Has The Blog Bubble Burst?

A rabbit trail today led me to a blog that hit on a subject that I have written and re-written and never posted several times. The author of this blog post makes a good argument for why many bloggers have decided to either take a break or quit altogether. As many of you will remember, I took a break AND called it quits a few months ago. I then made a return here lately but have been fascinated by the amount of blogging friends I follow that are no longer blogging regularly or at all. Just last night I hit a friends blog to find that there had not been a post since February.

I am wondering what has happened to blogging. I wonder if it isn’t a combination of several things. Sites like facebook and twitter have absolutely exploded recently. Even new comers like Tumblr are growing in popularity when it comes to micro-blogging. Quick posts throughout the day are replacing a long post that took all day to put together. In talking with other bloggers, I have found that many have also seen a drop in their number of “hits” and comments per day. To a blogger, that is the scorecard. It lets you know that you are not just putting things on the web that you could have just kept to yourself. I’m curious if many people are not getting their information from facebook and twitter and no longer feel the need to visit a blog to find out “what you are doing”.

I also wonder if there are not so many blogs now that all say the same things. There are mom blogs, dad blogs, faith blogs, tech blogs and combination’s of all four. As an author of one of the many blogs out there, I can admit to a pressure to bring something creative, different or relative each time you post. There is also a constant reminder that the longer you go without posting the more people will go elsewhere to read or find posts. I would guess that some of the blogs in my sidebar are no longer active or have moved on to something else. Recently, two of the blogging giants I follow announced their departure from the web. One eventually returned, the other did not. Just this morning, another blog I follow announced that he was pulling the plug and going to devote his time to his wife and family.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I also think that many blogs are not what they started off with. Over time, the blog found a groove in a certain group and became a blog all about that particular area, topic or group of people. The authors now feel that each post must fit into that category so they start blogging about one thing only. I have spoken with more than one blogger that said “it’s not even about me anymore”. In other words, it wasn’t their blog rather it was a blog about things that they thought the people that read and comment wanted to read and comment about. Over time, a blog that strays away from it’s original launch and only focuses on one thing can take the steam out of the desire to continue that blog.

It all makes you wounder if blogs are slowly coming to an end. I would guess that personal blogs are trending towards that. The big blogs that do this for money and other reasons will remain. My guess is that many will move to twitter, tumblr and facebook. It also makes you wonder what is “next” on the blogging scene. Reading that yet another blogger was calling it quits this morning prompted me to post this. Each time I read that I guess I ask why I do this or what I do this for. If nothing else it makes you evaluate where and what you spend your time on. Maybe I’m just interested to see if anyone is reading or if those that stop by here have a thought or two on this topic as well.

13 thoughts on “Has The Blog Bubble Burst?

  1. I think these days, you have to offer something of high quality and that which is very unique in approach and angle.

    Otherwise, you’ll only garner a small following. Really, there’s just so many blogs out there.

  2. I’ve cut back but that’s due to becoming busier in my main gig. I’m a life and business coach and I definitely get business from my blog that I did not get when I just had a static website. So as long as that continues I’ll continue blogging.

    Perhaps you’re just noticing the departures now because who you know is just now hitting that wall and cycling out those who no longer are enthused about it.

    I think social media is helping us bloggers if anything. I know I get new readers all the time form Twitter. In fact I clicked through a tweet Vered made to find this post.

  3. I think people stop blogging alot because of the pressure that builds with being a successful blogger. I follow a couple of ladies whose blogs grew huge overnight due to their circumstances. Now they post everyday and I imagine they feel like each post must be interesting because hundreds of people are counting on it. I think if people re-evaluate their blog every so often they can keep it on track. I know that I have been blessed by discovering the blogging world but can also feel pulled to post for reasons other then why I originally started blogging. I will stop when I don’t enjoy it anymore or it becomes somthing other then my original intention. I think short blog breaks are good for your readers every once in a while. It leaves them wanting more and gives them time for their own self reflection. Very interesting topic today and congrats on the half marathon time.

