Impetus: A well-known blogger decides to call it quits, Mashable deems such an appropriate occasion to write a requiem for the practice of blogging as a whole.
Much like billions of people don’t know who I am, or have ever visited my URL, I have no idea who Andrew Sullivan is, nor can I say that I’ve ever read the Daily Dish. However, I do know that in spite of putting up quite a good fight for roughly about as long as I’ve been writing stuff and posting it to the internet under my own one-man operation, Andrew Sullivan is, like millions of would-be bloggers in front of him, another quitter.
Chalk the Daily Dish up as another blog that will have the plug pulled from it, to sit dormant and collect dust until the registration on the domain is eventually forgotten, un-renewed, and transforms into a link re-direct site by an entity with the wherewithal to try and capitalize on the negligent mistake URL search.
What gets me is that the guy that ran the site, he got paid to write. I would love to get paid to write, for a living, much less on a blogging platform. And he still walked away from it. His list of reasons why are pretty standard to most peoples’ reasons for discontinuing their own blogs, which is to say that they’re kind of weak, but at least he had the courtesy to state that he’s stopping, instead of just stopping it on some random post about a trite topic, only for it to never be posted to again. The funny thing is that he stated leaving “before he burned out,” but the fact of the matter is that people stop because they’re already burned out; otherwise they typically wouldn’t stop, if there was still some gas left in the tank after all.
However, it’s not so much the news of a well-known blogger quitting that has inspired me to write as much as it’s the Mashable article in which I read of this story, as well as the so-called requiem for the practice of blogging outright. Normally, I enjoy the things I read on Mashable; they’re not as pretentious or arrogant as the bullshit read on any Gawker website, not so mind-numbingly fluffy or plagiarist as a BuzzFeed “article,” and the fact that I still consider them as a regular read is a testament to that they’re not so terrible.
But ultimately, every article written on a collaborative website like Mashable, or any of the aforementioned websites, are still the voice of a singular person, the person who wrote it. And personally, I’m not always keen on when people speak on behalf of others, much less myself, especially when it’s in regards to something that I don’t necessarily agree with.
Naturally, what I’m getting to is the fact that I have objection with what this particular writer is declaring about the practice of blogging, all because of the fact that one well-known, paid professional of a blogger has decided to throw in the towel.
The actions of one individual do not declare an entire medium invalid.
Cal Ripken, Jr’s retirement didn’t mean that Major League Baseball was dead. Hulk Hogan retiring doesn’t mean the end of professional wrestling. The Beatles dissolving didn’t mean the end of rock and roll, and the deaths of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur didn’t mean rap was dead. Michael Jordan’s (second) retirement didn’t mean the NBA was dead…bad example.
The point remains, just because one well-known blogger has decided to join the sheep and quit, does not mean that the entire subculture of blogging is dying, much less requiring a so-called requiem.
Sure, currently, the world is in this hyper-ADD mentality that lives and dies by Twitter, 156 characters at a time, and can’t be bothered to read anything longform these days, but that certainly doesn’t mean that that’s exclusive to every single person out there. Undoubtedly, fewer and fewer people actually read blogs these days, because everything else is boiled down and boiled down to fit into tweets and quick summaries, there’s no denying that. Not that my own brog has anything remotely close to be considered a respectable readership, and I know that the vast majority of the sparse hits I do get are usually bored people who suddenly remember that I post a lot of shit and can shotgun content a month at a time, if they’re so inclined to hope that I touch on a topic that might pique their interest.
But the fact of the matter is that blogs still exist. And they will continue to exist, as long as there are people who are committed to the hobby of writing, and continue to write, regardless of who’s reading it or mostly not. We might be few, those who enjoy writing longform, and even fewer those actually enjoy reading it, but it’s not always so much about hits, page views and necessarily knowing whether or not it’s being read. I can’t speak for everyone else out there that does it like I do, but it’s mostly for the simple enjoyment of the writing itself that it happens at all.
Seemingly, everyone throws in the towel at some point. Lord knows, I know more than enough people who have started blogs and let them wilt and shrivel up and die, and there are others that actually manage to keep going beyond a month too. Not everyone’s going to be doing this forever, much less surpass the 15+ year mark. Who knows, eventually maybe I’ll throw in the towel too, regardless of what evidence exists that probably says I won’t.
Regardless, whatever may come of the future, even if I’m the last brogger on the internet, as long as I’m trying to churn out words on a regular basis, there is no need for a requiem for blogging.