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Thursday, January 05, 2017

The State of Blogging 2017: What Happened to Blogging?

As The Nicsperiment enters its FOURTEENTH year of blogging COUGH*with a two-year inactive streak during '06-'08*COUGH, I'm left to wonder: what happened to everybody else? Is textually blogging dying as a format? Just among my peer group? Is everyone fleeing to a different blogging arena?
My sister-in-law has a blog-tracker on the bottom of her now apparently defunct blog. It shows the name of the roughly 25 or so blogs she follows, the most recent post for each respective blog, and how long it has been since each of those posts have been published. Outside of The Nicsperiment, only one of those 25 or so blogs has been updated in the past month. Outside of The Nicsperiment, only five of those 25 or so blogs have been updated in the past year. Half of them haven't been updated in the last half-decade.
What is going on?
Why aren't these people blogging anymore? What kind of outlet do they now have for the things they were blogging about? Were they just blogging because their friends were doing it? Was there a collective, "Well, if you're not doing this anymore than neither am I?"
I took my decade-ago two-year leave of absence because I thought being in a committed relationship meant that I couldn't do anything I liked anymore, including playing video games or watching any movies my wife wasn't into. Even my wife thinks that was a really stupid thing for me to do. In late 2008, I slowly incorporated blogging back into my life, and found it invaluable to my sanity. Any time I've had a break from blogging since, I've found that I have also been struggling mentally.
Blogging is my outlet, a designed introvert's outlet if ever there was one. Even if I'm mainly reviewing music and video games and not discussing my personal life all that much, I am still exercising my emotions. Has everyone else just found a better way of doing that? Maybe they just film themselves talking on youtube now, but if that's the case, sorry guys, but I am not going to watch videos of you talking on youtube.
I have noticed that my readership has stayed steady as long as I blog consistently. If I don't, the page view counts eventually go down. I don't know how many of these views are Russian spybots, but for Russian spybots to be that invested in my blog, it has to have at least some Internet real-estate value.
Anyway, with all that said, I've reached a point where I realize if I set yearly goals for The Nicsperiment in terms of content, I generally don't reach them, which leads to discouragement. My only plan is to keep working steadily through my "Every Album I Own" series, review each video game I complete on my side-blogs, and post other mostly media-related content when I am moved to. Hopefully, I will get some travelogues in there, as I feel that is where I have done my best work. I'd love to somehow compile all of those into one physical volume one day, even if it is only for my own enjoyment. Actually, that may be the secret to continuous blogging. If you are blogging for your own benefit, simply to speak without caring about being heard, you will surely blog consistently. If you only care about reader response, you may struggle to blog when that readership isn't what you want it to be. Or something.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: While I was proofreading this post, my wife, who had no idea I was writing this, texted me to notify that she is ending her six-year absence of blogging, by beginning an all new blog. When I told her the irony of what I was currently doing and asked her opinion on the issue, she simply said, "They just do all that stuff on Facebook now." Awesome.)
Happy 2017. Here is a picture of all of my son's Nintendo Amiibos. When he realized that anyone anywhere in the world with unblocked Internet access can view The Nicsperiment, he asked me to post this picture with the caption, "Boy with the most Amiibos in the world." I told him that mostly grownups read The Nicsperiment, and that they may not know what an Amiibo is, but in the spirit of a true blogger, he insisted.
Boy with the most Amiibos in the world.


Azure Ides-Grey said...

Curious, has the design mostly been the same for as long as you've had the blog? Reason I ask is that I can't keep one I like and I'm generally interested in blog designs, ha.

Indeed, blogging is a great outlet for introverts. Based on a quick Google, the introvert to extrovert ratio is around 25% introvert compared to 75% extrovert! It's disappointing because it's a great communication tool ... in writing (especially prose, stream of consciousness, etc), you have an advantage to the accuracy / intricacy of expression because you can write as much as you want and be as clear as you allow yourself to be. Music, photography, painting, etc. are great, but they're rather fragmented, I would argue.

Nicholas said...

No, it's been through a few, and I even changed the name within the first year, though it's been The Nicsperiment since then. It's had the same design since late summer of 2014, though. I have been meaning to change it up for a little while, but I'm not quite sure what I want it to look like.
I think this is one of the most versatile and complete forms of expression. In one post you can say anything you want with as many words as you choose, and if you want to add in pictures, sound, or video of your own composition (other others) to enhance those words, you are free to do so. It's pretty great! I hope its popularity stays at a level where Google wants to keep it around--I always have in the back of my mind the eventuality that one day, these 1000+posts (more than 12 years of work!) will have to migrate somewhere else :(