This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 25, 2003 3:21 AM. The previous post in this blog was Lookin' for blame in all the wrong places. The next post in this blog is In a van down by the river. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Blogger burnout

There I was parking my bike at a Fred Meyer store. I was wearing the navy blue hoody sweatshirt with the Blogger logo that I just got in the mail from Blogger as a paid subscriber gift.

I don't use Blogger any more, but I'm still technically a subscriber. And it's a nice sweatshirt, at least all new and just-out-of-the-box. Just right for mid-fall. Great for the bike.

Anyway, there's this older guy and a couple of older ladies chatting up a storm from different tables in front of the Starbucks next to the store, and I can hear what the guy is saying. He's talking so loud, there's no avoiding it.

"What's a 'blogger'?" he asks.

The ladies have no clue, either.

"Is it like a jogger?"

I was tempted to respond as my ancestors would have -- as Cousin James has pointed out, they would have thought, It's something you pick out of your nose -- but I've got errands to run and I hurry away.

A little later I read a nifty little column in the Thursday Times Circuits section reporting on a recent survey about weblogs. The survey, conducted by an outfit called Perseus Development --

finds that fully 66 percent of the 4.12 million blogs, or online journals, created on eight leading blog-hosting services have been "abandoned'' -- that is, not updated for at least two months. And 1.09 million of those were one-day wonders.
Denizens of the blogosphere need no survey to prove this. Bloggers both good and bad tend to come and go with notable frequency. Every blog follower has a handful of favorite authors who gave it a pretty good shot for a while, but had to abandon regular blogging.

On my own blogroll, Alli over at Frolic and Detour appears to be sitting things out for now. Angry little Matt had his template implode, but the experience may inspire him to write some new things after a relatively quiet spell. Sarah's getting it done again at Next Stage, although she's blogging much more lightly than she did last year. Meanwhile, Alliance Watch, a blog dedicated to ragging on the Portland Business Alliance (a local downtown business promotion group), looks like it's more or less out of commission. Which, along with Rob Saltzman's recent exit, leaves precious few of us who blog about Oregon. (Speaking of which, hey Emma, I'm getting nothing but the banner and banner ad when I go to your Blogspot site. Try republishing your entire blog.)

Blogging's not like other hobbies. It's not like a coin collection that you can put away for several months, and it will be as good as ever when you pull it back out. Blogging implies readers, and readers want to see something new when they get there.

And so those of us who love having the readers try to give them something new nearly every day.

In that sense, maybe the answer to the guy in front of the Starbucks is, "Yes, it's kind of like a jogger. It's something you need to do on a regular basis to be any good at it. And like jogging, it requires you to be a little crazy."

Comments (2)

i started my blog on blogsplat sometime in '01 and now have been six months with MT, and still blathering about life in North Bend. I was recently pleasantly surprised to see my average daily hits go from 10 to 12. heh.

Sheesh, that's two people in two days pokin' me. I shall return.

Incidentally, your words almost precisely match those of Sars at Tomato Nation (www.tomatonation.com) -- this is always what she tells people when they ask her how to start a site -- that it doesn't matter that you're always brilliant, it just matters that you keep updating. Aside from a couple of vacation weeks, she's turned out an essay every single Monday night for several years.

Obviously, I don't always FOLLOW this advice, but I do believe it.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Blogger burnout:

» Get Suckled. from Blogging Sucks.
Ahem: read the title, d00d! This weblog seeks to explore the mighty, deep territory in which we find the suckitude inherent to blogging. So what's up with the "Blogging is good" submissions? Jaysus, Mary, 'n' Joseph, people! Nevertheless, this piece... [Read More]

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