In a recent Skype call with Justin Achilli, he mentioned that long-form blogging (for him, at least) has been ruined by microblogging like Facebook and Twitter. And it really got me thinking, to the point that I actually looked into ways to feed my Facebook or G+ feed into this blog.
I have my Twitter set up to feed into my Facebook, and I usually copy/paste into G+ as well. I will update on those sites a few times a day, and sometimes I’ll get into fairly elaborate thoughts on the non-Twitter sites (Twitter just doesn’t suit lengthy discussion well). And yet by the time I get my head around a topic to go into with this blog, a dozen other paying assignments come up, and I end up devoting my time to those. Although I find the argument of “If I wrote as many words here as I did on social media I would have more to show for it” false (since casual conversation is much less strenuous than essay writing), Justin’s comment has made me think about what I use blogging for, and why.
I started blogging waaaaaaay back when LiveJournal was a thing. I did it originally as just an online journal/diary, and from there it became my main social media site. A few years ago, I started using it as a place to pour out my thoughts, and soon after I made the switch to this site, which was a better place for that format. I had opinions! I had ideas! And I had a place to write them down and share them.
As social media sites have gotten more mature and integrated, I’m finding that I’m less interested in essaying and more interested in conversation. I find the back and forth to be interesting (when people aren’t being unintentional or explicit jerks, of course). The shorter, more ephemeral component is also more interesting — it feels like a moment, an experience. The blog as a format now feels more serious, more of a commitment.
Is that bad? I don’t think so, but I don’t know where that serious, detailed experience fits into my online presence just now. I feel like this site needs more focus instead of what I’ve done for the past several years of “post shit I find interesting,” and yet a tighter focus reduces my ability to contribute to the blog even further. I don’t think I should stop blogging — there’s still a lot of value here, even if I don’t use it often — but it does have me thinking about how the blog has evolved, and how it fits into not only my own life, but social media as a whole.
How do you view blogs these days?