Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Is Blogging Dead?

Okay, I admit the title is ironic since I am sitting here blogging....but let's ponder this for a moment. Everyone is one the internet....YouTube, Blogger, WordPress and too many other places to name. Handmaiden used to get lots of comments; now very few. In part, this is due to my sporadic posting. On the other hand, many of my favorites aren't getting many comments either.

Have we saturated the market? If you are working at any job, do you have time to read multiple sites? The Art Quilters' Web Ring is enormous. This ring is only one of many....there are knitters, embellishers, collage artist,creativity coaches, and whatever you heart desires. But who is reading all these posts?

And if you are reading the posts, how are you getting anything else done? Do you read blogs at night as a form of entertainment? What is going on?

My conclusion, albeit, very biased is that we simply don't have time to do everything. This conclusion is based on my own recent lack of productive. Reading, tv, the computer, NetFlix....all great forms of avoidance. Just ask...there are millions of ways to avoid getting the work done.

There is a deeper question. Have we substituted virtual, digital communication for personal communication? Can you really say what you want to from afar? Possibly I am over thinking this. Nahhhhh, how could that be?

If you want to talk with someone, why don't you just call them instead of texting...blogging....whatever? Good question. You can reach a broader audience with blogging. The texting thing I still don't get. Sorry, my age is showing. The real question is about how we use our time and methods of communicating.

Having posed the question, I will still blog....but the question remains.


Deb said...

As unemployment rises, expect an uptick in comments. Until we can't pay for frills like the internet anymore.

I think economic concerns have cast a pall over what some may consider to be frivolous activities. Just think about how much verbiage goes into giving ourselves permission to be artists!

I just canceled a week at "fiber camp" mostly because I couldn't justify the expense to myself to the extent that I knew that no matter where I was, the creative bell would not be ringing. I have promised myself a week of studio time here at home in it's place and as of tomorrow, I'm going to be limiting my internet access just as if I was in FL where last year, I worked from before dawn until late into the night for seven days.

Under finer focus, I have found a core of maybe 20 bloggers who have something meaningful to offer once or twice a week. Bloglines keeps me from wasting time looking at blogs that don't change. Once in a while I will follow someone else's blog links and find someone with a new way of looking at things.

For my part, I was always talking to myself anyway. If someone else happened to listen in and left a comment, I was always surprised. And don't forget the eye to have some eye candy for this 99% visual medium.

My 49 cents on this rainy day in GA.

Jeannie said...

The reasons I read blogs are for eye candy, inspiration, and a sense that I am not alone in finding value in the act of creating. I limit my time with the computer and the TV. I also value the "virtual friendships" I have gained via this medium. Now, I don't have a blog (basically because I find myself boring and shy), but I am so thankful for those out there who take the time and energy to write about their creative adventures.
On another note, Busby, oh what a cutie! We have 3 (all strays) and what I find amazing is how the dark hair sticks to light cloth and the inverse. Must be some quirky genetic cat secret.

carrie said...

Perhaps more people use feeds. i get a ginormous email every day with the blogs which have something new on them, but I am usually very pressed for time, so often read but don't go to the site to comment

Valeri said...

I think it comes down to time as you mentioned Gabrielle. When I first started blogging 3 years ago (so long!?!) I wrote every day at length. (What on earth did I have to say?) Now I barely make it once a week. Time that is the problem. And the same goes for reading and commenting on other blogs much as I'd like to. If I don't read and comment while I'm at work then it probably won't get done! And then again people don't email much any more other than strict necessity! So no more contact there.... Life is just getting in the way. But I read your blog first so you'll be OK! (Big Grin!)

Patsy said...

Time is precious! I think people are still reading blogs, but just like posting on your blog is somewhat pointless unless you have something worth writing, the same holds true about posting a comment. When time is precious, you only comment when you really feel your comment has some meaning/value.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Several days ago this was my take on this sort of existential question: I think I started blogging about my life and especially my creative endeavors so that I could, personally, keep track of what I was learning. It did take on a life of it's own. I do refer back to it all of the time. Like a true journal. But, as I get older and sometimes more introspective there is, for me, a certain eye on finding meaning in the broadest sense.
Sorry mispelled endeavors in the last post and that would just not do when discussing the meaning of life! :-)

JulieZS said...

I think that like anything new, blogging was a fad that a lot of people jumped into doing "because everyone else was", and then either found it to be worthwhile to continue, or gave up/forgot about it. I've definitely cut back on how much blog reading that I do, because I'm in the studio more (thanks to Creative Spark!). But, there are those blogs that I get a lot out of reading, information, entertainment, education plus all the good time-waster ones...Definitely a balancing act on creating content for one's own life, taking the time to blog about it, and then catching up with the others who like to do that too.

Helen Suzanne said...

Hi, when I first started blogging I was enthralled with all the new techniques and everthing that was being shown in people's posts was completely inspiring. To be honest I don't read as much on a regular basis now - partly because I'm busy creating and partly because what people are doing is not new to me now. I'm not craving that same input that drew me from my creative isolation. Now I view my favourite blogs infrequently, just like you can visit old friends occasionally :D I suppose the role of blogging has changed over time as do all things.

Anonymous said...

You are not the first blogger who has expressed these thoughts. I love to read other quilters blogs, I try to always leave a comments so they know that their time in blogging is appreciated and interesting. I agree there are too many areas where bloggers must go to catch up with everyone and I don't usually use the feeds because I don't want to miss any new blogs that may be of interest. After reading too many blogs I do feel that I should have spent that time quilting or something productive but I really enjoy seeing what others are making and what is going on in their lives. Thanks! :-)

Laura said...

I also want to thank quilters who blog. Often I am isolated with what I am doing with my piles of fibers and finding and organizing being with others, while very rewarding, sometimes takes more time than I have.

I also thought of another reason I blog: It makes me more observant. If I want to say something about what I'm doing or taking a picture of I really have to look hard at it.

Amazon Anne said...

I like blogging because of the wider audience--you wouldn't pick up the phone and call me, but I can keep up with your activities and inspirations via your blog, sporadic or not. Likewise I started a blog for those distant who'd like to know what's happening in my world. I think blogging is limited by interest--I don't want to read everybody's blog--so it doesn't take much time. And you're right: as an Avoidance Technique, it's awesome! ;-) Anne

margaret said...

Well that certainly got a few comments, interesting ones to boot! Things come in waves - first there were discussion lists, then blogs, now social networking sites.

The novelty has perhaps worn off and people are being more selective about what to blog about, and are getting on with the rest of their lives rather than spending it all reading blogs - I think the network narrows down to a few favourites, to the blogs of people who do comment on your own.

Leaving a short comment takes very little time, imho, and keeps the virtual networks and friendships alive -- and draws us out of our creative isolation. Dipping into amalgamated sites like are useful if time is limited.

It's great that blogger now sends you an email when a comment is posted.