Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What Happened To Blogging?

Early next year PottyMouthMama will be celebrating her fifth birthday. Five years of blogging - and by no means am I one of the foremothers of blogging. Nope. Not even close. But coming up to my fifth blogging birthday has made me very reflective. 

Back in those early days of blogging, it seemed a bit more fun. 

Didn't it?

Or am I wigging out on some acid (reflux) flashback? 

It seemed more fun, less competitive. 
More honest, less perfect. 
More unique, less of the same looking photos. 
More natural, less wanky.

Granted. The whole landscape has changed. 

And for me personally, it's changed. I've changed. I'm no longer a stay at home mum, I'm no longer on a drip-feed of blogs, I can't keep up with responding to comments, and I can't visit so many blogs. - STOP the blogging world - I want to get off, reply to some comments, and get back on.

Back in the day, I started blogging after reading my favourites: Dooce, Meet Me At Mikes, Georgie Love, Kootoyoo. I had a newborn baby and a toddler in arms, I wanted to keep writing daily, and be part of the blogging community. I didn't fit into my mother's group, and I was looking for like-minded souls. 

Back in those days blogging was a celebration of difference, about personalities, about meeting new people, sharing and having a voice and being part of a greater community.

But now blogging seems to be in a funk. Or is it me?

Has blogging lost it's fun?
How did blogging become more a competition and less a celebration? 

Who did put the bomp in the bompty bompty bomp?

Are you there God? It's me, Lexi-Margaret. 

I think I'm having a mid-blog crisis.

(PS Isn't that an ace image of Judy Blume's awesome book? Aww so Frenchy, so chic). 


Kate said...

That is an excellent image indeed!

I started blogging about 7 years ago. It was a nice little blog where my friends, family and Internet community would visit and keep up with my life. I'd post endlessly about my family, my work and rant my pants off as the urge took me. It looked and felt very different to my current blog and it was. I'd get a bee in my bonnet, throw up a random collection of thoughts and it didn't matter if there was a photo or anything else.

I enjoy very much the PR side of my current blog, but it has recently felt more like work than fun. For me that was a sign to step back and rethink my priorities. It should be fun. And like you I simply cannot keep up with all the blogs out there, all the bloggers who have kindly taken the time to connect with me. It makes me feel guilty, which makes no sense at all either.

Anyway. I ramble. Short version is I agree.

Mrs Sabbatical said...

great minds Lexi - I was wondering too what has happened. Is the market saturated... are there just too many? Is it still fun or just too competitive? I do love love love PMM and you have been a massive inspiration to me.
Love Judy Blume, though in my later years I now wish I hadn't done so many "I must I must I must increase my bust exercises" emily xx

Mrs Smith said...

Blogging seems to be more and more, like everything else in our silly world, about work success ( not mine obviously as I still ramble on randomly to a handful of loyal readers with little rhyme or reason as is my want) but the business side of blogs does sometimes kinda take the fun out of it. When I looked up a list of top 100 blogs lately I was shocked at how ad-filled, and frankly, unattractive they are. That's not my kind of blog. I like the authentic personal ones with humor and a splash of style, like yours Lexi and Kootoyoo and Aunty Cookie. The craft revolution has changed in the same commercial way, don't you think? It's kind of dampened the fire.

Hannah said...

Been hearing this a lot lately.
I'm still a newbie.
Read what you want, write what you want, as often as you want.
Says I

SarahMac said...

I'm such a spazz that I didn't even really know about blogs until the last few years, also when I started being at home with my babies. I started writing one only like two weeks ago and noone reads it except my mum and maybe two friends but I love writing it. I wish someone had just told me about blogging ages ago It's fifty billion times more helpful than a visit to the psychologist.

mrs moore said...

As Kate Bush once song "Don't give up, cause you have friends, don't give up, we don't need much of anything..."

Please stay Lexi cause to me your posts are as fresh as the new day, as funny as a very funny thing, and as real as the realest thing on earth.


(That cover is ne sais pa).

toni said...

I deleted my entire blog.
I gave myself the irits if that's at all possible. I wanted to go back to the days of being anonymous again. I even deleted Facebook.
It's been really nice. Like when you go on holidays and the only show on tv is Baywatch and there is no Internet access.
I sadly think blogging is a fad. Like spandex or bubble skirts. They will have peaks of success and then get shoved into mothballs for awhile.

One Flew Over said...

Hit the nail on the head Lex.

I get the impression that the unique, honest and true to themselves blogs are dying a slow death.

I think that the competitive nature that you mentioned as well as lack of recognition play a part in that.

As an avivd blog reader, my favourite blogs like kootoyoo, aunty cookie, foxs lane, mrytle and eunice, a little bird told me....just to name a few, all have their own unique voice and who I feel are true to who they are.

It is a tricky one....we all read certain blogs for different reasons but the first wave of the so called 'successful' Aussie blogs all seem to be more about how much they can influence their readers. I guess that may be more about their readers though than the blogger.

As a consumerI have a very clear idea about what I like and blog posts flogging bega cheese or asking mundane questions like how beds are made do not appeal to me in the slightest. It is mundane crap...of.which I have enough of in my own home.

Give me a bit of escapist or constructive reading any day...

