I am not a blogger

Killed a mouse last night.

It’s spring and it’s getting warmer, and that means the beasts are starting to come out again. Spiders and bees and creepy crawly things with a thousand legs and also the mice. Mice are usually only a winter problem here, as they come in from the cold to get warm and look for food. But here it is spring and they’re coming in and getting into the trash, and I think they’re also somehow getting up on the kitchen counter and playing with the bread and bags of chips.

I don’t know how they’re doing it, though I picture them lowering themselves from the ceiling a la Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible.

So I set some traps (peanut butter works the best) and caught one rather quickly. It was all white and cute in a Disney animated feature sort of way, but I’m sorry I hate mice and I’m setting the traps again tonight.

By the way, why are you reading this? You shouldn’t be. Seriously, stop reading. It’s a waste of time. It’s all over. Pack it up. Nothing to see here. Blogs are dead. The media says so!

According to this article, changes at The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and Andrew Sullivan means that blogs are going away. They’re all sooooo [take your pick: 1999, 2005, 2012].

I’m waiting for someone to say “lists are dead!” and how this might affect BuzzFeed.

This isn’t the first “blogs are dead” story. At last count, the number of articles pushing this theory hovered around 4,227,304. Whenever I hear someone saying that blogs are dead, what I hear is “writing is dead.” What else are blogs besides a longer form of web writing? This wasn’t always the case. A decade ago people were saying that blogs were going to be the death of longform writing. This was before Facebook and tweets and Tumblr blogs that are just pics and captions. Now those days seem quaint. Wait, you mean long blogs were once seen as the first sign of the downfall of writing? Yes.

Blogs will always be around because writing will always be around, and it doesn’t matter which media outlet has decided to do away with them. There are plenty of blogs out there, personal and professional. What exactly is a blog, anyway? Does it have to have links to other sites? Does it have to have a newer-to-older structure via date? Or is it any type of longer writing that’s on the web? People have different definitions of what blogs are, and the online world will always be around. Put those two things together and it means blogs can never go away.

This brings me to a point I’ve been wanting to make for a few years now: I am not a blogger. Now, I know that seems like an odd declaration to make on a blog, but it’s true. And it’s not one of those scenarios where I think being called a “blogger” is beneath me. No, not at all. I’ve run blogs and written for blogs since 1996 and there’s nothing wrong with them. But I think “blogger” is a limiting designation, and often inaccurate.

Think of someone who writes a weekly newspaper column. You wouldn’t call them a “newspaperer” would you? Of course not. You wouldn’t use the term “magaziner” for someone who writes for a magazine either. A blog is just the technology, the vehicle for the writing, and calling someone a blogger is needless. Not to mention it’s often used to diminish what a person does. The word blog is one I’ve always hated, just the sound of it, and blogger isn’t any better. But it seems we’re stuck with it, like “LOL” and “tl;dr,” and “SEO.” (And “BuzzFeed.”)

My favorite line from the New Republic piece:

We will still have blogs, of course, if only because the word is flexible enough to encompass a very wide range of publishing platforms: Basically, anything that contains a scrollable stream of posts is a “blog.” What we are losing is the personal blog and the themed blog.

This is completely wrong. If blogs do start to go away, the last ones to survive will be the personal ones. (I love the “we will still have blogs, of course…” line, because it contradicts the entire premise of the article.)

Less and less do readers have the patience for a certain writer or even certain subject matter. Instead, they use social media to efficiently pick exactly what they do and do not click on, rather than reading what a blogger or blog offers them.

Uh, OK, but if they’re clicking that means they’re still interested and still reading, right? Or is he saying that people use social media to find just the writing/writers they like and then they…ignore what they’ve written?

I guess what he’s saying is that blogs are dying and the only thing that will survive will be tweets and Facebook posts, which will link to writing which no one will read, because there are no blogs. Or something.

Actually, my favorite line is the very first one, where he mentions political blogs and how those famous political bloggers are changing the way they do things. It’s a misconception that continues to be pushed by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Political blogs were not the first blogs. Personal blogs came first. Political blogs make up unbelievably small percentage of blogs out there, but they are always, repeatedly, constantly trotted out as the only example of what blogs are, because blogs became mainstream around the time of the two wars, in the early-mid 2000s. It’s irritating.

Smaller brands within brands…make increasingly little sense in a landscape where writers can cultivate their own, highly discriminating followings via social media like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, while readers can curate their own, highly discriminating feeds. In this world, there is no place for the blog, because to do anything other than put “All Media News In One Place” is incredibly inefficient.

But what are writers cultivating that following for? Isn’t it their writing? Or will people simply follow writers to read their tweets and Facebook posts and Instagram photos?

Oh, never mind. It’s all rather confusing. Maybe the web will completely disappear forever and we’ll go back to a world where it’s 100% print.*


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