Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?


I finally sat down to read my blog roll this weekend, having fallen way far behind on daily reading, and I noticed that almost all of the most recent posts were link posts- as in, "here is a list of links that I found and wanted to share with you" posts.  And while I find some of these posts interesting and usually find something to click on (because they are so carefully worded to make you click to see this and this! (did I get you?)), I am starting to find them redundant.  It seems as though bloggers have come to think that every post needs to provide information about something useful to other people. I was reading back through my own older blog posts in order to update some broken links, and I realized that I already touched upon writing for yourself just a few weeks ago, so I don't want to rehash what I'd written once before, but I'm wondering where is the narrative?  Where have all the bloggers gone?

I was never a blog reader before I had a blog.  I knew that they existed; I knew what they were (I had read Julie & Julia after all, and Waiter Rant, also based off a blog) but I never even thought to search them out and read the content.  From my basic understanding, blogs started as journals of people's everyday lives, an online diary sharing information from one's day.  Bloggers would sit and rehash the mundane, which didn't seem all that mundane to other people reading it.  When I started my blog in 2011, I think it was right on the transition from personal sharing to professional blogging.  So many bloggers have turned to trying to craft the perfect content to share on Pinterest, or to be considered an "expert", it seems, in hopes that someone will come calling with a book deal or a movie deal or some professional writing gig.

I've also been noticing a lack of comments lately, which in combination with the link posts and lists of interesting DIYs/activities/vacation spots that are just a collage of photos with links without any explanation, it's caused me to wonder if blogging is losing the personal element.  Are people so busy that they are putting together quick content just to keep something fresh on their blogs?  Is "expert" blogging and information sharing more readable than personal posts?  Is it just because it's summer and people are out and about and have less time to post?  Where have all the bloggers gone- the ones who really want to write?

34 comments

  1. I feel the same way. I think I actually feel less inspired to blog because people around me aren't blogging the same content that they used to. I had a conversation with Andrew the other night about this, which led to a discussion about me wanting to write about local things. Generally, I wish more people did that too-- feature journalism, so to speak. It's more interesting to learn about people and places than to have a bunch of links to click through that make me feel as though I've wasted time on the internet yet again.

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  2. I blame it all on summer. :) But I guess it is normal because if its warm outside everyone wants to go out instead of sitting in fron of a computer. I guess when autumn comes blogland will become more alive. :)

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  3. Paige @ Little NostalgiaJuly 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    This happens every summer, but I do think it's been worse than normal. I read a great piece about something similar on D*S a few months ago, about how blogging in general is changing because of how much people use social media. It was so interesting and I think a lot of it is true. http://www.designsponge.com/2014/01/state-of-the-blog-union-how-the-blogging-world-has-changed.html

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  4. This is why I don't post every single day. I don't want to fall into that trap - although I do have a regular feature of sharing some other links but that's my way of supporting my blog sponsors. I try to find a happy balance of fluff and content because I think overall, attention spans are shorter bc of social media. Also I think (And this is speaking from what I've learned through work), strategically placed links will help bump up your post for SEO.

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  5. I blame summer. Everyone is soaking up summer! I try to maintain a good balance.

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  6. I totally agree with you. And I realized that part of my blog reading problem was that bloglovin dropped a lot of blogs from my reading list. (including yours) and I was only getting the quick and daily blogs. so I went searching for some of my favorite blogs....and I try to comment on most of the blogs I read. hmmmmm, maybe that's why my readership and comments have dropped from my blog. :(

    Debbi

    -YankeeBurrow

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  7. I share links too when I really excited about them, so I don't want to sound like a hypocrite, but when it's week after week after week then it can get old, and about half the blogs I follow do links on Friday. I'm going to try and mix it up so I don't always do the same thing. I agree totally about the SEO thing- but it almost seems like a Catch-22 doesn't it? You post inbound links to get followers, but then your followers get tired of so many links. You can't win!

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  8. Hopefully so! After the winter we had, I'm not surprised people are out and about. I'm hoping it rebounds in the fall!

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  9. I think after the winter we had, this is totally true.

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  10. I'm glad you came back and found me! I think part of that problem was when I switched back from .com to blogspot.com. I lost some followers for sure. I'm glad to know that you are a reader and a commenter! I think that's part of the interaction we're losing as blogging progresses.

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  11. I really hope you do do local posts! Even though I'm not in Baltimore, I think it would be fun to see, and read what you have to say related to the posts. I don't mind, say, outfit posts, if it has some kind of narrative about why you're showing me what you wore (or if it was a good deal, etc.), but I do what to have some kind of connection with the person writing.

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  12. I remember reading that and feeling kind of depressed about the whole thing because it's really true! The more you deal with social media the less blog interaction you get (I think). I've had people comment to me about a post via tweet and I think, "Write me a comment!" There's always that tug for validation.

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  13. LeAnn Larson FrobomJuly 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    I think summer is partly to blame -- but I also think I'm falling victim to social media burnout -- blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Etsy team mandatory chats. I work at my day job, sew into the night, and try to keep up with social media and team commitments -- and I have so little time to have a REAL LIFE that there is nothing new and interesting to blog about many weeks. After August 15 (the official launch of my holiday prep season), I'm going to try to limit social media time to 60 minutes per day so I have more time to create, market and sleep.

