Blogging is for life, not just for ......
Without wanting to be accused of scaremongering (or simply being full of doom and gloom) I think it’s time I wrote up another post in which I bemoan the general ‘state of the blawgosphere’. I wrote up a particularly negative entry last December in which I prophesied that the end of the blawgosphere (as we knew it) was nigh. Happily, that proved to be incorrect, as the sphere welcomed a bevy of new blawgs into the fray in the subsequent months. There’s no denying that some of the newbies have carved out excellent reputations for themselves – relating both to the quality of the posts and the frequency of the entries.
However, since this Spring, the rate at which the new blawgs have sprung up has flat-lined and a number of those new entries have more or less died their death, descending into perpetual silence. Any ideas about Lacunae, Obiter or Templar anyone? Anyone?
I read somewhere recently that new blogs are somewhat like new businesses in the sense that close to half of them fail in the first year. Still, a blogger can punch out a lot of posts in 12 months and contribute fruitfully to his or her chosen section of cyberspace. But those blawgs which spring up with boundless reserves of enthusiasm only for life to dessert them as quickly as they arrived are something else all together. And, perhaps it’s just me, but I really struggle to get what’s going on with them. If the blogger isn’t too sure about continuing, wouldn’t the posts begin to falter and trail off rather than dropping off the radar entirely within the blink of an eye.
I’m certainly not advocating that blogging should take the form of some ‘old boys’ club. However, the stalwart bloggers – whom have grown considerably in number despite my foreboding blog posts every now and then – keep the sphere being what it should be. New entries are great and diversity should be welcomed but how much value do they add when their presence proves to be so hollow, meaningless and short-lived.
The last thing I want here is to discourage potential bloggers from giving it a go. But I would say this to them: try it out, experiment, embrace the sense of community by all means but don’t go and start promising the earth if you’ve serious doubts about sticking around. And if you decide it’s not for you, knock it on the head conclusively. No one wants to see a blawg – however great or not so great it was in its heyday –be left hanging around painfully and uncertainly like the last turkey in the shop. Surely the least the failed blogger can do – if only for the dignity of his or her blog – is to wrap it up with a few words proclaiming, ‘this is it folks – it was fun while it lasted’.
The tacitly accepted rules of the game have changed , too, recently. No longer does the blogger have to be chained to their laptop on a daily basis – or something like that. But in all seriousness, I think the window of acceptability in terms of posting frequency has definitely widened considerably in the last year or so. I would go as far as saying that blawgers can still remain part of the valued fabric of sphere while only posting perhaps once a month. (I think Law and Life and certain other distinguished members of the ‘sphere might be pushing their luck a bit, though). :-)
In short, it’s the quality and loyalty of their presence which creates value and drives their readership. Of course, this acceptability shift was borne partly out of necessity. Many student blawgers have seen their lifestyles change considerably as they leave the academic world for the unknown and murky recesses of the world of work - leaving them with precious few moments to update their beloved blawgs. I, too, can now speak from experience on this score.
Ultimately, of course, the wheat and chaff are always sorted and as for those blawgs that were always destined to die after a few hope-filled weeks, well, we should perhaps just let nature take its course.
As an aside – and with the admission that Law Actually has been a bit quiet of late - I think it’s timely to give a shout-out to a few missing (and much missed) blawgers who haven’t posted in a while.
So, Law Minx, Lacklustre Lawyer and others, let’s hear from you soon, eh?!