Monday, April 29, 2013

I Had No Pulse Last Time I Checked

It feels like it's been at least several days since we've heard someone declare this or that to be officially dead, doesn't it? Surely there's a eulogy being delivered somewhere, yes?

We will still have blogs, of course, if only because the word is flexible enough to encompass a very wide range of publishing platforms: Basically, anything that contains a scrollable stream of posts is a "blog." What we are losing is the personal blog and the themed blog. Less and less do readers have the patience for a certain writer or even certain subject matter. Instead, they use social media to efficiently pick exactly what they do and do not click on, rather than reading what a blogger or blog offers them... A necessary byproduct was that even if you were a devotee, you were not interested in about half of their posts. You didn't complain, because you didn't have an alternative. Now, in the form of your Twitter feed, you do, and so these old-style blogs have no place anymore.

Blogs? You mean they've been lingering on life support all this time?

Now, granted, I'm not the most sociable or well-connected or "with-it" type of fellow, so I just want to make sure I'm understanding this: am I really seeing what I'm seeing? Am I seriously reading a complaint about how the problem with reading blogs is the inability to customize them to your exact specifications so as to not waste a single second reading something you might not find interesting? Am I to understand that spending a few moments in suspended judgment to consider a different perspective or new information is now considered inefficient? Isn't that how your interests became your interests to begin with, because a casual glance turned into a stare, and you took a few moments to engage with them and find out what they were all about? So, in your twenties or thirties, you've already called time on all that, confident that you're only ever going to want more of the same of what you already know you like? If that weren't so naïvely ignorant, it would be insultingly stupid.

To be clear, Tracy is lamenting the supposed death of that blogging culture, not cheering it, and I don't doubt that it's an accurate description of how a lot of people think. Still, though, the rambling personal mini-essay has been around ever since Montaigne; it's not going anywhere. Don't confuse "trendiness" with "rude health".