Above is a screenshot from the archives page. If you notice, in 2004 we wrote 425 posts. In 2005, 190. And for the first half of 2006, 58. Then, if you look at 2006 alone, just about each consecutive month has fewer and fewer posts. In other words, come 2015, you should expect about a post a year around these parts. Moreno, Abogado (whatever happened to that guy?), and I are hardly alone in the trend. Often, after a week of not checking any of my “daily blogs” I guiltily update my feedreader only to find (feeling relieved, disappointed, and perplexed) that just a few people have written anything new.
Why? Why, after such an intense outpouring of conversation, storytelling, and debating is there now so much silence? Mari, César, Alma, Wooj, Beckie, Julissa, and Seyd have stopped blogging altogether. Derek, Gustavo, Travis, Revaz, Chris, Daily Texican, Prentiss, and Elena now write at intervals only consistent in their inconsistency. And even old powerhouses like Cindylu, Karen, and HP (not that HP ever wrote anything himself anyway) have slowed down considerably.
What does it all mean? Were the skeptics right? Was blogging just a fad, a novelty that would wear off like all novelties do? Or maybe it was never about the weblogs to begin with. Maybe the whole time we were trying to figure out the person behind the blog, not what he or she had to say. And now that we’ve “figured them out,” there’s no reason to continue the game.
It could also be that we’re no longer blogging as much because the conversations are happening elsewhere: over email, IM, Myspace (¡qué horror!), phone calls, dinners. Perhaps we’re like your typical band that can never produce a followup album that matches the intensity of their first record: we’ve already shared our best stories, pet theories, and long-lasting reflections – there’s no need to repeat ourselves endlessly.
Or else the blogosphere has gotten too big, too common, and we no longer feel like the important exception. Remember when we still had to explain to everyone what a weblog was? Now everyone and their mom (literally!) has one. Why add our feeble voices to the roaring noise of the echo chamber?
Surely we’ve come to also realize the gravity of that little publish button. We regret some of what we wrote in the past and we know now that anything we write will stick with us forever. Plus, we go to parties and we’re introduced to complete strangers who say “oh, you’re the one with that blog huh?” We know nothing about them and they they could know everything about us.
Whatever the reason, or reasons, that we have all slowed down, I think it’s far too early to call blogging a “fad.” A long time ago, when I first started to blog, when my friends constantly asked why I would invest so much time in something that nobody would ever read, I explained that a nice community had formed around this blog and others. I likened it to a big table at my local coffeehouse where near-strangers would gather each morning to drink lattés, talk city politics, and grumble about the newspaper.
Since then, many new people have joined the table, a few have dropped off, and overall, we’ve quieted down quite a bit. But that sense of community still exists for me, is still important to me, and in the next couple days I will post a small ode to its short history.
A bear hug to all,