Get Blogging!
October 30, 2022 3:52 PM   Subscribe

 
If you are reading this, you should get a blog
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:12 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


I haven't done blogging since 2012, when LiveJournal had a major emptying out of the community I had built there over years and I was shouting into an empty hall. But I do go back and look at what I wrote there over several years from time to time. If you want to look back on what I was writing back then, you can find it here.
posted by hippybear at 4:19 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Get (Your Own) Blogging!
posted by snofoam at 4:34 PM on October 30


Wow, hippybear, that brings me back. I even had the same theme! I deleted my LJ more than a decade ago but I think I have the docs somewhere.
posted by guiseroom at 4:36 PM on October 30


LiveJournal had a major emptying out of the community I had built there over years and I was shouting into an empty hall

"Shouting into an empty hall" is a good description of why I don't blog. The visceral reaction I had to the phrase "The more people add their unique perspectives to the web, the more valuable it becomes" from the linked site is the other reason.

I think that's the weakness of this resource: it assumes that the reader believes that blogs and RSS are good, but they were abandoned for social media for a good reason, even if we now understand social media is kind of a garbage fire. This really needs a section reintroducing blogs, and why you would want your own website when most people appear to be content as consumers.
posted by Merus at 4:38 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Social media is only a garbage fire because of the algorithmic feeds. If you could reset it to the early days where it was only people you were following and what they had to share, we'd all be living in much more peace.

It's not social media. It's the algorithmic feeds.
posted by hippybear at 4:47 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Kottke was right.
posted by clavdivs at 4:49 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


W/r/t 'what happened to blogging' it's hard to omit the comments fields of blogs, which could be far more productive and entertaining, and community-building, than the blog itself. Centralised social media websites do do that interaction better, and with the unbeatable benefit that someone else has to keep the spammers and Nazis at bay—it could be incredibly tedious running one's own moderation.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:54 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Kottke was right.

Fahey was righter.
posted by y2karl at 5:08 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


swear to Got, watching S:6 of Lost and who pops out of the jungle.
posted by clavdivs at 5:12 PM on October 30


I did once have a blog and thought it was worth saying the odd thing on it. But now? I think I'll just fade into the privet if you don't mind.
posted by aesop at 5:18 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


This really needs a section reintroducing blogs, and why you would want your own website when most people appear to be content as consumers.

It does say a bit about that, but only at the very end. I agree it would make more sense to address the "why" first, before listing the resources. (That said, it's a nice idea.)

I haven't done blogging since 2012, when LiveJournal

That reminds me that I haven't been seeing Dreamwidth recommended as a place to move to from twitter. Is it not a going concern anymore? I though it had picked up some following lately.
posted by trig at 5:27 PM on October 30


About 3 months ago I started a new website specifically to give myself an outlet for articles I wanted to write about American whiskey. (I also challenged myself to write one new article every week---a goal that I've met so far.) I hesitated to call it a blog since that's unhip but in effect, that's what it amounts to. I also created a 'presence' on instagram and linkedin to promote it, though using those channels for that purpose feels like a bit of a stretch. I honestly have little confidence anyone is reading my 'blog' or if they are, they're certainly not bothering to leave comments. But it pleases me to write for it, so I guess that's the most important result. Still, it does seems like there's a very large gap between long form/episodic writing like a 'blog' (or whatever you want to call it) and 'in the instant' social media snippets/hot takes and, consequentially, building readership/following for the former using the latter.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 5:31 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


That's oddly where LJ fit into a neat middle spot. You were doing your own thing, but everyone was sort of doing it together and you'd end up in conversation with others and reading other's journals...

It's not the same as, but it really worked nicely for me for quite a while.
posted by hippybear at 5:35 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Ah, good timing, thank you! Some of my Girl Scouts are doing NaNoWriMo and I want to join in to support them, but have no interest in writing a book or anything else long form. I think I'll do a blog.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:46 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Kinda ironic that this came up today since my blogspace has been having an all day outage :P

That reminds me that I haven't been seeing Dreamwidth recommended as a place to move to from twitter. Is it not a going concern anymore?

I think that one, like literally everything else that isn't Facebook/Twitter/social media, just gets ignored since social media.

I like blogging, but the nice thing about it these days is NOT getting people reading it and NOT getting followers and it NOT being on social media. You can still pretty much say what you want there without every person in the world suddenly seeing it, being offended, and doxxing/stalking/death threating you. One blog is only read by my crafter friends, one only gets hits from people looking for book reviews, another one has one reader because that fellow and I are similarly inclined to avoid people seeing us, another one only gets read once a year because of a monthly blogging project I do, etc., etc. I don't really care about getting the attention so much as getting my...whatever...out of my system. I could probably be a minor Internet hit for my craft items (certain ones, anyway), but bad things would happen if a lot of people saw me, so I'm careful.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:07 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


I used to blog, and I still feel tempted to do so, but I can't mindfully justify it.

