In 2016, I Hope People Return to Blogging

I just got off the phone with an old friend who is planning on resurrecting his old blog. He's a great writer, so I'm just excited he'll be producing long-form written content again.

At some point, several years ago, blogs were declared "dead". Social media hubs like Facebook and Twitter took over as the platform of choice for independents. "Micro-blogging" was done on proprietary platforms owned by others, and one-by-one, indie blogs dried up and died.

Blogs allow someone to own their space on the web. It's your domain name. In this space, you can create long-form content, take deep dives when deep dives are necessary, all with proper HTML linkage indexed for search by Google and the like.

This isn't an anti-social media entry. As a fervent tweeter, I have the utmost respect for social media's role in our web-based lives. Social media is best used to drive traffic to your blog, not replace your blog.

I miss blogs. In 2016, it's my hope that more people return to blogging.


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Comments (23 - click here to join in!)

Anonymous

Independent blogging. There's enough corporate blogging, and that includes BlogTO and Torontoist and commercial blogs of that nature.

January 2, 2016 @ 4:49 PM

Matt

The problem is we live in a "now" society. Everyone wants info now. A lot want it in 140 characters or less.

Lets use sports for instance. All reporters want to be first to break a story and rightfully so. A blog or article is an after thought at that time.

Remember when all the radio personalities had to have blogs. Now they have to use twitter, facebook etc while doing their show. I'd be curious if they have a number of tweets or facebook posts they have to put out per show.

I think blogs still have a place but they've become a niche. Such is the way society goes. It would be nice to see a resurgence of blogs but I'm not holding my breathe.

January 2, 2016 @ 5:31 PM

Blind Dave

I also think it comes down to time -- for both the blogger and the reader. I enjoy five blogs including this one, and that's about all I can handle on a hit & miss basis.

I get most of my news & sports from twitter and when something catches my eye then I go hunting if I have the time. So Mike is right, social media is the driver and the two formats can indeed compliment each other.

Mind you, my phone has been in the repair shop for two weeks and I can honestly say I haven't missed twitter, though I will go back to it.

January 2, 2016 @ 5:57 PM

Anonymous

I agree with Mike. A good blogger will use twitter to drive traffic to their blog. What's unfortunate is that you don't have to be good at anything to use twitter. Although I do like twitter, I think, for many, it is just a convenient, quick way to put them-self out there without actually doing any work at all. Re: blogging, of the few independent blogs I check into two-thirds have turned into 100% product reviews/advertisements. I hope you keep writing your opinion pieces, Mike.

January 3, 2016 @ 2:30 PM

Rick C in Oakville

http://afuitbs.com/

If your into Toronto Municipal politics this blog has a bit of a left jaded view, but I enjoy their perspectives.

January 3, 2016 @ 7:30 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

On that note, if anyone else wants to drop the link to their blog, do it here.

January 3, 2016 @ 7:41 PM

Al The Royal Pain

I had a blog for many years (This Is Me Breathing), started around the same time as you Mike. It's where I first discovered your blog. In fact, if I were to dig into the comment archives, I think I may still be able to dig up comments from you Mike.

It's still up, but I haven't written to it in years. For the last couple, I simply used it to promote the band. I don't even pay for it any more, so I can't even post to it.

January 4, 2016 @ 9:25 AM

SOK

I blog, but it's boring.

January 4, 2016 @ 10:37 AM

Javed Jafri

Mike's been kind enough to let me hype my blog - which I do whenever the subject of the old CFNY and CHUM FM comes up. I believe the site has one of the largest archives of old FM radio clips from the 70's and 80's.

Fans of the old CFNY should also check out the Oil of Dog Corner which was a show on gonzo Buffalo NY FM outlet 107.7 WUWU FM devoted to all kinds of music including some that CFNY was also playing at the time.

Also The Radio Corner for some long clips from CHUM FM, CFNY and some vintage free form treasures from WBCN Boston, WBUF Buffalo and other stations.

http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/

The inspiration for the name of the site by the way came from something that I heard physicist and cosmologist Lawrence Crause say when speaking about the fact that people look to all kinds of questionable theories to come up with answers re the origins of the world and man. Why not let the universe answer as many of the answers we seek are there.

