“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.