Generally I'm trying to cut down the amount of time I spend on the internet rather than increase it, so starting a blog seems a step in the wrong direction.

I do have a private journal, which feels completely different since it is for my eyes only and I write stuff in it that I wouldn't want to be publicly viewed.

Curious if others have had similar thoughts on blogging, and how they converged to a decision.
posted by splitpeasoup at 6:20 PM on October 30


I have a LiveJournal account which is still live, but I have never posted anything to... I created it only to follow one of my friends who has since moved on to other platforms. I have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, and a couple of other platforms that I use to follow some friends and people I am interested in. I don't post much to any of them. I don't trust the uses to which Twitter or Facebook put my data, particularly now that Elon Musk has bought Twitter. Also, like jenfullmoon says, I don't want everyone in the world to be able to read what I write. I have already received:
Me: Donald Trump is dumb.
Respondent: Your opinion is invalid because you got divorced.
Le sigh.

So I am thinking of starting a blog. I have an idea for a title and a theme. But aside from the initial hurdle of choosing a platform and setting it up, I find that I don't have much to say. I will keep everyone posted.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:15 PM on October 30


I still blog (link in my profile). I've been blogging extremely intermittently for years and years and years. I get hardly any visitors at all. That's okay. I write for myself.

I also really enjoy reading other people's blogs, many of which I discovered here - celebrities like Michael Palin and Ursula K. LeGuin, and less-known people who just have interesting stories to tell.

I love blogs.

I hope this project encourages more people to blog! It seems very clear and thorough and easy to follow. Very nice job, bwerdmuller!

Thanks for posting this, aniola! Yay blogs!
posted by kristi at 7:36 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


I have an 11-year old art blog which is characterized (in the last several years) by small bursts of activity between months of neglect. Perhaps keeping it up is an act of hopefulness.
posted by Glinn at 8:32 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Social media is only a garbage fire because of the algorithmic feeds. If you could reset it to the early days where it was only people you were following and what they had to share, we'd all be living in much more peace.

The only reason Mastodon isn't awful like Twitter is because it's smaller. The algorithmic feeds don't help, but the social dynamics of social media are guaranteed to cause problems.

That's oddly where LJ fit into a neat middle spot. You were doing your own thing, but everyone was sort of doing it together and you'd end up in conversation with others and reading other's journals...

Based on my research, I do actually think LiveJournal reached an interesting middle ground where you could have communities form, but they were insulated from each other in productive ways so you don't get the context collapse that plagues Tumblr's tags or Twitter's core value proposition.
posted by Merus at 9:56 PM on October 30


I started bloggin' at Blogger/Blogspot about the time hippybear (and everyone else) stopped. Started a new job in Jan 2013 and thought it would be instructive to blog the process of transition from active research to hyperactive teaching. For several years I was posting every day and eventually my whole life was recorded there as back-story or context to blogs-du-jour. It's much cheaper than a therapist [or a cat] and I occasionally mine it for ready-wrote, more-or-less relevant comments on MeFi. To the nearest whole number the average post gets zero comments including hopeless kiting recommendations for pharmacists in Malaysia and charlatans in India.; so moderation is a doddle.
posted by BobTheScientist at 1:08 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


I find it a little disheartening that someone started a project basically saying -

"If you wanted to do this thing but thought it might be too intimidating for you, then here are some free and cheap and simple tools to help you do the thing" -

And majority of the MeFi discussion has been "Blurgh the thing sucks, no one wants to do the thing " .. which..

It's optional and the project creator never said otherwise, and I think it's s good thing to have done.

Thanks OP.
Thanks project creator.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:16 AM on October 31 [7 favorites]


This really needs a section reintroducing blogs, and why you would want your own website when most people appear to be content as consumers.

I was going to write several paragraphs talking about how people don't like reading (for many, it is legitimately a struggle to get through an article) and don't want to create anything, at least not text-based. Then I realised I would just be saying the same things as you.
posted by wandering zinnia at 3:57 AM on October 31


Yo, I still blog and I've been pretty active.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:28 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


I'd like to add one more observation: as someone who's been writing on a subject for many years (but who's never otherwise published my work, i.e. I don't have a book) my several blogs (there I said it), along with some mailchimp newsletters and a video interview, constitute something of a C.V. for me. So in addition to being the place I'm posting my most current work, the new site aggregates links to all of my past efforts. This also feels very valuable, perhaps the O.G. equivalent of having followers on insta.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 5:07 AM on October 31 [2 favorites]


I still blog (link in profile). I still read blogs. I used to zine back in the day. I write every day. Blogs are a great place to put things that probably won't become long projects. If this is a thing you enjoy, why not?
posted by thivaia at 7:41 AM on October 31


This is great! About a year ago decided to start blogging again but wanted something different than WordPress and really felt like I didn’t know what the kids were using these days and didn’t want to spend a ton of time researching what alternatives were there and trying them.