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  14. Allison ClementsJuly 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    When I first started writing, I wouldn't read other blogs. I finally started reading and commenting, but now I'm realizing that even when I do link ups, people don't read other blogs on the link up. That makes me a little sad. I like meeting new people and making new friends. Hopefully all of this will change as time goes on.
    xoxo
    Allison over at Allison's Eye

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  15. I haven't found that linkups do much for bloggers, either, unless you're the host or perhaps one of the first people on the list. If you're #125, no one is going to look at your blog, which is unfortunate because the premise of those is to meet new bloggers. I think commenting on a blog is a good way for a blogger to read and comment back, though. It's a way of introducing yourself. :)

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  16. I totally know what you mean about social media burnout! There are so many platforms, it's hard to keep up with them all. I try to stick to the few I really like, but it is hard to find time for real-life stuff, which should be the stuff we're blogging about. It's a vicious circle!

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  17. LeAnn Larson FrobomJuly 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    It really is a vicious circle!

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  18. Allison ClementsJuly 21, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    I couldn't agree more! I'm Allison by the way :)

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  19. Hi and welcome! What's your blog link?

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  20. Allison ClementsJuly 21, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Thanks! http://allisons-eye.com/

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  21. I'm guilty of the link posts too, but on occasion. Like you, I post them when I'm super excited about them. I've pretty much quit worrying about the number of followers, so to me there's no reason that I would need to do anything for my SEO in terms of blogging. I have mixed feelings on sponsor posts as well, but I guess that's opening a whole new can of worms! :)

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  22. I'm guilty of the tweet instead of comment, but lately it was because I tried to comment and then blogger ate my comment...lol. I think people don't want to take the time to comment anymore. For me, it's easier to express my thoughts in a comment then try to squeeze it into 140 characters.

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  23. I'm almost there. Andrew helped me figure out a game plan so that I can get over the fear of it all. I might have a near panic attack the first time I do it, but I think I can make it work. I have to also think of it as being an opportunity to get out of my studio once a week, and I think that will help push me to do it. If all else fails, I'm messaging my favorite bartender to see if he'd allow me to start off with my favorite bar because he'd be cool with that sort of thing. I also like outfit posts if they have a bigger story or conversation along with them rather than just a "hey, here's my outfit" sort of thing.

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  24. I think it's great! A comfortable place would be a good place to start. As you do that, you can introduce who you are and what you're doing, and hand out your card and maybe get some local love in the process!

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  25. Paige @ Little NostalgiaJuly 21, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Well, shoot! I do a link post every time I do Pinterest Picks! But that's part of why it's not a weekly feature anymore. I honestly got kind of tired of it, and I'm sure some people were tired of seeing it. By doing it every other week instead I have to narrow things down more, and I feel like the posts are better because of it.

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  26. Yes, I think when I did link posts like Friday Favorites, which was pretty regular for me a long time ago, I started to feel like I had to seek things out rather than literally sharing stuff that I really, really liked. Narrowing things down definitely makes the posts better!

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  27. Ha! Pinterest Picks is one of my favorite posts! (I love the photos. Also, I totally copied you.) I'm talking about those ones that are like, "Hi, it's Friday! Here's a roundup of links!" And it's literally a list of links with no photos. So many blogs are doing that now!

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  28. When google reader went away, my blog reading decreased ALOT but I've gotten into the habit of using Bloglovin so its getting better but now I feel like I don't see a lot of content that much. I feel like I see mostly promotion posts and that's annoying. I don't blog everyday anymore and I actually try to come up with posts that might be interesting or have nice pictures I took myself. I feel its more authentic when your blog is loaded with your own pictures.

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  29. I know what you mean about the loss of Google Reader. I like Bloglovin, but I feel like I've lost content, too. I don't like the promotional posts, especially when I get into one and it's telling a nice story and then it's like, "I love how this top from Target looks with these shoes from Old Navy." Whomp, whomp.

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  30. I'm blaming summer for now, but we'll have to see what happens this fall.

    Am I the only person who doesn't like Bloglovin? I'm a Feedly girl.

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  31. I never tried Feedly. Is it easier to use? I like how Blogloving marks my posts as read and then I don't have to see them on my list anymore.

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  32. melissa @ hilltop hausfrauJuly 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Oooh what a juicy topic, Kirsten!

    I'm feeling uber self-conscious though. I'm not an "aware" blogger - I do know there is a purist blog format, but I can't say I necessarily have the purist mantra posted to my board to keep myself in check ;)

    I love reading "julie and julia" esque blogs. One of my faves is Pink of Perfection (though Sarah seems to be taking a serious hiatus). I want to get to know the blogger, and if she is a current girl interested in inspiring topics and self-realization, I'm suddenly interested in what she is reading, eating, wearing, where she is going, etc!

    So I suppose I try to hold myself to that: I want to let people get to know me via my posts, but I know my mom reads them (er...she is an "analyzer"...I need to seriously edit my musings) but I don't want the posts to become rants or tell-alls. I also use my blog as a resume of sorts. When I submit artwork to shows, the curators usually are taking a look at "who I am" via the blog.

    Great topic!

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  33. I love that you use your blog as a "who I am" component. That's such a great statement and what a great use of your blog as a marketing tool!

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  34. After some initial stumbles (and updates) it's rather like the old google reader. You have to tweak your settings, but I find it to be the most similar. If you have your downloaded reader info from google you can upload it right to feedly.

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