earth.

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  10. I would have to agree! I would be very sad if blogging was on the way out. It is a marvelous tool.

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  11. While I don't think blogging is going anywhere, I'm sure it will evolve in unique ways just like everything else.

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  12. I think as long as there continues to be great collaboration and support amongst fellow bloggers, it will continue on. I really enjoy it!

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  13. No -- definitely not. In fact, the data I have seen says that blogging is growing. That said, I think some bloggers peak, and I think some blogging topics peak (and die off). But blogging as a discipline? No way.

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  14. In a way I think it's almost that when things become TOO big, they become overwhelming so that you can become immobilized. I feel that way with Facebook - I always thought it would be just close friends - and really, who can have 500 - or 5000 - truly close friends? With all the updates coming in, I often feel that I miss the updates from my truly close friends...And so with blogging - we all want many followers, and hopefully we reciprocate. But can you really follow a zillion blogs and still do whatever it is you are meant to do - like write? Or Paint? or Whatever? Blogging is fun and it's a great way to be connected and to share, learn and support. So I think blogging will continue, but we have to learn how to manage it within the rest of life...because there is after all, the rest of life...

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  15. I totally agree with what Melissa Ann said. And the whole follower thing is so illusory. I clicked to follow blogs that I probably won't be able to keep going back to and I'm sure the reverse is true. It only means someone found your blog once and clicked the follow button.
    Karen

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  16. I think you did good:))
    I have slowed down but can't see myself stopping.

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  17. No way it's on the way out! Besides, I'm just getting started as well.

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  18. I don't think it's dying. Changing in some ways, maybe...

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  19. I think there are a lot of bloggers who intend to stick around for a while, but then again there are other bloggers who stop posting their writing online. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because they're struggling with blogger's block, or maybe they decided to focus all their writing time on their manuscripts. Or maybe they wanted to get a lot of followers right away, but the thing is that it takes time for most people to build a following.

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  20. Following ten years of massive growth in blogging, I'm not surprised to hear that this growth might have peaked. And as with any success, blogging has picked up its detractors -- I've met plenty of people who hate it on principle, as well as many others who have given up, leaving their blogs in on-line limbo and adding to the sense that the blogosphere is stuffed up with deadwood. But I see no reason why it won't continue to grow, albeit at more modest levels.

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  21. One thing I have noticed is that older bloggers are definitely falling by the wayside, but newbies are always there to take their place. In January, I saw several bloggers finish their blogs completely.

    I think the publishing business is tough and there will always be writers who haven't the will to continue.

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  22. Since I've never been the trendiest kid on the block, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the blogging fad started to fade just as I'm getting started. But, no, I don't think that's gonna happen. Not yet, anyway. In exploring, I've found a tremendous number of terrific blogs, and some are almost as new as mine. So, maybe the old-timers will slow down a little, but I think there's still enough of us newbies to keep it going strong for a while.

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  23. I think everyone hits their own peak. Maybe it's slowing down for some, but for others it's not. When I'm don't want to blog, I'll stop, but I doubt that would be the same time for others.

    Very interesting topic!

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  24. I think as social media continues to evolve, folks are going to fall into camps--the tweeters, the bloggers, the tumblers, the strict FBers...

    It's whatever suits your personality, I think. Not all social media feels right to me, but I'm sure there are tweeters who couldn't imagine blogging~ :o) <3

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  25. I don't think it's dying. I think it's just about to get bigger. I hope it does! I enjoy blogging more than I enjoyed MySpace and I'm still deciding on Facebook. I like it for the most part. Here's to blogging! =)

    Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

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  26. Good point. There were so many participants. It was great to meet so many new bloggers.

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  27. Are vampires on their way out? It may have slowed a bit, but I think blogging has a bit of mileage left in it, too.

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  28. I think those whom think blogging is on the way out had expectations of it being something it is not. If you have people who connect with you and tell you so, to me that is blogging. People connecting through emotions.

    And you sure enjoy research ;)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  29. I love blogging. I love connecting this way with the people I've met. And that's what I've been thinking about lately: the people I've met; the ones I want to keep in touch with, and the ones who keep in touch with me. It doesn't mean much, I see after a year of blogging, that one has over a so-called thousand followers. No one can interact in a month with a thousand followers! So I'm printing out comments made in the last month on my blog so I can see who I want to keep in touch with, and will spend a set amount of time each month doing so. One DOES have to make time for real life, which includes writing the books we want to write. I can see how one can get blog weary; I have at times, but then I always come back to it. I think, as many have said, that blogging does go in cycles. You just have to decide why it is that you want to blog/to keep blogging.

    I have tried to do Facebook and Twitter. Need to get organized for this too. I pick Facebook for the personal and Twitter for information/good links.