I eventually set up something on WordPress.com, but wasn’t happy with it. I’ve always had a great love for WordPress, but the readily available themes available for a simple blog kinda sucked because over time wp has been less and less geared towards just BLOGS. (Which that flexibility has always been it’s strong point.)

I’m sure I could have eventually found a good theme, but I’m not in my 20s any more and didn’t want to fuck around for hours, days digging. So it’s just hung there, And I’ve lost the motivation to do more than the few posts I made in the beginning.

The timing of this guide couldn’t be more perfect; last night I was just mentally composing a navel-gazing post about the Year Of Free Food where people at restaurants, fast food places would give me food or not charge me because [shrug]. (I still don’t know. But for a solid year it happened ALL THE TIME.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:11 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


🤔 Does mefi have a member blogging area (outside profiles)?

I’m saying that a a mefi member blog post aggregator could be a super cool feature if it doesn’t exist already.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:14 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


I blog. I few years ago I wrote Some Additional Advice For Those Who Want To Start Blogging as encouragement to others to join me. So far nothing, but maybe this will tip anyone on the edge of getting started.

EmpressCallipygo, I love The Movie Crash Course!
posted by AndrewStephens at 12:12 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


> And majority of the MeFi discussion has been "Blurgh the thing sucks, no one wants to do the thing " .. which..

Were comments deleted here? I'm getting the opposite feel from the discussion.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:21 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


I do have a private journal, which feels completely different since it is for my eyes only and I write stuff in it that I wouldn't want to be publicly viewed.

One thing I do miss about old school blogging was a relative freedom to write on topics you wouldn’t want to share with most people in your everyday life. I realize you can choose to blog anonymously or semi anonymously still, but that feels less authentic- and yet it’s a bit hard to be unfiltered with your real self when colleagues might read mindless musings or personal insights; even if not used nefariously, it could end up just being weird.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:51 PM on October 31


> why you would want your own website when most people appear to be content as consumers.

I don't see most people mention why I end up putting stuff on my website: so I can send a link instead of explaining a topic for the umpteenth time. These days if I find myself teaching someone something that I don't have a good resource to point them to, I'll write it and put it up myself.
posted by madhadron at 2:41 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Thank you for the post, project and discussion. It's helped me shape my own thinking a bit better.

I used to be a LiveJournal person and then a Dreamwidth person, and dabbled vaguely in blogging years ago. I'd like to try again, but it now seems so crowded and complicated. I've also struggled to articulate why I want to do it and who I want to read it. I don't want to build up a following or monetise anything, but I have some really niche micro-obsessions. I would love, for example, if one day somebody in the world wonders about the real story behind a particular obscure memoir-novel about growing up in a northern England children's home, and googles it, and finds my blog post about it, with everything I've found out about it, waiting for them.
posted by andraste at 3:06 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


andraste: the last sentence of your comment addresses what you're struggling with in the third sentence of your comment.
posted by hippybear at 4:12 PM on October 31


hippybear: it does! But I didn't realise that was what I wanted till reading the post discussion :)
posted by andraste at 4:39 PM on November 2


A blog post like this one The Big Sleep (1946) wouldn’t live on social media, but I enjoy it when I stumble upon these small blogs. Someone cares about something, enough that they put it online for someone to see. That seems like reason enough. Because… the internet!

Blogging isn’t about how many follows you.
posted by beesbees at 1:13 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


I came across this French blog about Robert Palmer and I haven't bothered to close it -- since it's the first tab, it just comes up whenever I start Mobile Safari. It's kind of the platonic ideal of a fan blog. Get yourself a blog that looks at you the way this blog looks at Robert Palmer.
posted by credulous at 2:25 AM on November 3


Get yourself a blog that looks at you the way this blog looks at Robert Palmer.

Haha, that’s true: the personal blog is truly something special. Mostly because it’s you that set the boundaries of how personal you want to be. There is something to be said about speaking into the void.

I also enjoy the self-interview as a form.
posted by beesbees at 9:31 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Very much approve of this making it over to MeFi proper. Thanks, aniola.
posted by nthdegx at 10:28 AM on November 16


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