Tuesday, June 3, 2014

More Thoughts on Blogging...

In March 2013 I wrote a post called Thoughts on Blogging..., musing about the impact of "newer" social media platforms on the experience of blogging. It generated 42 thoughtful and opinionated comments and a very interesting conversation.

Now, just over one year later, I thought it was time to revisit this topic. I have had my blog for nearly 7 years and have put up over 1,200 posts. It has always felt to me that my blog was my true online home but lately I have been putting equal energy into my other online sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In doing so I have noticed that while there is some overlap, I seem to connect with a different group of people on each site.

I admit that there are times when the quickness of these other platforms is quite inviting - both as places to post and places to visit. I know that I have not been able to visit blogs nearly as often as I would like to and had been able to in the past. Part of this is due to my limited schedule, part due to the fact that there are more blogs than ever, and part due to the lure of the other social media sites.

It seems that I am not alone. When recently visiting a slew of blogs on my list, I found that many of the bloggers that began around the time I did no longer seem to be active. Some had shut down their blogs, often saying in their final post that they were at a point where they wanted to make art rather than talk about art. Many others hadn't posted in more than a year. And I came across several posts that spoke of declining readership and fewer - if any - comments.

However, life is often like a pendulum, swinging back and forth. I have to say that I also noticed what I hope will become a trend...a return to blogging. I visited many bloggers who haven't posted in many months or years only to find that within the last few months they have begun again. Perhaps after a period of time focused on some of the quick and easy platforms, people are just beginning to come back to the depth and breadth that is the core of blogging.

If you are a devoted blogger/blog reader or want to get back to blogging basics, think about joining me in one or more of the following:

This past Sunday I began a new blog project to be posted every Sunday called The Week Links, where I share a series of links to blog posts that have caught my eye.

Get lost in my Art Blog Directory, with links to 569 creative blogs. And email me if you would like to add yours to the list.

Join in on the 6th annual Buried Treasure online collaboration on June 12th where participating bloggers re-post one or more of their favorite posts that they ever put on their blogs.


Curious as to what you all are thinking. Are blogs on the decline? Do you have a favorite platform to use and/or visit? Do you use the different sites for different reasons? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


Sue Marrazzo Fine Art said...

I still enjoy blogging and following blogs,
I would love to participate in your blogging idea...My art blog is www.suemarrazzo.blogspot.com.
Thanks, SETH!

Scrumplescrunch said...

Hello Seth,
I have heard this rumour that blogging is not as popular also but I love to Blog, it is my only connection to like-minded people as I do not favour facebook or instagram, I like to read what everyone is up to, comments or no comments, I create for myself not for anyone else.
Include me please.

Jo Murray said...

Blogging is still my favourite platform. The number of blogs I follow is growing tho' and I find that I've had to drop some off my list. One can't read them all, and certainly not comment on each of them. It seems that I've outgrown some of my previous interests, but you are still a favourite.

Meg said...

You know you're going to get mostly blog-lovers/likers here to comment. I like reading and writing blogs. Facebook is temporary and I dont' Tweet. I use Flickr occasionally and supplementary to the blog. That's all I tried - nothing newer. And I'm happy because I'm more interested in contents, not method. I like the thinking that goes behind blogging.

Claudia N. said...

LOVED reading your thoughts on this important issue, Seth!

I have been blogging for two years by now and witnessed the same process... all the other seemingly more intereactive and "faster" platforms (like facebook and such) have taken away blogging and commenting time.

The temptation to make ones facebook account the new "home" is obvious too: you get a lot more responses (even if it it "just" being "liked" for whatever you throw into the facebook swamp), it has the feel that it is seen by a much wider public (which isn't true by the way...as long as you don't invest a lot of your precious time into building up a really huge network with friends of friends who are friends that your real friends seem to know).

What I don't like about facebook is the constant pressure it puts on you. The moment you stop posting every single thought or badge win or activity you are at, you are NOT visible and dumped somewhere down in the depths of facebook's archives....honestly I don't see that a lot of people visit facebooker's sites regularly. But we used to do with blogs, didn't we?

I know that some go through an artistic development and find that they don't need their blog after some time, because they have found their very own path which doesn't include "needing blogger comments" anymore to confide in ones artistic work. And that's a good thing, isn't it?