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  30. I think people who have done it for a year or more feel blogging has peaked. Many of us are slowing down. But there's still many people who are new to this. Also there isn't another forum that's quite like blogging. FB and Twitter are short and fast, but blogging allows a thought or concept to be explored in greater depth.

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  31. There's definite blogger fatigue going on (including with me) but I don't think blogging is over. People are still joining and posting and looking for ways to network.

    I know that I've been ambushed by other priorities right now but I miss my blogger buddies and can't see leaving it anytime soon.

    Jai

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  32. I think blogging is changing rather than on its way out. There seams to be a stronger community/networking aspect to blogging now than there was a few years ago. Blog events like A to Z are a great way to keep the blog energy going. And it was impressive how many people not only signed up but kept posting through the month.

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  33. I hope it's not on its way out. I may not have a lot of time to surf or post, but I do love to sit here reading when I have the time. As long as some of us are dedicated, we can support each other! LOL

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  34. I agree - I don't think it's slowing down as much as maturing.

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  35. I think it depends on the blog. If a person posts interesting, relevant posts, that blog will continue to grow. I'm not sure how a blog matures, though. It's like a good television show--it either has staying power or it doesn't.

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  36. Funny, just today I decided to roll out three new blogs. That would bring me to four. Am I behind the times or way advanced ? Time will tell.

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  37. On the way out?? Hell no! Not from what I've seen lately, anyway ;) I'm exhausted by how NOT on the way out blogging is :P

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  38. I think it's like a lot of things these days. There will always be a turnover of participants as some people leave it aside and some discover it for the first time.

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  39. I hope to hell it's slowing down. More audience for ME. Is this thing on?

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  40. Wow, that's a lot of bloggers doing a lot of blogging. It must have felt overwhelming at times, Karen! But good job hanging in there. And here's to new friends!

    Amy

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  41. Bloggers will come and go, but blogging will be around for a while. It's a little topsy-turvy Under the Tiki Hut right now, but we're open for business :)

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  42. I think it's changing, but not disappearing. I'm finding more and more people only posting once or twice a week and spending more of that time on twitter. But I don't think it's going away any time soon.

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  43. I've heard many people discussing this lately and I like blogging. I enjoy reading and writing posts more than I enjoy Twitter, for sure. So if people keep reading, I'll keep posting!

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  44. What on earth do they think would REPLACE blogging? I can imagine developing the depth of relationships on Twitter or even Facebook (though honestly I HAVE on FB, but for depth, that is via one-on-one discussions). Blogging you can actually really get to know people--not who is great with a quip, but KNOW them (well okay, not Biblically)... The nuts...

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  45. I really like that I'm connecting with so many writers that I've never before run into. Just belonging to such a great community can help inspire a wonderful upsurge in creativity. I hope problems can be ironed out in the future but I sincerely believe that blogging is here to stay in one form or another, don't you?

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  46. Betty, I tend to agree with most of the commenters here who are saying it may be cyclical, there will be those who come and go, but yes I think it's here to stay is some form or another. Like Hart says, "What would replace it?"

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  47. Doesn't seem like it's over to me. It might be that it isn't growing so quickly?

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  48. I think it's peaked a bit, but it's still a valid way of networking. A lot of people are taking "blogcations" and then not coming back from them though. My blog is definitely still relevant, though. Probably the best evar.

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  49. Wait - it didn't just STOP when I took a break in April? :-) I haven't even really noticed signs of it slowing. A few people taking breaks to write here and there, but many, many more jumping in. I think it's still picking up momentum!

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  50. I don't think it's on its way out at all. I think the problem is that the people we are used to interacting with are just getting busier. If you only followed the newbies though, it'd be like the old days again.

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  51. I really hope its not phasing out because I just started. Thank you for the challenge Karen.

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  52. Hey Karen, not sure if blogging is on the way out or in either way, but wanted to say thanks for your work on the A-Z challenge, and for getting around to so many blogs (mine included!). Your efforts are appreciated.

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  53. That would suggest that it isn't dyeing at all and with the large amount of bloggers with under 50 followers (me being one of them) then surely it shows there are a lot of new blogs out there to read, therefore the whole blogging world is not on a down spiral. I hope it isnt too.

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  54. Sam, I agree, as there are so many bloggers and altho many drop out more start every day.

    Tim, I appreciate you taking the time to tell me that. It was a lot of fun and to me it proves that blogging is NOT dead!

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  55. I think people burn out or get too busy to post, but others come and take their place.
    I would have loved to participated in the A to Z, but I just didn't have the time! To everyone who did do it, congrats!

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  56. Hi Karen .. I don't think so - I don't think the true power of blogging has been realised yet .. lots of choices with blogging - building it into a website, building micro-sites into it a la Twitter .. telling the story .. writing a book in a blog, chapter by chapter .. there's so many alternatives .. and additions ..

    I think I agree .. 1283 bloggers shows something's not slowing down .. cheers and hope your move has been successfully accomplished by now .. Hilary

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