Friday, 11 October 2019

Blog end?

“And now, the end is near...”

Well, as far as blogging is concerned, it certainly feels like it. As a platform it is certainly ‘old school’ and I get the impression that few people under the age of 40 writes one. The blogs that I follow - almost entirely Natural History themed blogs - are showing signs of having become infected by a general blogging malaise - fewer posts, shorter posts, a big fall in interaction with visitors. I’ve got the symptoms too. My posting exhibits a certain tiredness, not as frequent, lacks imagination, fewer comments being left and fewer visitors. This isn’t a whine, they are just the facts.

Is this down to the way our social media functions, in that platforms become passé, attention spans demand short tweets and not wordy lumps of copy? Is it too much effort for visitors to leave a comment, or are the posts not engaging enough? Of course, it could be that if a blogger is dishing up dull material then visitor numbers will fall, as will the number of comments that are left behind. I know that the accumulation of comments is not to be taken as a barometer as to the health of a blog, but their presence certainly points towards an involving one.

Even those blogs that are still producing thought-provoking prose and inspiring material seem to be talking to an empty cyberspace. I even find myself not going to my favourite writers as often, or as keenly, as I used to. Maybe time is up after all?

I still cannot bring myself to pull the plug. There are times when I know that I will post something, and that will galvanise somebody to go out into the field to seek whatever it was that I had written about. If that happens - even just the once - each year, then it was worth it. I used to write opinion pieces, satirical asides and loads of nonsense to pad out the space between my observation derived writing. That spark has left. Either that, or I’ve finally grown up.

The answer might be to send ND&B off on a sabbatical, to get its oomph back.

20 comments:

  1. Hi Steve, I am always happy to look over your blog, it often brings back memories of Beddington in my youth (early 1980's), and I appreciate that it includes all natural history stuff. Enjoy the sabitical.

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  2. I always read your posts and enjoy them immensely. They often motivate me to look more at flora. Would miss them if they went

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  3. Hi Steve, I am certainly still reading them. Yours is the one I go to first each evening, always well written and entertaining. You would be much missed!

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  4. My thoughts completely. There will always be the die hard bloggers, who use it to stimulate their own brain if nothing else, but by and large many blogs have gone stale and don't attract attention. The gaps between my blog postings get longer and longer nowadays and when I compare them with those posted several years ago, they're no where near as good because I'm forcing them.

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  5. I know that feeling all too well, Steve...

    For what it's worth, I enjoy revisiting some of my older posts from time to time, and consequently regret deleting NQS MkI and MkII. So don't do that. I also enjoy resurrecting it occasionally too. In other words, NQS is for my pleasure really, and if others get something out of reading it, well, that's a bonus. Don't know if that helps at all..?

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    1. Good point. Blogging is principally for the blogger and it's satisfying when others come along for the ride.

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  6. I've certainly learned a lot from following your blog Steve and have suggested others interested in flora and fauna follow it too. Keep it up please, it's much appreciated. And actually there are not so many well written, entertaining blogs out there like this so it's not a case of being buried in the forest of sameness.

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  7. I don't blog myself Steve for various reasons, but all in all, maybe bloggers are like musicians in as much as they have a couple of great albums in them, which stem from years and years of not having a platform from which to express themselves.

    Given the chance, it all comes out in a rush, but eventually the flood slows.

    Quality over quantity from then in.





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  8. I know exactly what you're talking about Steve

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    1. Me too. Finding it increasingly more difficult to post anything these days, although my trip to Dungeness did garner a bit of a resurgence. And it is curious how so many other birders are going through the same dip at the same time. Not sure why that is though. I've always admired Steve's remarkable output, quite amazing, but it is inevitable he will suffer from burnout at some point.

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  9. I look forward to reading your blog Steve, i particularly like the mix of wildlife you write about, and your general comments about music, and also i have followed up on your book reviews and gained much pleasure from reading the books. You have to do what you want to do,but could you be persuaded to write a weekly one ? Regards Chris.

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  10. Dont leave us Steve! You are a prolific writer for sure, posting almost daily and still keeping it interesting.

    Saying that, I do know how you feel and have made such comments myself but the key is, dont do anything. Just sit back. I hate the fact that I cant get off bloody facebook and twitter, it must be like smoking! But those things fill a gap of conversation that blogs no longer do. However, if you want to post something more meaningful and lengthy, Blogger is the best way to get it out there.

    On top of all that, although we have not met, I see you as a friend. We have had good chats on here, our competition and even some private email stuff in difficult times. When people say that 'friends' on the internet are not really your friend, I think thats rubbish. people used to have pen pals for decades, now we have this!

    I 'speak' to you as often as I do some friends I grew up with.

    So, in your low, bored phase, just take a holiday and come back when you feel you need to get the word out there... we love it all! Just dont be too long...

    Best wishes Steve...

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  11. I always read it, and I keep going blogging too!

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  12. Thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to comment, it is most appreciated. Just going to take a breather, unless something comes along and tickles my enthusiasm!

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  13. Steve, you`re spot on. I too have gone down the same train of thought but as my blog is sort of promoting the Plovers business I carry on regardless. What keeps me going are the complementary comments I get when out and about around Dungeness; many visiting birders refer to Plovers and Ploddingbirder for their birding info, particularly as the RSPB site is so often out of date. But we do seem to be in changing times with some bloggers packing up and going over to Twitter and other more instant forums. So, have a breather and come back fighting fit as yours is a top blog and often has me in gales (get it!) of laughter. All the best.

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    1. I'm a regular reader Paul, so keep it going!

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    2. This is Neil from Randon's Ramblings btw - writing this from work

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  14. Don't go Steve.Your blog is always entertaining & informative& always articulate.I enjoyed your Beddington reminisces very much-I re-read them now & then & remember now I,m in my dotage the great times we had.Still the only Short eared ringed in Surrey!!

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  15. You're probably right Steve that blogs tend to be read by fewer old blokes like us - maybe we all have to get on Instagram. But your enthusiasm will return and we all need you to find the right expression for your love for our local wildlife to fan the flame of our own passion. I have learned and seen a lot that I would otherwise have been clueless about through North Downs and Beyond.

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