Friday, December 18, 2009

Somebody get my walker

Time for a little reflection today.

Jenn put up this great post today where she is paying tribute to blogs past, in kind of an online memorial to some of her favorite bloggers who seem to have evaporated from the scene. Commenters are leaving their own eulogies as well. I didn't reference any specific causalities per se, but I did leave this comment:

Remember that old song "Video Killed the Radio Star?" It should be remade as "Facebook Killed the Blog Star." I haven't been keeping track, but I've lost a lot of bloggers in my feed as well. There's only so much time in a day to spend online, and if FB and Twitter are chewing it up, your blog is bound to suffer. I spend a lot more time making pithy comments on FB now instead of writing full-blown posts about things in my blog, and it shows. I used to write a post every other (even-numbered) day without fail and now I'm down to twice a week if I'm lucky.
Oh, don't worry... I'm not turning in my resignation, I'm simply saying that what used to be a priority to me before is now... well, not so much. Back on '06 and '07 I used to panic if I couldn't churn out something clever on a bi-daily (is that how you say that?) basis. Now, I simply sit down when I have an idea and a spare 1/2 hour and write, without even worrying about how long it's been since my last confession post. This is a new concept for me folks, and one that has taken nearly 4 years to be comfortable with.

And things are different now. I've pretty much gotten all those sacred stories out of my system that were begging to be released when I first started this little adventure, and now I'm more comfortable with my status of simply "publishing when I can and when I damn well feel like it." The other thing I've learned to accept is that when I don't comment on other people's blogs, they won't comment on mine. Three years ago that was an issue. Now, it's simply a fact of social economics that I have to live with. I've reached a balance of how much time I have available for leaving comments versus how many comments I receive, and I'm good with that. Do I wish 100 people would stop by and tell me how much they love me? Of course, who wouldn't - but that's not going to happen. Nor is it realistic for me to invest the infinite number of hours required to build those kinds of relationships. So again, I'm good.

Don't get me wrong, I know this post reflects the early signs of a powerdown procedure, but I have no intention of pulling the plug just yet. And even though I've already exceeded the average blog life-span by well over 2 years, I know I have a lot more of me to go around.

I'll just be the old guy moving a little slower these days.

19 comments:

Jenn of Many Cabbages said...

You've really been blogging a while, given the amount the internet has changed in a short amount of time!

Regarding the commenting- I've found that I want folks to read just because they enjoy reading. Not because I'd commented and they feel obligated to do so in kind. So I haven't been worrying about comments. I enjoy the connections I make, and if it's on my blog, or on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, it's all good.

Blogging has already given me more enjoyment than I would have ever imagined.

Not bad from a pretty inexpensive hobby! :)

Thanks for stopping by, and for sharing. :)

VE said...

I have this theory...your blog was around for nine months before my blog was born...yes, be afraid...

mom said...

Yeah!!! I'm glad there's a lot more of you to go around!!! I don't know what your dad and I would do, if we didn't have your blog, and all the fun comments, to read and laugh at!

Travis R said...

It is interesting how the Internet has devolved. At one point, you had to pay money to have somebody host your website and then you could write your own HTML content to post all your thoughts. You had total control of everything that made your website unique, including all the blink text and the starfield background.

Then, blogging sites gave you some templates where you could have a bit easier editing and posting, with a little bit less individuality.

Now, with Facebook, you have the ultimate in ease with no other control. I guess people prefer laziness and conformity over effort and individuality.

I tried MySpace once for about a month, at the urging of a friend. I thought it was pretty pathetic, and I think the same of Facebook. I think it's sad, personally. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I want to have real friends - not a collection of avatars under a section labeled "friends." My friend who convinced me to try MySpace has since moved to Facebook. He befriends a lot of people, and it has been the core of his dating life since his divorce. The women leave just as quickly as they come. The relationships are shallow and short-lived. I think society has forgotten what it means to be a friend. I would rather have 10 good friends than a collection of 1,000 avatars on my Facebook page any day.

I guess I'm just weird... or old.

Can I borrow your walker?

Bill said...

Travis said it right. I found that a good blog is informative, humorous, and worth reading, just to name a few qualities.

Jeff said...

jenn - The first casualty of comments was the feed reader. I read many great blog posts every day in my reader but I don't actually click through to stop by their blogs much anymore. If you add up the time it takes to connect, read through the other comments so you're not duplicating what someone else just said (yes, I do that) and come up with your own worthy words of wisdom, it can chew up a big chunk of time. So because I know that, I'm always honored whenever someone actually stops by to say hi. So thank you!

ve - What? You're saying your blog is the love child of my blog and... OMG, there are SO many possibilities! We may have to get DNA testing involved here.

mom - Wow... I hate to say it, but if I'm the highlight of your day you two need to get out more. ;b

travis - Ironically, it's the very simplicity of Facebook that I like most about it. When MySpace came out, everyone got into such a contest to decorate their pages you couldn't even read the text anymore. Suddenly, millions of people who had no business trying to design a readable web page were puking out pink and purple paisley patterns and making it impossible to peruse (yes, I love alliterations). Then when Facebook kept it clean, boring and unmodifiable I was thrilled. I think having an organized way to post quick, chatty little fun-bites is great. I also think meaningful thought-out blog posts are great too. I think there is room for both, I just wish there was time for both!

bill - Travis is a pretty smart guy. I know this because I taught him everything he knows.