  4. You know, Aaron, I have to admit… I’m one of the back-sliders. I did stop blogging when I started on Facebook. But, I had continued to read my favorite blogs periodically until my computer modem went down and I got out of the habit or loop or whatever.
    But, I’ve just recently gotten back into my favorite blogs and remember now why it was so important to me before! You, your wife and countless others have inspired me, encouraged me, made me laugh and made me cry… I cherish each and every one.
    And you know, I actually miss my own blog. I’ve been dying to update with some new posts, but you know, I only really post when He lays something on my heart and gives me the words… and I’ve just cluttered up my life and my mind so much, that He hasn’t been able to get through.
    Working on laying those idols down!!
    But, in the meantime… LOVE all those amazing committed bloggers out there!! Keep up the great work!

  5. Nice post Aaron. My two cents are that I think blogs became a fad, everyone kept hearing about them, so they started to jump on the bandwagon for wanting to read them, and then to start there own. Many people regardless of their writing ability wanted to start their own blog.

    I think if people have specific objective for the blog (either profit oriented or just keeping family and friends updated), it has better chance of sticking. But, it has to be something they are truly passionate about, or they will be onto the next big thing as soon as it hits. Also, for ever successful revenue generating blogs making money there are thousands that don’t, so I think the gold rush kind of ran it’s course..

  6. One of the reasons blogging is on a downturn for the same reason that Twitter will eventually fade. Something new came along that web 2.0 people loved and suddenly big business and important people took over blogging as a tool of marketing. Many of these big businesses and important blogs are highly useful, but it also makes grass roots blogging not as interesting because it’s not unique anymore. I have been blogging off and on for over seven years and the blogging culture has morphed considerably.

    I know this, I am subscribed to a large number of blogs, but i barely skim most of them because, as you said, there is so much of the same stuff out there. And I know my blog falls into that category, so it comes down to “why blog?” and you can only answer that for yourself. I personally don’t care how many people read, though i love conversing in my comments… Most of my posts are simply a sounding board for my own thoughts. God helps mold me as I write, so blogging gives me one avenue for analyzing my “theology” so to speak. If people want to engage, great, if not, no biggie. I have a few friends that read and we converse about the important stuff in real life. So for me it’s just an extension of everyday conversation.

    Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. Good thoughts.

  7. Interesting thoughts here. I agree with Troy that blogging became a fad so people just did it without thinking about whether they really should; also agree with Erin that there’s a lot of pressure as your blog grow and you need to be very disciplined about not succumbing to that pressure.

    “It all makes you wounder if blogs are slowly coming to an end. I would guess that personal blogs are trending towards that. The big blogs that do this for money and other reasons will remain.” – I tend to agree, EXCEPT for personal bloggers who enjoy writing as a form of self-expression. They will stay.

  8. Wow. Thank you all for your comments and feedback. Good insight and responses from all of you. It will be interesting to see what is next to take the web by storm and which blogs remain when it all settles. Thanks again!

  9. I just posted something similar on my own blog and then Jeremy pointed me here. But I’m one of the backslider bloggers too. For me, it’s probably been more of a case of where my thoughts spill out onto Twitter first. Almost immediately. So they don’t have the time to marinate and then come out in the form of a blog post. Then possible conversation happens over twitter or facebook comments.

    But I started going back and reading some of my old faves when it comes to blogs, and I realized my own desire to return to committed blogging.

  10. I learn from other bloggers that being creative in the blog is of critical importance. I learn from studying the terms of service agreement that linking to the blog from outside is against the agreement. The problem with both of these issues is this, when I blog I am not always as creative as the rest of the blogging world, because I often forward a tweet from someone I follow, or forward an email from someone who I subscribe to their emails, or I visit a website and block copy and paste into my blog what I find when I visit it. I also list all the places you can find me online on my google profile which includes my wordpress location. I think if someone is interested in my blog and they know my google profile address that they should be allowed to click on the link there and be taken to my wordpress.com location. A major shift in how I interact with the world online has occurred this last week. I now stop my blog post with my final sentence, not with the stuff you see when you click the “about” page as an additional copy and paste after my final sentence because the blog is too cluttered with that redundant stuff. I learned from reading the Technorati evaluation of my blog two years ago, that blogs need to say something new, be it positive or negative, and not just be a copy and paste of something from somewhere else. I was not doing enough of that to earn a good grade from Technorati. Since that time I have done a few good blog posts but reading your essay, even if you always do good blog posts there are still lots of new concerns and issues that could still wind up getting you to decide to quit the whole thing and spend more time with your family.

  11. I blog for me, if people want to read then read-away.
    People, like you said, are not blogging for themselves anymore, theyre blogging for recognition.

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