As an avid reader of blogs some years ago, and with continued reading over these past 7 years or so, I’ve come to one stunning conclusion, and that is that most blogs suck. Sorry, but I’m just telling the truth here. Most people who write a blog are not fully committed (guilty as charged here), and so either their infrequent postings (also guilty), or lack of quality content (sometimes guilty, but not nearly as much as some of the other blogs I’ve stumbled across). Sure, having a blog is challenging because it is kind of a “monkey on your back,” especially if you have some kind of following. Most people give up, even if they have writing talent and have value to share, simply because of the demand on their time and the pressure to post. The bigger the audience, the larger the pressure to keep posting those goldmine articles that people will give you great feedback on.
Most of my favorite blogs hctsave dried up considerably over the past 3 years or so. Even blogging god Steve Pavlina has stopped blogging consistently. Sometimes it takes over a month for him to post another entry, and many of his newer posts are simply plugs for products he’s bought or a reminder that the Ultimate You Mindfest started a few weeks ago (now since over). So, needless to say, it is looking to me like blogging is starting to become less and less popular, and less and less impactful in the long run. It’s a shame because while I haven’t achieved any kind of mainstream success with this blog, and I don’t post on a regular basis, I still have the drive to share ideas that give me value, and figure I might as well pay them forward to anyone who will read.
There are still a few blogs I do read, although some of them post maybe twice a month, while others post way too frequently (i.e. Zen Habits) for their posts to have any memorable impact. It’s not that I don’t think Leo at Zen Habits is a bad writer or a lousy blogger, it’s just his posts are too short for one, and secondly, most of them are simply too superficial. And now he has what he calls a Sea Change program, where for $10 a month, you can take part in an exclusive club where you get coached by experts about how to stick to your habits and goals, or something like that. He writes e-books and such to generate income, but I can’t say I’ve ever felt inspired to buy any of them, simply because I know that it will most likely be a rehashing of all his old blog entries in a more digestible format.
One blog I’m still a big fan of is How to Save the World, written by Dave Pollard. He’s been at it since 2002, and he has many insightful posts, along with visual graphics that explain his blog posts for those who are visual learners. He puts a lot of time into most of his blog posts, and writes at a level that is unseen in 99% of the blogging world. He is a deep thinker, and knows so much about what it means to be human, and how this pesky civilization has gotten us off track. His posting frequency may also be down a bit, but the posts he does make are still fresh, impactful, and relevant. He is still a voice of reason in an otherwise insane world.
Ran Prieur is also another blogger that still has promise, although is “blog” isn’t quite the same as other people’s. He’s an anarcho-primitivist, or at least that’s where his beliefs align closest with. He’s always got something interesting to say, or an interesting link to share, which shows that even after over 10 years, he is still passionate about his website and the sharing of what he considers valuable information. People may find him a little strange, a little “out-there,” but he makes more sense and has a very articulate way of conveying his ideas, and it is a shame he doesn’t have a larger following. But as he put it, “I like my small, smart audience.” He accepts donations, and does not have a job, and I don’t think he’s had one for at least 10 years. His most popular essay, How to Drop Out, has inspired so many people not to drop out completely, but to find themselves a low-stress job and how to live below their means to accumulate enough money to eventually retire early and spend time doing what you love, regardless of whether or not it makes you money.
Those are pretty much the only blogs I read nowadays, but that is simply because I don’t want to spend my time reading articles that don’t even merit the time it takes to read them, never mind comment on them. They are just not worth my time, and even though some blogs can be entertaining for awhile (i.e. Violent Acres), they often fizzle out and become just a static website with a new post maybe once or twice a year.
Is blogging dead or is there still merit to being a blogger? I think that for a select few, who provide value over time in a consistent manner, yes there is still value in what they do. As for those who have neglected their blogs to the point of losing most of their audience, I’d say that for them it is more a problem of self-discipline or just a lack of inspiration that causes their blogs to die a sad and untimely death.
I’m still here, although not as much as I would like to be. I’m going to try and post here more often and see what happens. I realize that I do have readers who love what I write, and some that may disagree with me, but at least there are still some people reading these posts that I pour hours of my time into, and a few ounces of my effort. And I enjoy it, because it is an outlet for my creative self-expression. I’ll do my best to keep this blog afloat, because I believe in the message I have to give.