March 24th will mark the 6th year of my daily blogging. I was giving myself a pat on the back the other day, when a reader sent me a blog by Tonni Bennett which specializes on subjects of interest to folks 60 and over ( http://www.timegoesby.net/) . The article noted that Andrew Sullivan, a political blogger who wrote daily for 15 years, had decided to hang up his keyboard. Public dismay followed the announcement and soon predictions about the death of blogging cluttered the internet. Naturally, the critics followed to tell us why. Social media has replaced blogs, they said. Youth is flocking to Twitter and Tumblir and Facebook.
My 6-year anniversary compared to a blogger who had done 15 made me feel puny. Worse, my medium was dying, if the critics had it right. But did they? Bennett reports her reader numbers are up 20% . Mine are up also and, not to brag, but by more. Fortunately, Bennett quotes a critic who might have an answer to the discrepancy. Onur Kabadayi of The Guardian explains:
Blogs haven’t disappeared – they have simply morphed into a mature part of the publishing ecosystem. .. The loss of casual bloggers has shaken things out, with more committed and skilled writers sticking it out. Far from killing the blog dream, this has increased the quality of the blogosphere as a whole.
Given that “this” in the above statement lacks an antecedent, I hope to be forgiven for abhorring Kabadayi’s grammar while applauding his logic. Too many people write blogs who don’t bother to acquire basics skills and seem powerless to refrain from producing long, meaningless twaddle which I am forced to describe as verbal diarrhea. Such people should be confined to 140 characters until they have mastered the art of the sentence. As Shakespeare might have tweeted: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” (Hamlet, 1, ii)
Blogging is an art form: compact communications that are funny, smart, original or informative. To get blogs right requires research, editing and an expenditure of sweat – the opposite of facile, off-the-top-of-my-head tweets. The evolution of blog writing may result in fewer of them, which is probably good. In the game of survival of the fittest, the reader will be rewarded.