Friday, October 12, 2007

Lag

They say this...
Several studies indicate that most blogs are abandoned soon after creation (with 60% to 80% abandoned within one month, depending on whose figures you choose to believe) and that few are regularly updated. [http://www.caslon.com.au/weblogprofile1.htm]
And I'm beginning to think a lot of us are going to fall into that category except for Ev, Fred, me, and the old reliable, Stuart.

But this leads into my question: How serious is everyone about blogging? Given that this statistic is almost spot-on accurate even among our own circle, what is the appeal of starting a blog, and more importantly, what is the appeal of maintaining a blog? And what can motivate someone to do just that - to keep it afloat and not washed away with the rest of internet detritus.

8 comments:

Fred said...

I'll admit it: my blog is most important to me as a place I can tell my friends things I have trouble bringing up in conversation. Whether it's an odd topic that's important to me, or just something that wouldn't likely come up in the course of normal conversation and I feel odd forcing, I can get it out in my blog and know my friends will see it. My blog has become an important part of my social life, and makes me feel that the things that really matter to me are being heard. As a primarily shy person, it's a useful tool for me to express myself.

d said...

What motivates ppl to keep blogs? Hm...interesting. I'd go with unemployment. Maybe frequent cable outtage.

Evan Bacon said...

I agree with Fred, with the addition of my comics. I find that it's easier to express myself in one long post than to IM somebody and spill what's on my mind.

That said, I do not feel obligated to update on a schedule. Instead, I update either my regular blog or my web comics blog whenever something of substance needs to be shared.

SnrIncognito said...

i think the question assumes that frequency and continuous blogging are necessary to be serious about blogging, which is not necessarily true.

nor does anything someone have to be done seriously or with commitment in order for it to be valuable.

most of us start blogging as a form of public expression, and frequently do so because there are things on our minds that we would like to have an outlet for. this doesnt mean that we continually have things on our minds, or that we do in equal distributions over time.

i think most of us keep our blogs up simply for self satisfaction. we may stop for a time because we are busy with other activities, or even because we are still expressing ourselves, just not with words.

this, however, does not mean we aren't serious about what we say and the public space that we use to say it. i think the blogs that are continuously updated are the ones used as journals or as business ventures. blogs that are updated sporatically are either message boards (used only when there is a message to be shared) or a place to publically post writing. one might as well say you aren't serious about painting if you don't paint every month, or aren't serious about photography if you don't post on flickr every week. but i dont think that's true, as any expression is as serious as the expressive person thinks it is.

i do think that blogs are fads also, that we update them to seem creative and because "being heard" affords us a sense of power and value. but frequency of updates i dont think necessarily implies much about value. in fact, frequent meanignless posts may be indicative of someone who does not take their blog seriously.

Bronwyn said...

I've maintained the current blog for over two years, and had two previous to that - both for about 2-3 years. I don't update on a schedule because I don't want my blog to become a burden, so there were months where I only posted once a week. At this point I actually have some readers which is cool, but not central to why I blog. Most of my friends live out of reach, so blogs help us keep up with goings-on when phone calls just aren't practical. It also functions as a database for me - so if someone asks for schematics or stats on something I knit, I can find the referring post easily.

I do think if you want your blog to be read by someone other than a friend, you need to post with some frequency. Reminds me of a media class - "post less once a month, and you might as well be static for all the attention it'll get."

Nico said...

@Stiles: Nah, I'm not really saying that infrequent posts mean something is not valued, I'm just asking what is the incentive to not abandon a blog. I guess I should specify that "abandon" is a term applied by site indexers, such as Technorati. Of course it isn't true that importance is contingent upon the flow of posts, but barring value and instead isolating the factors of "appeal" or "incentive", that is what I'd like to know. I think we're getting close by delineating that certain types of blogs (for specific reasons, such as journaling) give way to certain fluidity of posts, but I'm actually going to turn something you said on its head and see what we think about that:

"nor does anything someone have to be done seriously or with commitment in order for it to be valuable."

True. But in order for something to be done with value, it must be done. So, here's my follow up Q: is there a behavioral or even psychological difference between the worlds of live blogs, abandoned blogs (in which case something may retain its value, as we've pointed out) and dead blogs, the last of which nothing is done?

crazygrampastuey said...

1 - I don't think any of us are "serious bloggers." I've read some serious blogger's blogs and they update it every day with flash animation and novel-long entries that cause my computer to "seriously" lag.

2 - I think of my weblog pretty much the same way Fred thinks about his: as a way for me to express things that i wouldn't otherwise bring up in conversation. My blog is like a good friend who listens and pays attention all the time. But I think the reason I've been so "reliable" all these years is because I want to remember the things that I thought/felt/went through at the time. Sometimes I go through my old posts for nostalgia's sake and think to myself: "wow....I remember when I wrote that!"

3 - I think you have to be in a certain "mood" to blog. I dunno what that mood is, but as long as there's a need to get something off your chest, there will be blogs. You don't even need to know how to type these days, now that we can make video blogs.

crazygrampastuey said...

Wow....I "think" a lot.