I remember when people celebrated their fifth blogging anniversary. I remember when the blogosphere was a real community. I remember the camaraderie and the debates, and I remember thinking that this was the way of the future. We are entering an online world where we will all have our own sites and speak into the aether, and the aether would speak back to us.
Today, we are online more than ever, but someone has stolen our sites and our readers. This past year, I’ve had to make a conscious decision to write on my blog more and post to Facebook less. I find that I am relying on Twitter to tell me breaking news. My audience has slipped away and, disturbingly, there are parts of the net that I know are active, but I don’t feel privy to, such as Instagram, Tumbler and Pinterest.
And yet I’m still here. Why am I still here, even after I had to make a conscious decision to stay here?
I think it goes back to the reason I started blogging in the first place. I never kept a diary, but as soon as I started blogging, I started to understand why doing so was addictive. I remember more about the last fourteen years of my life than I do the decade before that, and not because these past fourteen years are closer. I can take trips down memory lane and suddenly put myself back in my old footsteps. Facebook doesn’t do that nearly so well.
I miss the conversations, though, and the debates. I don’t read blogs as often as I do, but some still remain, such as Dave’s Blogography or John’s Dawg Blawg. However, enough people remain to remind me that I’m not actually speaking into the aether; people are listening. And while that might seem to run counter to the purpose of a personal diary, it’s enough to keep me going in diary form. It might not work that way for others, but it works for me.
I also expect to have more material. Icarus Down is coming out with Scholastic Canada this fall, and I expect that my site will be a means to market it. I hope I’ll get to travel a little, and share those new memories here. I am planning to travel cross country this May, via the Amtrak transcontinentals, all by myself (a Christmas gift from Erin, the kids, and my in-laws), and that will bring photos. And life will continue. Vivian is entering her second decade and Nora’s about to turn eight. Expect photos. The important reasons for me to write are still here. I thank you for reading.
We are now closer to 2020 than we are 2010, and the online world has changed and changed again so much in the past few years. It will be interesting to see where things go, and how we continue to engage. Will my blog be around then? I hope so. We shall see.