I found that as long as I blog because I do it for ME (and not for getting a certain amound of comments) - it is a wonderful thing to do. It is my artistic diary. And making it public makes me rethink a lot more than I would do if it were private.

And what would the artist be without an audience?

I love the individuality of pace of blogging. I love the free choice of acting it offers. I love that my posts are out there and can be discovered throughout the years to come. I love that I have readers who come to see my work instead of feeling obliged to comment because I commented on some of their work!

Blogging isn't popular because it isn't as "high speed" as facebook-ing - right. But it fits people with a different attitude towards life (and art) than a facebook oriented one. It's less "selling" oriented in a way. And that's why I still prefer blogging over using my facebook account.

Greetings from Vienna,
Claudia x

Roberta Warshaw said...

I have been blogging less but I still enjoy it. I don't use twitter except when it automatically uploads my blog. The only other social site I use s Facebook and I do have a love/hate relationship with that. I find it almost too personal. Even though I don't usually post things of too personal a nature, it still feels a bit too invasive for me. I am going to try and go on there less. I think it is a huge waste of time. I still feel reading other people's blogs is the best form of connection with them. I need to be able to make time to paint so something has to give. I am pretty sure it will be Facebook. Enough time wasted.

elle said...

I'm a blogger. I luv doing it. Visitors are nice but I do it for me. It is part of my creative process. And I'm indeed progressing and that has an awful lot to do with my fellow bloggers. ;^)

Maryanne said...

I'm happy that you posted this, Seth. I was just thinking yesterday about blogs that have "disappeared" in favor of Facebook. I don't have a FB account. At times I feel I miss out on things because of that but I would rather not be on FB. I have made several "blog friends" through the different blogs I follow and I like that.
I like being able to share details of what I've made in my blog posts and I see it as a diary of my creative life. It's a way to connect with like minded people in a way that a quick tweet or FB post doesn't offer. I don't like the pace of life that some people have adopted or the fact that they are glued to their devices.
So, I suppose I'm a confirmed blogger and reader of blogs and I'm happy that way. I like your new ideas to encourage blog reading. I'll certainly be checking them out. Thanks for getting this conversation started.

Janet Ghio said...

I've had a blog for about 4 years and I have noticed a big decoine in comments on my blog. I think it is due to a couple of things. Facebook of course is one. When I do a new blog post it automatically posts a notice to FB--instead of someone posting directly to my blog (even if I ask) I get "likes" on FB. Several years ago when blogger went through changes and lost the reading list I think a lot of people dropped out at that time. I switched over to bloglovin and I have found that for some reason I am unable to comment on some blogs (ie-your blog--in order to comment on your blog I had to go to your blog independentaly from bloglovin. Most of the time I don't take the trouble to open another window, google the blog and go to it just so I can make a comment. And let's face it , it's easy to click the "like" button on FB.

Rosemoo said...

Very interesting question Seth. I just became active on Instagram in the last year after not blogging for around two. And now I am slowly returning to the world of blogging and etsy-ing etc etc. In the middle time I completely ignored Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest, just left it entirely.

And yet I miss the community, and though it is changing I also have experienced other people like me returning to the electronic world after having left for a time. Perhaps it is immersive, and that immersion is too overwhelming sometimes? I imagine most bloggers are a balance of introverted and extroverted, and sometimes all the commenting and blogging can feel like a LOT of extroversion for someone who prefers to sit and read or create in a solitary environment.

Just a thought. Glad you're still here. It was nice to find you still chugging away after all this time. :D


Kathryn Dyche said...

I've been blogging for several years now and it's my main social media site. I find myself periodically going through times where I wonder if I should call it a day and step away from the computer. I find it too overwhelming to do all the other social media sites but I do like to post things on Facebook which is where close friends and family keep track of what I'm up too. Lately I've been struggling to read and comment on all the blogs I follow and feel extremely guilty about it. I also feel bad if I'm lacking creativity and don't post anything for a few days. I do go through my list of blogs from time to time to remove those that I no longer resonate with or have outgrown.

Maureen said...

