Thursday, October 6, 2016

Twenty-Five Blogs

Hello reader, got blog?

I always like it when I can f-i-i-inally document what I’ve said here, by quoting someone else:
It’s an interesting time to be doing a blog, still, because I think it’s safe to declare the Age of Blogging well and truly over, inasmuch as personal blogging as been superseded in nearly every way by social media, including Twitter (my favorite), Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and so on and so forth. I’m not planning on mourning blogs in general — as a phenomenon they had their moment and it was a relatively good one — but it is interesting to watch the blog tide recede, with just a few die-hards left to do them old-school, like I do.

The above quote is from science fiction writer John Scalzi. His blog Whatever, on September the 13th observed it’s 18th birthday. I have Scalzi’s blog bookmarked. Someone commented:
         I think that it’s not so much that “Age of Blogging” is over, it’s just that those without anything to say aren’t saying it anymore. They ran out of steam. Those with something to actually say continue on.

That sounds right to me. Then I guess the remaining blog readers will be those willing to build up a head of steam over something to read, not those who resent having to read anything, be it books or screens, not those who, if they must read a screen, will resort to skimming. I used to despise how so many bloggers skim-skim-skimmed the web—and then felt entitled to comment. You know, I feel sorry for anyone who skims Stephen King. Or poetry.

In the past if I wrote about the state of blogs, saying the hysteria was dying down, then it would be when I was doing my periodic “twenty-five blog-titles” piece. Like today.

Now it’s been another web-administrator’s entire page-full of blog post titles, and of course I could ponder the last 25 essays and write about, “What does it all mean?” I could. Better yet, hey! —It’s my one day to be self-indulgent, my “one post in 25 day,” so today I can blog to you what I had for breakfast, what I saw on TV last night, and my opinion of the show—or wait, that’s what social media is for: And it’s what so much blogging used to be.

Of course I care about you dear reader, and you care about me—but surely not enough to care what I had for breakfast. I see that two of my favorite bloggers, John Scalzi and Scott Berkun, go in for a balance of social media and blog posts. Mostly they tweet. That’s OK, balance is good. “Everything in moderation” said the Greeks. You can find my own tweets at—no you can’t, I don’t do tweets.

Meanwhile, I am sensing a trend for “future book writers” to become bloggers. Reason? So they will have a blog “platform” to assure publishers they have a “reading audience” ready to convert into a “buying audience.”

“All the better to convince a publisher to buy my manuscript, my dear.” Well, I disagree. Yes, I know, my disagreement is a glum thought for would-be writers, so I tried for some humor as I expressed my skeptical side in my essay My Blog is not a Platform archived February 2016.

Good thing I have a sense of humor, as today I can only report to you sweet nothing—nothing in my life has changed over the past 25 weeks. I am so dull. At least I recently competed in a humorous speech contest for toastmasters, going from club to area level. Maybe I’ll write it down for my blog. Want funny?

Recently, I experimented with cranking out a long post (on sex and community) the day before deadline. Because it was timely. Result? I don’t know what I would have created with more time, but over the next few days I had to keep editing and trimming. Also I experimented with putting concepts in italics to help people spot where early thoughts re-emerge later in that long essay. Too bad many of my readers would have missed my final version, complete with music video link. Never mind. Just as well it appeared during my annual circa Labor Day readership slump.  

Another change is that my dear old mother has died this summer, and that has been a cause for humor—No, not her death, my inheritance. Sure, I’ll get a wee poke of coins, to be swallowed up by my retirement account, but not until at least after Christmas, probably not until Easter. You see, two of my six siblings, a day’s travel from each other, are co-executors, and when it comes to procrastination, even for getting money, my family is famous, famous I tell you. Maybe Easter is too optimistic. …Mother was 93. You would have liked her. (When her mind was sound) She had a good run.

I’ve run out of steam. See you next week.

Sean Crawford
~My last 25-pager was in March of 2016.

~Update: My inheritance, instead of being Easter of 2017, might be Easter of 2018. (It's now January 2018) Not from any family conflict, merely from pure procrastination.

~I’m banking essays so that I can stop writing them for a while, and only do fiction—but essays are so tempting!

~I took a class once where everyone had to go often onto the university web site, and then to our department site to comment. Unfortunately, the open computer rooms were on telephone dial-up, while the university home page was in full color! Grrr! There’s a reason I don’t put any pictures on my site! (A lot of people down in the U.S. use telephone lines for their computer, according to the newspaper. My sister does too)

~My skeptical perspective on scholars using the net for fluff, not student essays, back on my campus as the web first emerged, is archived as Essays and Blogs, June 2010.

~ “Heyday” is an actual word. (And “actual” has several meanings)

~Remember kids, never “buy a pig in a poke.”


  1. I've tried reading other blogs Sean but none are as interesting as yours is.

  2. Thank you.

    Back during the days of blogging, when people read (and skimmed) wildly, all the experts said that in order to keep your readers, and keep your stats up (statistics) you had to blog every day, and have a narrow topic focus.

    I considered the experts, and decided to have a "low traffic" blog: Secondly, because my sort of essays are too long to write daily.

    Firstly: If I tried to follow conventional wisdom, then my readers might not be bored, but I sure would be!

    Now that "the age of blogging is over" I'm glad I did it my way.