Zeldman on blogging and independent publishing:
Did Twitter and Facebook kill blogging? Was it withdrawal of the mainstream spotlight? Did people stop independently writing and publishing on the web because it was too much work for too little attention and gain? Or did they discover that, after all, they mostly had nothing to say?
Blogging may have been a fad, a semi-comic emblem of a time, like CB Radio and disco dancing, but independent writing and publishing is not. Sharing ideas and passions on the only free medium the world has known is not a fad or joke.
When I started Daily Exhaust (DE) in 2006, I thought I was waaaay too late to the party. At the time it seemed as though the people who were important, cool or talented in the design and technology worlds were already going strong. I decided to ignore this frustration and push forward anyway not because I felt the pressure to, but because I had shit to say and share with whoever might be listening.
DE has always been a place to put things “on paper”. Once I write a post and publish it, I can begin to understand what I understand. Other times I use it as a place to capture interesting writing I’ve found on other sites and sometimes I might even have my own thoughts on the subject. Other times, it might just be a great photograph or animated GIF that makes me smile and breaks up the large chunks of ‘serious’ writing on the site.
In his post, Zeldman mentions how much he’s always hated the word ‘blog’. I use ‘blog’ to describe Daily Exhaust in conversation, but since its inception, I’ve also always referred to it as my ‘online journal’ on the About page and in between the title tags. Semantics are important and shape the way you perceive things. Holding a fundraiser to make something feels a lot different than backing a Kickstarter project and receiving a reward in exchange for your money. I’ve never had a problem calling DE a blog, but in my head I’ve always just thought of it as a place to capture thoughts and images.
Twitter and Facebook didn’t kill blogging. It’s the last possibility Zeldman mentioned that’s the culprit: “Or did they discover that, after all, they mostly had nothing to say?”
Most people discover that they have nothing to say, and that’s ok.
The people with grit and something to say have stuck with it because I bet a lot of them don’t think of what they do as blogging. For me, writing on this site is more of compulsion than a need to be read.
Check back here in a year or two, chances are I’ll be right where you left me.