My "Saturday Sharing" was a lot like your "The Week Links"; I switched over to a "Saturday Short" (video posts) because I was giving so much time to gathering and curating the unusual on the Web; also because I need to change things every so often to want to remain blogging. Since late 2009, I've posted more than 2,000 entries on my blog. Every time I think of cutting back, someone new comes along to tell me how much they appreciate the blog. I'm thinking of blogging less often so that I can spend more time on reviews, interviews, and poetry writing. Not sure yet how it all will turn out. "All Art Friday" probably will stay, whatever I decide.

Karenliz Henderson said...

I too have noticed the decline in blogs. Many that I have followed for years are now gone or left idle. FB seems to be the reason. I never had many comments or followers on my blog. It's really just for me and if someone follows and leaves comments it's a bonus. I do have a FB page and its only a few months old. Never really wanted one but Design Teams only communicate through them so I have one.

With FB, twitter, instagram, google+, etc. no one wants to read anymore just "like" or +1.

I will continue blogging. I only post every other day and not get too stressed over it.

I do enjoy your blog and posts like these are my favorites!

Thanks Seth!

Cherie said...

Loving your thoughts Seth. My blogging life started in '06, I lived for it, loved it, made lifelong friendships.
Gradually Blogger posed posting glitches to where it became mega time consuming to post. Again & again posting was impossible due to glitches. Other Bloggers I knew were fed up too.
I discovered Facebook, was soon hooked. I adored the instantaneous posting.
I miss Blogging & interestingly
re-joined in a Sunday Meme just two weeks ago.
Maybe I'm making a Blogging comeback ... then again maybe I'll simply dabble in Blogland for old times sake.

Unknown said...

I do still enjoy blogging, but I found that after a long, two-year process of moving to a new city and building a new studio, I was in a kind of blog limbo. I had given up access to all but the most basic of art supplies while I had been transitioning from one home to another and in the meantime, my blogging had dropped off to almost nothing. Getting back into the swing of posting was difficult and seemed more time-consuming than I had remembered. I started very much to feel what you were talking about- the need to make art and stop talking about it. I made a commitment to myself this year, however, to get back to blogging again at least once a week. I had lost some of my readers, others had hung on through my dry period, but more and more people seem to find my blog every day. I still find it challenging to make art AND find time every week to blog about it, too- the reality is that sometimes things go on in the studio that are seemingly interesting only to me and no real "art" emerges for several weeks as I work on this piece or that. But I find that even though I may think something isn't necessarily going to be interesting to my audience, there is someone, somewhere who stumbles onto my blog and finds inspiration, has questions, and needs to know that artistic life isn't always smooth sailing, even for the pros. My audience keeps me blogging, and they help to keep my job lively and entertaining, even when things are going slowly in the studio!

Kim Mailhot said...

I miss blogging !!!
Life has been so busy in the past 6 months that I have all but abandoned my real blogging practice. But I miss the creative nature of writing posts and I also miss the connections to other artists and life-loving bloggers.
I am in the midst of a big move to FL. It is my intention to come back to the world of blogging and using blogs to reconnect myself to the many talented and open-hearted people that use Blogland as a platform to share their art.
I hope as you have seen recently, that blogs are making a comeback of sorts, Seth. And thank you for what you are doing to bring people together in that forum. I really would like to join in your projects when I get settled in my new home and new studio !
Cheers to you, Blogland Cheerleader !

The Art of Being Kelly said...

I hate to admit this but I am a Facebook addict...having said that, when I follow a Facebook post I usually end up on that sites blog...and then I fall into the rabbit hole of the blog world!

As a reader of blogs I find it difficult to navigate them all. Facebook is one place I can go that can bring those blogs to me. Selfish, I know, but with the world constantly speeding up, and demands on my time increasing, I had to find a way to streamline things. I actually followed your Facebook post to your blog post today!

I think Facebook is an excellent tool and a complimentary addition to a blog. I'm always disappointed if a post catches my eye, and then I find out there is no blog to explore.

I'm about to dive into blogging myself and I will definitely be using Facebook in tandem.

Unknown said...

