Thursday, January 09, 2014

DOA Blogs

By Pauly
New York City

Kottke wrote an obit for blogs. Check out R.I.P. The Blog, 1997-2013.

I first saw the link on Tony Pierce's post The End of Blogging.

To quickly sum up... blogging is no longer kitschy and like Tony said, it lost its buzz. But, there's some hope.... long-form writers will always stick with the format because it caters to lengthy, rambling content. Plus blogs are best suited to provide coverage of breaking news stories. So it won't go away completely, but there's been a significant shift away from long-form content over the last few years. Trends and short attention spans are a bitch.

I admired Tony's dedication to his old-school blog. When I first started out, I found inspiration in several of his posts, especially on How to Leave a Comment. That was just before online trolling became a national pasttime. To this day, it's one of the best blog posts I've read.

Timing is everything. I started a blog at the right time too. My college roommate Skippy, who wrote for a major newspaper at the time, told me about Blogger in 2002 and I signed up. The rest is history. I guess I was one of those early adopters. The blog was an amazing resume to attract potential clients. That was the perfect storm too because I had spent the previous decade struggling to break into the writing biz in any capacity. Funny how I snuck in the backdoor through blogs, particularly poker blogs. I nearly parlayed a rinky dink deen gambling poker blog into a book deal. That deal fell apart but most of the Vegas-centric content of the blog became the bulk of the first draft of Lost Vegas.

There was a time in the middle 00s when everyone and their grandmother had a blog and blogs became the new tattoos. That's when I knew it was time to migrate elsewhere (even though by then I had started at least 20-30 different blogs either for myself or for work). But other social media platforms became a lot more appealing becase let's face it... blogs are word centric and we're an image-based culture that hates to read. Facebook and Twitter were much more appealing to a broader audience.

And then Tumblr came along and was mobile-format friendly which appealed to many folks in the middle of the road between old-school blogs and micro-blogging (FB/Twitter). I guess Tumblr is like medium-blogging. Then again, if you're on Tumblr, it's because you're a teenage girl, or you're addicted to oodles of free (and virus-free) porn. There's a huge crossover in the middle there. I'll let you draw your own naughty conclusions.

And yes, I'm on Tumblr. I'm an early adopter and I dig porn. I liked using it as a middle-of-road platform when 140 characters on Twitter was not enough. But these days, Medium is overtaking Tumblr in that department, which is why it's doomed to be a site for teenage emo girls and porn addicts. I won't dabble much in Tumblr this year. I had two Tumblrs that I tried to maintain, but made a decision to consolidate shit. Tumblr got left out of the mix when I sketched out 2014 Projects. Alas, I migrated 'Writing Music' to this blog and I moved Daily Sports Betting Picks from Ocelot's Tumblr over to its main website.

Iggy once told me that this corner of the web was going to be the biggest blog of mine someday. I thought he was smoking PCP because it's impossible to trump the traffic that Tao of Poker had reached at the height of its popularity every summer, nor could it come close to a post on Coventry smack in the middle of Phish tour. I hope Iggy is right someday. Until that happens... I'll keep plugging away. But consolidating stuff is a wise plan. It's putting more eyeballs back here... the source and launching pad for everything else.

Social media becomes a reflection of my current interests and ever-changing philosophy. I'm in the middle of a consolidation phase. I got stretched thin and want to focus on fewer of those projects. I'm going for a less is more approach, but hoping the less means much stronger or more focused content... whatever that is.

Management of social media is a pain-in-the-ass task and sucks up chunks of time sifting through the static. It's much easier to water a couple of house plants then have to service multiple greenhouses. I got too ambitious and bit off more than I could chew. With other creative things on my plate, I learned the hard way that if I shovel too much shit into my mouth, then I'm going to puke everything up an potentially choke on my own vomit.

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