I read this post on “If I could bring one thing back to the internet it would be blogs” today and it reminded me of the good old days of blogging.
I know I sound like no one blogs anymore these days when I say good old days of blogging. Lot of people do. But there is just no sense of community. And a lot of blogging these days are way too serious.
I started blogging back in 2006. If you ask bloggers from back then, they would say I joined the blogging scene late. But I was still part of the last few years of what I like to call as the golden period of blogging.
When you thought of writing, you thought of Blogger or WordPress. Sometimes Typepad. You didn’t want to pay money to create your blog because you were not starting it to earn money. I mean, you kinda did but you were totally okay with it if it did not make any money. So you would create a something.blogspot.com or something.wordpress.com.
When you wanted to write something, you would open your blog and start writing. There was no Twitter back then for most part. It only started becoming popular in late 2007. If you wanted anyone to read your thoughts, it had to go on your blog. That was the beauty of blogs. You did not take it seriously. You wrote anything and everything on your blog.
These days, the first thing you open is Twitter. You consume a lot, you write a few tweets here, reply to a few there and that’s it.
When Twitter started gaining prominence, people started to subconsciously divide writing into two categories: 1. Serious, well researched, on topic writing and 2. Everything else.
And with those categories, people started to associate platforms with them. People associated blogs with the first category (serious stuff). They associated everything else with Twitter.
It was never the case before. Back then, you did not care if you were writing serious stuff. You did not care if your blog post made sense from a larger perspective. For most part, there was no bigger picture. It was all in the moment.
Then, people slowly started associating blogs with what you do professionally. You are a software engineer? Then you should only write about code on your blog. You are a photographer? You better write only about photography or post photos on your blog.
Don’t get me wrong. Those kind of niche blogs existed back then too and they were really popular. They always have a place. But what about your personal blog? The place where one day you wrote about the latest book that you read, followed it up with a post about some new gadget you tried and then on a Friday, you compiled the top blog posts your read that week, which were mostly just links to your blogging community members (your friends) who also posted similar weekly collections and linked to your blog post about the gadget review. Your personal blog was a book review blog, travel blog, tech blog and everything else at once.
And speaking of blogging groups, you know what I’m talking about. You were most probably part of one. This is the group of bloggers who were on your G Talk (Google’s chat application) most of the time. Most of you would write almost every day. The moment one of the members published a post, everyone went to read it, clicked thumbs up on StumbleUpon, upvoted on Digg, saved to Del.icio.us, and added a comment (oh remember comments on blog posts? And the spammy links which you got if you did not have a plugin like Akismet installed).
These bloggers were on your blog roll. You know blog roll. The sidebar which had links to your favorite blogs.
It’s hard to find blogs like those today. Even if there are blogs like that, you cannot find the community that came along with it. Bach tne, you could go to a popular blog and read comments and you could recognize most names. You clicked on their name and went to their blog. If they had FeedBurner RSS subscription stats and had similar numbers as your blog, you could become their friend and grow together (upvoting, subscribing and commenting on each other’s blog).
All of that is missing. And I have no idea if it will ever be back. But reading that blog post (linked at the top) brought back memories and along with it the urge to start writing again without worrying about it being on brand or being serious.
If you like this blog post, I don't know, maybe add it to Feedly or some RSS reader. I hope to write more often but nothing too serious and definitely not on single topic. You can also say hi to me - ram (at) kramkarthik (dot) com. Let's build real connections.
P.S.: Blogs work best when there are comments. This blog is hosted on Ghost platform. While there is easy Disqus comments integration, Disqus was bought by ad-tech company which might track users. So I'm still looking for an integration which is simple and doesn't track users. Once I do that, you should be able to comment on posts.