I guess I'm a newbie to blogging. In August it will be one year. Your timing on this post is great for me. I'm in the process of making my blog my main go-to for my followers. Facebook is becoming so difficult to work with and getting your posts seen. I'm spending more time on google +, which works well since I use blogspot. I recently opened my own store on my blog and moving away from Etsy, for the same reason as facebook, it's so difficult to be found there without having to pay. I do participate on linky parties and get lots of traffic that way. But, in the end I do love to blog still. Maybe it's too soon to be old and tiring for me, we'll see in a couple of years. Thanks for your post! www.serendipitystudiobycw.blogspot.com

Caterina Giglio said...

I don't think blogging is declining, but I do think it is evolving. I recently began making changes on my blog, by changing the name of my blog and sharing more information about how and why I create my art. I use FB. Twitter and Pinterest as marketing tools to drive traffic to my blog. I think the social media sites serve different purposes, connection and quick info, while a blog can give in depth information and offer so much more.

Phillipa in NZ said...

Hi Seth..Im a blogger who has run out of steam...Id rather create than write..I do have a facebook page now after joining to keep up with the kids.I use my facebook to share and collect images and ideas from the many sites I follow.Im a voracious reader, and this is what has distracted me from my own blogging..Now-a-days I use "follow by email" for my favourite blogs as I was getting overwhelmed with bloglovin following. I think Im getting more discerning in my reading lists. ;)
Its nice to read your other commenters and realise Im not alone with a die-off of my blogging.
My blog is a diary of my creating. Maybe this is the push I need to get myself going again.
Regards Phillipa in NZ

jinxxxygirl said...

Hi Seth!! Blogging is the ONLY platform i use. The only platform i ever intend to use. Blogs come and go...... same as my own... its like a rollercoaster...... just when i think i cannot. write. another. post...i suddenly get a breath of fresh air and find tons of things to share and write about..... So i just try to go with the flow. I've been sad to see some people leave the blogging world but super excited to come across someone new....

I love your idea of The Week Links.... I use your Art Blog Directory quite often when i'am all caught up with the blogs i follow and want to find something new.

No i no long think blogging is in decline just constant fluctuation...Hugs! deb

jinxxxygirl said...

PS... Almost forgot.... You might want to filter thru your Art Blog Directory...... Several people on there have not posted in a long , long time......Hugs! deb

Brian Kasstle said...

Seth, thank you for this. I still enjoy blogging. It is so true there are so many venues out there all vying for our time. Facebook and so many others are so instantaneous. I still enjoy my morning cup of coffee and some favorite blogs. I enjoy hearing that folks are returning to blogging.

Hastypearl said...

Seth, I'm wondering if I responded on the last time that you discussed this?:) I'm guessing, that for every person that says they are bored/tired of blogging, there is a person, me, that is just getting started. I'm the girl, that won't do what everyone else is doing...until I am ready or want to. I didn't start a business, or blog, or FB until recently. In fact, I just started, Instagram...just started following you before I wrote this. I've been enjoying other pursuits. I don't think it's anything to apologize about, if people want out, there will be Many other opportunities . I have an IPad FULL of blogs, that I rotate through. If someone doesn't post, I delete. At some point, I think everyone has to select x amount of social media that they are comfortable with and stick with it. It's a monster ,that is eating us alive! I've got a garden, and horse, and lots of ideas in my noggin to engineer...this computer has to earn its time slot or it's out! P.s...I followed, an amazing artist, that had pages of comments every time they posted...all adoring and praise. After I heard them rebuke their commenters a couple of times, for asking simple questions, I knew that even blogging, can get perverted. No one HAS to read us. Behavior like that can prove that we can forget what it's supposed to be about...which is Fun! Sorry...had to get that out...it seemed to fit in:) Laura...

Billies Craft Room said...

I love reading blogs as well as writing and sharing projects on my own blog. Time is the biggest pressure and I find the way to take the pressure off is to schedule posts so when you are super creative you can post lots and this kinda gets over the 'no mojo' times.

Comments seem to be few and far between but then I'm also guilty of only commenting when I have been very inspired or otherwise moved by the post I read. It can be hard to motivate to keep writing in the face of falling views, and I found when I was active on forums this made a big difference to how many people would visit.

Many forums frown on 'self publicity' even when you have just the answer on your post which is a shame.