January 4, 2016 @ 8:12 PM

markosaar

I have a stupid blog I seldom update. Initially I mostly used it for publishing things I had to work through because I couldn't find any other documentation. I found that when Googling technical problems, I was often finding solutions on personal blogs where someone had had to figure out the same. Much of that is gone now because keywords like "iphone" or "psp" bring in so much spam (despite a filter), and the information is irrelevant or out of date now anyway.

I used to write a personal blog publicly ~15 years ago, but ran into a fucked up online harassment situation (some people had crushes on my ex, and the guys unable to date her went after me). Really they did me a favour, I'm glad the shit I wrote in my early 20s is gone from the public eye. I still have an offline archive somewhere ... may perhaps repost the less insipid shit one day.

Later I didn't continue because I was in fear of employers taking issue with me posting anything; I had a generic Facebook comment haunt me at an early employer. Nowadays I don't worry about that -- I can choose where I work, and wouldn't where an employer would care about what I do online, but I just don't have much to say. Boring generic adult life :)

Also, virtually all of my peers have stopped, with the exception of one friend who has picked up 20,000+ readers: https://alidoesit.wordpress.com/

January 5, 2016 @ 8:59 AM

Al The Royal Pain

@markosaar

You bring up a really good point about things you write online never going away. There is still a comment I posted on some messageboard almost 20 years ago that I can still google. It's nothing horrible, but it is something written by a 20 something year-old who had little concept of what the world wide web would eventually become. The fact that it's still attached to my name on a google search is a sobering reminder of how online can haunt you forever.

January 5, 2016 @ 1:10 PM

this guest

In Saudi Arabia they replace the 'b' with an 'f.'

January 5, 2016 @ 1:25 PM

this guest

Speaking of words.
Twitter contains 'wit' and IT. It also references the (famous) Paul Klee painting 'The Twittering Machine.' A painting that may have been based upon a very old mechanical bird (with sound) device.

January 5, 2016 @ 1:28 PM

this guest

In terms of blogs there are several esoteric, though applicable thus practical, blogs I follow regularly.

January 5, 2016 @ 1:29 PM

McNulty

I had a blog and I updated it 5 times weeks, however, I had to put it do an early death due to divorce proceedings and it made it difficult to write.

The blog didn't have a lot of traffic because I didn't have a real theme or "compelling content".

I have been thinking of starting it up again. I recently got a MacBook Air (my first computer since my marriage breakdown in 2012) and it has inspired me to write again. I just haven't figured out the way to publish what I write yet,

January 6, 2016 @ 9:02 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@McNulty

The trick is to not give a fuck about the traffic. If you cared about the traffic, you'd go all Kardashians and you'd hate your own blog.

January 6, 2016 @ 9:07 AM

McNulty

@ Mike

Traffic shouldn't drive the content but I wanted traffic to enjoy the content. I wanted the words to be read.
Much like when I bake things for people at work. I bake what I want to bake because I enjoy it and I bake the things that I am good at. But I am happy when I know everyone eats it.

January 6, 2016 @ 10:14 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@McNulty

Ok, write for me, then.

I've subscribed to the RSS feeds of every blog dropped in these comments, so I'll be reading!

January 6, 2016 @ 10:17 AM

Al The Royal Pain

No need to subscribe to my blog, its been dead for awhile with no plans to be resurrected.

January 6, 2016 @ 11:39 AM

Il Duce

What is your opinion on Seamus O'Regan's addiction issues and how do you compare this to Rob Ford's addiction issues?

January 6, 2016 @ 1:54 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Il Duce

Nice try, Joe Warmington.

Don't worry, I'm working with a mutual friend to create a site perfect for trolling of that nature. Hang in there, it'll be resurrected shortly.

January 6, 2016 @ 1:57 PM

Anonymous

Rob is THE MAN. Look at that belly swagger. Look at that pistol shoved in the couch.
Look at how boring...
it all is..
now...
zzz...


January 6, 2016 @ 2:07 PM

James

@Mike

I have a photography blog called Toronto Grand Prix Tourist that features my adventures in Toronto (mostly): http://www.torontograndprixtourist.com/

I agree that bloggers are having a hard time attracting viewers - especially photography sites because of the changes made by Google a couple of years ago (why go to the site when you can see and grab photos in the image search?).

However, as you pointed out, you do it because you want to, and hope that people can enjoy what you post. I am happy when I check with Google and see that I have almost 40 million content views but I wish that translated into millions of visitors.

Many thanks and a happy New Year, James.

January 7, 2016 @ 1:05 PM

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