Thirteen years ago today, I started this blog. I started it in quiet obscurity and it grew and changed, and changed again, and now has returned to the obscurity with which it began.
Okay, that’s not quite true. Blogging has had a tremendous effect on my life, and I know there are people reading this who have been reading for years, who wouldn’t have known me if I hadn’t blogged. I also know that this website helped me build my writing career, giving me a platform to reach out to people, getting me used to the concept of sitting down and actually writing, and contributing directly to some of my current gigs, including my weekly column at the Kitchener Post.
But blogging as a social media phenomenon has been almost completely overtaken by social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Gone is the wide community of bloggers that supported each other, shared posts and comments, participated in group meet-ups, and actually talked. Gone are the Non-Partisans, and I’m not even sure if the other partisan blogrolls are out there anymore, as I rarely check them out. And while I can still find my friends (including my blog friends) on Facebook and Twitter, I feel there is too much chatter out there. The multitude of posts aren’t focused. The signal is somewhat drowned out by the noise.
I’m far from the only one who has noticed this. Dave Simmer at Blogography said roughly the same thing, but it’s a trend that I contribute to as much as I complain about it. I used to follow dozens of blogs. Today, the only sites I click to with any regularity are Dave’s Blogography, Dr. Dawg’s Blawg, Warren Kinsella and an assortment of Apple and tech blogs.
More than once I’ve wondered if it was time to hang things up, but I’m still resistant. Yes, I have my column at the Kitchener Post to share my political and personal thoughts with a wider audience. Yes, I do hear the auditorium echoing when I type here. But I’ve decided that it’s best to keep going for the very reason I started this blog in the first place: because of me.
I like the freedom of being able to speak my mind whenever the mood takes me. I particularly like being able to access my writing after I write it (try that with Facebook or Twitter; it’s hard to rediscover posts you wrote just weeks earlier). If you have a writing journal, you don’t keep it in somebody else’s vault, and ultimately that’s what this blog is, once you strip everything else away: my journal.
And in the near future, I’m going to have work to do that may involve writing more on this blog. One of the reasons you haven’t seen me around so much recently is because I’ve been busy working on the edits to Icarus Down. The time will come when I will need to talk about this book, this place is an excellent venue for that.