John Scalzi posted a happy 21st birthday to his blog today that nicely summed up a lot of what is best about blogs, and worst about the transition to the current social media scene.
“…regularly-updated personal blogs are now something of a rarity these days, as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook handle what blogs do at least as well for most people, at the mere cost of your privacy and the privacy of every other single person you know. I use Twitter and Facebook myself so this isn’t really a complaint, just an acknowledgement.
I do miss the heyday of the blogosphere but I also admit that missing of it is more based on a feeling than the practical day-to-day reality of the social media era. What I went to blogs for — catching up with friends, seeing what they think about things — is what Facebook and Twitter and other social media offer, so no real loss there. The real difference is feel. For lack of a better way to express this, blogs are free-standing houses, designed by the occupant. Social media are apartment blocks, where the floor plan is exactly the same for everyone. I guess I miss going to someone’s house and wondering how this funky place even actually holds together.”
I loved that internet of crooked houses with purple walls and fifteen fonts, cozy misaligned twig nests, and noisy salons full of regulars who would welcome you in if you had something interesting to add.
He goes on with thoughts about why it’s worth having your own site and your own blog, even now. If you like that idea, I find him a good role model, if only because there aren’t a lot of active skillful bloggers who have been around so long, are still at it, and reflecting on it.