Interestingly I have found subscribers on You Tube channel have grown lots even though I haven't posted there for a while, I tend to use Twitter a lot to keep track of my favourite blog friends to see who's posting what as its a good way to save time visiting somewhere you already read or who hasn't posted since your last visit.

It seems if you don't Tweet it, or Google + about a post people assume you haven't posted anything new, so its another thing to remember to do, not just post and hope.

My blog is mainly about sharing, be that inspiration, reviews or links to useful sites for supplies. As other readers say, its about sharing what you are passionate about, so I guess it comes under;
'If you build it they will come'. Philosophy but without being on social media of some kind its not so easy to get noticed from the crowd.

Oops sorry for the essay.

Unknown said...

I'd love to participate. I'm one of those who stopped blogging for a while but that was because of crises enveloping my life and I just couldn't write about them and the intersection with art any longer. It was too painful. However, I've felt the itch to blog again and just restarted my blog under a different name on May 1- stirringupghosts.blogspot.com. I would welcome anyone who would like to visit it and offer comments. And I do plan to do the Buried Treasure day as well. I'm glad to have read these great comments and affirm that blogging is still important.
I don't like instagram or tumblr because for me there's no context - you really don't know much about the image. Twitter is only 140 characters, and while FB allows you more 'talk time' it's still limited.
Blogging to me is the best way to get a real feel for the person who is producing - whatever. I'm guilty of not following as many blogs as I like but I respect highly the commitment bloggers make to their audience and yes, their art.
When I was in college, we did process papers to talk about the way our work progressed and the emotional process we went through.
Blogging is like that for me. I can't see how artists can't think about the context in which they create their work - and it's helpful to read the blogs to see the why as well as the how.
(I'm writing a book in this comment too - wow!)
Maybe I SHOULD write a book B-)

Jackie PN said...

Seth, another great post!
I am also new to the blogging world(5mths young)and I really do love it!
Funny thing is I actually started blogging to help keep my family up to date on my art and home activities...and you know what? Not one of them follows or even reads it! ha! They are all FB- which I have just recently decided(this past weekend) to ween myself off of because, it really is too much of a time suck for me and many of the likes there,are in my opinion-phony;just a fast way to say, yup, I glanced at it and now I'm off-(disclaimer-not everyone likes for this reason)
I enjoy connecting with like minded people on a much more personal level and blogging seems the way- if not in person!
After reading others comments above, I would agree more with the peeps who felt,blogging is evolving- and I guess I will continue to evolve with it!
Thanks so much for the great posts,that get us all chatting about some interesting topics!
Happy Wednesday! ")

Jane Wetzel said...

sometimes i fall a bit behind and feel i am "making it up" by popping it on FB...BUT I LOVE you blog for the gateway to many many more creative souls...so PLEASE keep this up! btw..thank you!

Patti Edmon Artist said...

I think is imperative (for me) to remember that I'm not selling or promoting, that my blog is like a public journal, one that I keep for myself. That may change, who knows:)
Thanks for all you do - you are truly amazing!

txcreatrix said...

I am approaching 500 posts on my Wordpress blog creativitycontinium.com and had over 600 posts on my other blog nmcreatrix.blogspot.com. At times I have slowed down, but always came back to my blog. I do not blog for an audience, but use it like a daily journal for myself. I am flattered that I do have followers, but it is not about how many... I will continue to blog...I use Facebook and twitter, and have my blos set up to post on both platforms. Love following your blog!

BJB said...

I absolutely love the blogs that I follow and seem to add more each week as I find them or hear about them. I have them with my morning coffee and always inspires me. I have only commented a few times, but didn't realize it would be so important to the bloggers. Thoughtless of me. If I don't comment, you don't know I am there.
Keep the blogs coming!

janet said...

Although I am not new to blogging having done it for about 7 years for my profession as a librarian, my art blog is very new. Just a few months. I don't use FB but do have Instagram. Just this week I entered the world of Twitter. What I like about blogging is the self reflective nature of it. The other platforms feel more like skimming along on the surface. Interesting. Quick, but ultimately not completely satisfying.

