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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another Exodus?

I just caught Elaine's post of a couple of days ago announcing the possibility that her blog may be coming to an end. This will be a great loss if it happens. But I, of all people, certainly understand it.

I've been quitting, then coming back , tentatively, for the past couple of years. Some of us grow weary of looking for things to write about. It stops being fun, so we decide to drop out. If you're a blogger who blogs because you have an inner need to write, as Elaine most certainly does, you discover a big empty hole in your life when you stop writing.

Your inner demons begin driving you back to the keyboard. If Elaine, leaves, I wouldn't be surprised to see her back in due course.

Of course, there's always pen and paper, or that artifact of the past, the typewriter. But how can you top the medium of the Internet? The brilliant invention of the web log, its simplicity and ego-satisfaction of instant publishing are irresistible lures.

There is another problem, however, and Elaine's announcement--or rather, its aftermath--highlights it. The old community spirit isn't what it used to be. Blogging seems to have become a more isolated activity. This is highly ironic given the rise of the so-called "social web," or Web 2.0, or whatever in the hell you want to call it.

Yes, there's more connectability, but the connections seem to be more superfluous.

Time was when an announcement like this from Elaine would have generated a flurry of comments, postings, pleadings, protestations, and hand-wringing statements of concern. Now, barely a ripple. It's amazing to me, considering someone of Elaine's quality of writing and longevity in the blogosphere.

Well, whatever Elaine decides to do, I'm sure that I'm not alone in treasuring what she's given us. And, of course, our hearts are with her as she continues her amazing efforts to care for her mother.

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4 Comments:

  • I guess I started blogging at the tail-end of the community spirit that you speak of. However, I do have a few loyal readers and I, too, don't get to read everyone on my blogroll. The small community of which I seem to be a part, has been enormously helpful for me as I weathered a challenging time of transition and loneliness in my life.

    It was wonderful being able to report on my emotional progress via my blog. Each time I think about quitting I discover, as you describe so well here:
    "a big empty hole in [my] life when [I] ... [my] inner demons begin driving [me] back to the keyboard."

    By Blogger tamarika, at 4:25 AM  

  • Actually, Tamar, you have done a great job of building a community around you. A lot of my kvetching about the lack of "spirit" is my own fault.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 12:58 PM  

  • I tried to leave this comment the other day, but it obviously didn't take. The comments you and others left on my post were a lot more insightful that I was being. When I began blogging, it was to become part of that community, and I spent more time reading and commenting on others' sites than I spent writing on my own. But with the fading of those close connections, I have to shift gears and do, as Frank said, write because I'm a writer.

    And I'm sure glad you're still here, Tom. You and Frank are the two guys I still read. And so I'm still here too.

    By Anonymous Elaine of Kalilily, at 8:42 PM  

  • I'm probably completely off base, but perhaps blogging is going the way of a lot of fads. Or maybe it's more like learning a musical instrument. After the novelty has worn off, most people find it too tiring to keep up with or the next new thing has captured their attention.

    I suppose I have a sort of different view about the whole blogging thing because I didn't come to it expecting to build or embrace an online community (I'm not even sure I'm really part of any online community because I don't solely read and comment in one blog clique). The thing is, it's really hard to feel any raport with anyone on the internet--you write something and then send it off to the aether. If a message comes back, you could very well imagine it's just your computer humoring you. So in the long run, I think the surviving bloggers will be the people who understand that writing is primarily a solitary activity.

    By Blogger Sya, at 9:41 PM  

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