Opinion: The blog crash

When I took up blogging in June of 2009, it seemed that everyone in Reno had a blog. There was a vibrant and growing community. Over the last year or so, I have seen bloggers dropping out one by one. Today I read of another one. I haven’t posted on mine in over six months now. What gives?

There are several reasons I can name for why I stopped:

* Politics is just people talking past each other. There is no real discussion. Quick, name a political topic you’ve changed your mind about since you turned 30. Political blogs only preach to the choir.

* Economics is a philosophy, not a science. The gathering of raw data is severely limited and the methodology greatly flawed. Add in the ever growing influence of government, and what you get is a stale political argument featuring faulty numbers. There are plenty of more knowledgeable people with a better command of the language who write about these things.

* I’ve always figured that my personal life is nobody’s business. Even without that, 2010 was not a particularly good year for me. Personal problems are what bartenders are for.

* It seems to me that the world wide web is misnamed. The real value is local. Reading the London Times or knowing the latest trends on the Hang Seng Index can be both enlightening and profitable, but when does fishing season start? I’m just not that tuned-in to City Council meetings and such to write about it.

So that explains it for me, but what about the overall crash? Some have moved away, some have taken up other technologies like Twitter and so forth. I suppose everyone has their own reasons. Most of us are still around. We’re still spending a lot of time online. But, the world turns slowly. New material is hard to come by.

Would anyone care about my opinion on Egypt, assuming I had one? I’ve never been there, never met an Egyptian, but I hear they have nice pyramids.

Some have stopped because it just isn’t much fun anymore. Keeping a blog is sort of like learning to play the piano. It’s fun when you start because everything is new. You uncover a previously hidden talent. You start to play songs that you always wished you could play. You get to be pretty good at it. At some point though, you will have learned the songs you wanted to play. There’s not enough new material to keep your interest. You begin to notice the old favorites are getting, well, old.

There is a difference between a piano player, and someone who knows how to play the piano. In that light, bloggers are not writers, they are people who sometimes enjoy writing. I’d keep blogging more, but it would be the same old songs. I’m sure I’ll learn a new one here and there, but I know enough of the old ones to be happy. I’ve reached the plateau. The drop-off of current bloggers is noticeable because, unlike piano players, there are no new bloggers taking up the instrument.

2 Comments

  1. I guess it was inevitable. Just about all online publishing these days appears to be a “blog.” Also, I think there was a ton of effort to make “blogs” seem inherently unworthy of attention. I railed against it for a long time on my own. It was discouraging to see it happening.

    I mostly stopped because I just lost the desire to write. I got really busy at a job that genuinely fulfilled my creative desires and the need to have an outlet sort of disappeared. I’m starting to think of new things to try (things I can’t really do at work) and give them a whirl when I can. Most of them fall right into the stereotype of bloggers–they’re me talking about me, but it’s not like I ever shied away from that anyway.

    I hope anyone who feels like they have something to say, especially on a local level as you described here Ron, would be willing to contact us at This Is Reno to publish it here. We need more pieces like this one.

  2. I wrote an opinion blog for a couple of years but stopped when I realized I had only 30-40 readers. I couldn’t justify the time I was putting into it. I started expressing my opinions on Twitter instead and have never missed the blog.

    If I’m inspired enough to put the time and effort into writing a full-length opinion, I know This Is Reno welcomes such articles any time–and has a lot more readers than I ever cultivated on my own.

    I haven’t given up on my gardening and nature blog yet because I enjoy working on it whether anyone is reading it or not. However, my entries have been further and further apart.

    I did discover an interesting new local blog this morning: Burn Cards at http://www.burncards.com/.

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