I’m going to be self-indulgent today (Ha! Don’t ask about all the other days…) and post some words about the reputed death of blogging. Karl Elvis has been a friend of ErosBlog since forever, and here’s what he had to say about six weeks ago, on the occasion of his blog’s ninth anniversary:

As social media finally got a real foothold, blogging crashed and burned.

That probably makes sense. Blogging was a fad, something of an era; every fucking person on the internet seemed to have a blog for a six month period there. And then they didn’t. Abandoned blogs are the ghost town of the decade; people will tour them some day, dodging tumble weeds and spam links and stealing mementos.

Actually they won’t. Because unlike ghost towns, blogs leave nothing behind but empty hearts and minds. No blood no guts no brains at all.

There are exceptions, obviously. Great writing happened, and is still happening, in the context of blogs. No, the issue wasn’t a lack of content, it was the opposite. It was that signal-to-noise problem that chases us around the internet; when something works, really works, it has the life span of a snowflake. Perfect, brilliant, ephemeral, and then gone, lost in the waves of it’s own success. The sheer mass of irrelevancy and stupidity swamped the goodness and buried it.

But you know that. And anyway you’re not reading; who reads blogs anymore?

I wonder if Karl hasn’t accidentally put his finger on one of the reasons why I’ve recently gotten weirdly obsessive about tracking down image relationships and attributions. Some people do still read blogs, or you wouldn’t be reading this. But I never did any long-read “great writing” for writing’s sake; I was always about the “hey, look at this!” with my value added being a snarky sentence or at most a few paragraphs of commentary. On a bad day, it can look (and feel) like I’m just doing Tumblr cosplay in a costume made out of stale WordPress; what makes it a good day is the feeling of value added, of context provided. Boost signal; filter noise.

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