Blogs as Havens for those Fleeing Facebook

Blogs as Havens for those Fleeing Facebook April 23, 2018

It has been fascinating to see multiple different sources commenting on blogs making a comeback, all converging (apparently independently) on the topic. Perhaps it can all trace back to Dan Cohen’s blog post about resuming blogging, which the Chronicle of Higher Education picked up on in its treatment of the subject. But I don’t think so.

I wrote about the future of blogging back in January. Since then, I’ve seen discussions about the past, present, and future of biblioblogging – mostly on Facebook! But the irony is that growing numbers of people are now inclined to ditch Facebook because of security concerns. And so what does that bode for the future of blogs?

Bill Caraher recently sought to answer that question directly, speaking of blogging as an intentional slowing down in a post-Facebook context. He writes,

[T]he links between blogs and bloggers are largely done by hand meaning that the intellectual, academic, and topical networks manifest in academic blogging are not algorithmically generated but genuine commitments to dialogue, sharing ideas, and community. If the automated communities of social media provide us with almost instant gratification, then the deliberate relationships established by blogging require patience and intentionality on the part of the reader and the writer. If the current flight from Facebook marks a change in how we consume media on the web, then as bloggers we have an opportunity to step into the gap and replace a sense of community based on computer generated relationships with one built around genuine connections to other writers and readers. This will be work, but might be worth it.

It is interesting to read some of the discussions – but the actions of bloggers are also interesting. For instance, Ferrell Jenkins got his own domain name for his blog. In the post highlighting this, he explained why his posts have been few and far between, said that he expects that to change in the near future, and encouraged readers to share his post with others (which I’ve done here, obviously!)

Richard Beck explained why he still has his blog on Blogger: it is free, but more than that, he is intentionally cultivating an approach to his online presence that fosters humility and discourages him from worrying about how to become more prominent and increase his reach.

And so while some seem to think it is meaningful to speak of the “death of the blogosphere,” others like Bart Ehrman illustrate that blogging is thriving. Blogs are one of the most natural forms of social media through which to aggregate a variety of types of online publishing and interaction. And so it seems to me that – especially in the era of #DeleteFacebook – blogging is not likely to go away. While I expect few to actually abandon the use of Facebook and similar services, we definitely are not headed for a future in which we cease either to interact online, or to turn to the internet both to make our voices heard and to hear the voices of others.

What are your thoughts on the future of blogging?

From The New Yorker.

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