April said...

I've gotten really bad about commenting - you're still in my Reader, and I usually at least scan everyone's latest posts, but then I just move on. Terrible, isn't it?

But I've become the same way. I just write and comment whenever I damn well feel like it now. Doesn't help my numbers, but whatever, right?

Mooselet said...

You and I are following a scarily similar path, Jeff. I like Facebook because I can post one or two lines from my phone when I have a spare minute and feel like I'm connecting with the greater world - or at least those in it who give a damn about me. My blog requires more time and care that, right now, I just don't have. I've been thinking about ways to keep both and I think I nearly have it.

And because I lack time these days, my comments have dropped off to next to nothing. I am ashamed. :-)

Kathy said...

I hear ya, brother. I used to try to post every other day, but it's just too hard to get a quality post up at that frequency.

I have to admit I'm often pressed for time and sometimes I do just throw up an "anything" post just to have something new up. It's not how I want things to be, but there are only so many hours in a day.

I found when I jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, I really liked just tossing up a random thought and I still enjoy that.

Will I ever wean myself off blogging? Maybe. I've gained a ton of weight since I started two and a half years ago and I need to address that seriously. I'll probably never achieve that every-other-day blogging schedule again, but that's fine.

My well-being is far more important.

The end.

Dan said...

I'd comment on this, but you haven't commented on my blog for a while so I can't.

Jeff said...

april - Same here. I read all your posts but rarely stop by... yours or anyone else's for that matter. I guess we're just two ships in the night. *sigh*

mooselet - That's funny. You and I have always had a similar connection. We started about the same time, hung around with the same blog friends, and now are slowing down at the same pace. It's like you're my southern hemisphere doppleganger!

kathy - Wait... are you suggesting blogs are fattening? Oh great, that's all blogging needs. If that gets out, blog worldwide will be folding up like banks.

dan - I'd like to reply to your comment, but you didn't leave one.

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, I've been sucked into Facebook too. I have a small number of blogs that I enjoy and visit consistently. I don't really expect to get a lot of comments or new readers to my blog, it's really just for friends and family. I mean, how many people could stand watching a million videos of my daughter being cute?

unfinishedrambler said...

Sadly, I think I commented on one of your own recent posts over at Facebook and then didn't even comment here.

However, for all the criticisms of FB, I've found that I'm picking up readers there, maybe not subscribers or views or hits, but definitely folks reading my posts. So can't complain.

I hear you on posting not as regularly as you once did. I'm of the same mind. In fact, on my other blog (the more serious one), I've decided just to forgo the theme days like I did on Unfinished Rambler and just blog whenever I want to blog.

Oh, and one last thing, I'm glad this wasn't your farewell post because when you started the post mentioning Jenn's post, I thought: "Uh oh."

Roger said...

I'm weird, and I know it, so I am always amazed and thankful, whenever someone leaves a comment on my blog, now if I could just respond via email to everyone that comments, life would be good. :) (No, I still haven't figured it out, I'm slow)

I read most of the blogs through the reader first, then if I can think of something to add, i will do that by going to their site. I think the Reader is more to blame than Facebook. I actually have people (friends) from Facebook reading what I post now.

Surprisingly, they haven't "defriended" me yet. :)

JD at I Do Things said...

Blogging should be enjoyable, not a burden. Same with reading/commenting on other blogs.

I'm glad you've reached a comfortable place in your blogging career. Just please, PLEASE don't ever resign!

Janna said...

**leaps across the room, landing with a thud on the carpet, just barely grabbing the bottom of Jeff's pantleg as he tries to run away**

**hanging on**

*sobbing pitifully**

NOoooooo! Don't go!

Maureen said...

I could never get the hang of Facebook... only been on a few times myself.

I'll stick to blogging. But you are right; you should never feel like you HAVE to blog. It must remain a pleasure, not a burden.

Remember, you have a following that will read you whenever you post; so don't feel the need to post all the time.

Happy Holidays!

Jeff said...

elizabeth - I've watched every one of your adorable videos. You guys did good!

unfinished rambler - Thanks for hanging in there with me. I've lost a lot of commenters over the last year or so but I can always count on a visit from you. :-)

roger - How could anyone defriend you? You're like the friendliest guy on Facebook!

jd - I still find it enjoyable. I recently weeded out about 25 blogs from my reader list that I hadn't been following and that helped a lot. Now I have it down to my core group of friends. Hey, I should add you too.

KIDDING!!!

janna - Well, when you put it that way ;-)

maureen - I didn't like FB at first either. But it has a different role than blogging in that I can just leave pithy little smart alec comments without having to write a post. I use it more like Twitter, but without the 140 character limit.

Heather said...

Wait! Who are you?