Saturday, August 6, 2016

Where did all the bloggers go?


When I first started blogging back in '09 (I can't believe that's almost seven years ago now - SEVEN!), I used to read a lot of blogs. I followed quite a number of them, and every morning after I'd gotten the kids off to school, and Youngest Son was settled in front of the Lego container or Play School, I would sit down and religiously work through them all - reading, commenting and tweeting with bloggers. It was incredibly time consuming, but it was worth it to me, because I was entertained and found a number of like-minded people who I could share my experiences with and learn from.

I also met a number of those bloggers at the first, ever, Australian blogging conference held a couple of years later in 2011. From memory, I decided to stay at the hotel in Sydney where the conference was being held at the last minute. Best. Decision. Ever. I didn't have to rush off at the end of the Saturday night dinner, so I could relax, chat (we had some hilarious conversations during dinner) and dance. (Nutbush, anyone?)

However, something I also discovered at that conference was that I wasn't really interested in 'building a brand' with my blog. I loved writing, sharing and reading other's posts, but I didn't want to be a Dooce.com or anything.

Once I discovered this fact, my involvement in the blogging world slowly but surely decreased. I stopped reading so many blogs (and some of them became frustrating to read, because they'd gone very much down the 'brand' route) and instead focused more on my family and myself. In fact, there were a number of reasons that influenced my decision, and after a trip to New York with Mr A that same year, I had albeit decided to finish up my blog. Just eight months after the conference, I had wrapped up Mummy Mayhem, and wasn't certain if I'd return to blogging in any capacity.

I pulled away from the online world. I was amazed one day to realise that it had been four months since I'd posted on Twitter, and that was after being someone who would have posted four times in the first hour of the day back in my early Twitter days. 

Yet, I eventually realised I still wanted to write, but I couldn't go back to my old blog. Hence, I started this one. It's a space I don't overly promote. I'm not fussed by stats, it's just a space for me. I really like it this way - I feel like I'm flying under the radar, and that's quite a comfort to me.

I only read a handful of blogs these days, and only a few of those I read with any sort of regularity, but I recently wondered what happened to all the blogs I used to read religiously. I came across one of my old Mummy Mayhem posts and decided to check out all the blogs from which people had left a comment from - most of which I would have been reading back in the day. I was, and yet wasn't surprised to find that so many of those blogs don't exist at all anymore, or haven't been updated in years. Very few continue, in fact. One ex-blogger reappeared in my comments here one day, and I was thrilled. I loved her old blog, and her new blog (after a four year break) was such a great read. Then she disappeared again, shutting down the new blog too. (I was actually quite concerned about her, but after asking around FB, found she was dealing with some personal stuff and wasn't ready to blog again. Fair enough - I get that.)

I kind of hope, like me, those ex-bloggers have either found other passions to put their time in to, but I also hope that some of them are still writing, because they really should. Whether that be on another blog or in a journal or whatever. It would be a shame to think that something that had been such a large part of their world wasn't anymore, in any capacity whatsoever.

J
xox  

4 comments:

  1. You were one of the first people I met in the foyer at that hotel! I knew no-one other than those via Twitter & their blogs. I'd got a last minute to Aussie bloggers but wanted to go home.. I felt so out of place until the day of the conference where some of the people I sat with I still know now via FB & have met up with many bloggers. My blog has changed a bit but has never been about blogging for money.. Just blogging to connect. Since leaving my teaching roles & family life in Sydney I've been blogging 7 days a week & enjoy the community that remains & grows! Nice post Jodie!

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    1. Hello Denyse! Yes - I remember meeting you very well. We were standing by the beverages, and I think we had a cuppa?! :) The conference was so much fun. It's great to see everyone in person. I've been enjoying all your pics of your new life. I'm on the northern beaches, and love the ocean. xox

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  2. I've had pretty much the same experience as you with "the community" - I've been writing online since before the whole thing blew up in the mid 2000s. Just like you, I never wanted to be a brand - I just wanted to write, and to read similar stuff - and it's becoming increasingly hard to find kindred spirits.

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    1. Yeah. I have no problem with people wanting to build a brand with their blog, but I think too many people think they kind of have to, and sometimes when they do that, the quality of their blog decreases. They overthink it. I stopped reading some blogs because they went far too much down the sponsored post route. VERY few bloggers can write sponsored posts well enough that you don't feel like you're reading one. I know less than a handful.

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Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. J xox