I do like comments, I really do. And I love making connections. But the blog is, as others have said, really for me. A chronicle of my journey in art. A chance to slow down and think about what I'm doing and why. And it's my shy way of putting my work out there. So I will continue blogging as my first choice. The other platforms? Not so sure yet.
Thank you for your posts and I will follow your weekly posts with great interest.
If you would like to include my blog in the Art Blog Directory it is jsrart.wordpress.com

suzieq23 said...

Hi Seth. Just an FYI. The first blog I visited from your directory hadn't posted since 11/13. Ironic, huh?

Bindu said...

I came to your blog from the link on Jackies Creatingwithoutcrayons blog. I landed on this post about blogging. I have a page on my blog to send some love to the blogs I usually visit.
I stopped blogging when I started working fulltime. The thought was, why should I waste time and money on crocheting and crafting, while I can earn more by working. I realized, I cannot completely ignore my creativity. So, re-started on crafting and to keep an account of what i make, continue with blogging.
When I make something, I do a blogpost too.

Robin said...

Hi Seth! I saved your blogging post last year and also commented. I was excited to see this post today (actually, I got online today and found this post buried in my inbox).

I wish I could blog and create every day, however my health issues and pain increase typing and then trying to draw or paint. I feel that I have become an inconsistent blogger and that bothers me. I think the more I am out on line blogging, the more people I meet and the more I learn so blogging is productive and inspiring for me.

With saying that, I have started a FB page with my art, purchased my own domain and started an Etsy store...all of which I am trying to figure out how to use.

I find myself getting frustrated with wondering which social media is best and maybe I should just be having fun creating and the media second? I can say that my comments have gone to almost nothing because of my inconsistency and lack of visiting others often enough.

Wow, I guess I had a lot more to say about that. Have a great day Seth and thanks for keeping us thinking!

Unknown said...

Great post! I follow blogs that have anything to do with art in almost any form. I do not blog. I think I had to start a blog at some point in order to follow certain blogs, which is ridiculous. I don't know the name or whereabouts of that blog. I just love art. I like looking at the pictures posted, even if it was something the blogger hadn't created, but wanted to share. I enjoy the creative process, but sometimes just a picture is enough. I stopped using FB because it seemed as if in every post I read, that life was perfect. I think there is honesty and purity in art and that's why I follow blogs. I've never instagrammed, but enjoyed your pictures so much. I studied their texture and colors and wondered what stories the pictures were telling. I found you in a blog that featured different kinds of artists. I don't remember the name, something like "Someday the light will swallow you," or something like that. I like blogs and you certainly got a lot out of me through your post, even though I'm not a blogger.

Unknown said...

I forgot to add that for me, blogs are like art galleries, museums, studios, craft stores/sites and visits into a world I would otherwise never get to visit.

ArtPropelled said...

It's very heartening to hear that there seems to be a return to blogging. I was worried that it was dropping which would be such a pity because blogs inspire me so much.I do enjoy Pinterest and Tumblr but blogs are much more meatier, if you know what I mean.One needs to go beyond the image to discover thoughts and inspiration which often leads to valuable dialogue and friendships.

Angi in hana said...

Let me put it this way Seth, you and all the other generous artists that continue to be faithful year after year to their blogs, you guys,esp u Seth, have saved my life, over and over! For more than five years I have been home bound d/t multiple back injuries after 30 or more years as a hospice nurse, and thru these blogs/artists, now my friends, I have been able to grow and become an artist myself, with a purpose, with something to look forward to everyday, something to challenge my brain and nurture my creativity, so do I think blogging is the most important media/social technology out there? Absolutely! Aloha, angi in hana

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'm not on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Flickr. I don't even check my e-mail more than once every two months or so. I'm a BLOGGER and proud of it. None of the other social media sites hold any interest to me, and Facebook turned me off the first time a friend showed me some political garbage she was reading.

Thanks for drawing this to bloggers' attention again, because I hope blogging has taken a turn for the better. Thanks for doing your share.

Marjie Kemper said...

It seems to me blogging is on the decline due to the other more immediate/quick hit methods of contact you mentioned. I still like blogging and feel it's important for the continuity and for engaging with people. Love popping by here and seeing not just your beautiful art, but these type of thoughtful posts that encourage conversation.