Onwards and upwards with frocktober!

monalisadesign said...

I think it's just changed Lexi. 5 years ago there wasn't as much access to social media. New websites and keep popping up and stealing the limelight. I don't post as often as I would like too, nor do I get the time I want to read the blogs I love so much. I don't have a mobile phone so I can't blog whilst on the go.
I don't know.
As far as Judy Blume goes. Love, love, her. My favourite was "Forever" -for the rude bits.

kootoyoo said...

Hey Lex - agree & lament with you. I know I've fallen off my board lately. Much as I love instagram & pinterest & iPhones etc I think they've taken the "community" away from blogs. They've made it a bit to easy to click like & repin & whatever. You don't need to get out and about anymore. You can just like lazily on the iPhone. I'm as guilty as anyone. Time poor and all that. BUT...when there's gold it's good! Lots of love to you Lex. The skip diving series is still my favourite ever blog series. I hung out for those posts mate! xxx

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

You're so right. I started blogging a while back, when my 4th baby started preschool & i was business hungry, then drifted away when we moved, one post in 2008, couple of dozen in 2009. Then blogging started getting busy again so i didn't want to miss out on the fun, so got serious about it over the past 3 years & have throughly enjoyed it. I have to say, now i have an iPhone5 (first smart phone ever) & i've discovered Instagram, that is light hearted, fun & a bit more spontaneous than blogging, like blogging back in the old days actually. I don't mind the advertising & PR, i've won dozens of giveaways & run dozens myself, win win, however, all this vote for me & ranking stuff, that i don't like, i don't enter & don't care - i really like my blog, surely others will find me that way?? The commenters are waning but the hits aren't, you can't pick a day or topic which people will respond to, so you can't bet your house on blogging. I think if you enjoy it, continue. I sure am. Have to say that finding you on Instagram (posie shoots) has lead me back here, funny how other social mediums work?? Love Posie

Reannon Hope said...

I dont write a blog & am still pretty new to reading them. When I found my first one ( Meet Me At Mikes) it was like the greatest thing ever. I consumed blogs at a rapid pace but the attraction for me is waning. I've cut down the ones I read drastically & even those ones I don't comment on as much as I used to.
Stop if you feel you want to buy I'd prefer you didn't xx

Brenda @ MiraNarnie said...

yep it's changed. i did a blog post a little while ago asking this same question. I felt on the outer...I wasn't entering in "top blogs comps" or "voting" or "hosting" the right stuff and i just felt that it was all just same same all over blog land...but I have my few handful of bloggers i really dig coz they stay true to who they are, and really that why i started blogging (like you to find like minded folks) and have a bit of fun really. hang in there lexi...just get a convertible for your blog and Chihuahua..roll down the top and feel the wind in your hair - soon you'll feel like a new blogger!

Cass Ward said...

I have to agree as well. I started my blog back in 2006 and there seemed to be a lot more people reading blogs. I think one of the problems is that there is obviously a lot more social media nowadays and people often put their blog posts/photos onto Facebook/Instagram and it is easy for people to comment/like on those mediums which means they don't have to comment on the blog. Also the majority of people read through a reader now which makes commenting an extra step and so this may discourage blog commenting. Also I think blogs have become a lot more competitive since people started making money from them. I know I am over reading blogs where they are always advertising something, getting paid to push products, getting free products to keep and rave about. There are a number of blogs I no longer read because of this. I think there is also lots of jumping through hoops now when bloggers have giveaways, like me here, follow me here, blah blah, what ever happened to just having a giveaway for your actual readers. So I think there are lots of disenfranchised readers out there.

ejorpin said...

I'm kind of new to blogging with 2 and a bit years up my sleeve (although I'd been wanting to start a blog for ages and ages before I finally plucked up the courage). I blog because I love writing, playing with words and maybe, sometimes, hopefully making someone chuckle. And because I love taking and sharing photos. And because it helps me stay connected to something that feels a bit like a community (and I can be a bit isolated, far from home). And because it makes me think about spelling and grammar - skills I don't use a lot elsewhere in my life at the moment!

The blogs I read (when I can, like you I feel so behind on my reading and commenting, and I just don't seem to have the time anymore...) are all different - some are a clear expression of passion for a topic (craft, design, colour, etc), some are wonderfully written, some are ridiculously pretty - but the reason I go back to them, and find the time that I don't have, is because they are what they are (honest? genuine? those words make me cringe a bit).

If you're trying to start up a small business you're constantly being told you HAVE to have a blog, but I think it's kind of pointless doing it unless you enjoy it, or you get some sort of something out of it (like being forced to write each week).

Anyway, you're ace. That's all that matters, right?

lisa :: the red thread said...

I agree that the sense of community has dissipated. I must have started blogging about 6 months after you and there have been big changes. Generally I think the sharing aspect has disappeared. People are still visiting, or reading, or mostly looking at the pictures but not engaging like they used to. It is disheartening. I'm imagining people doing a quick skim. A hit and run. I blame it on the fast food: FB, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Maybe people are busier and all they want is fast food these days. And like Cass said when your blog gets viewed in Reader it's another step removed because people can't just comment and they don't see posts in their natural environment on your blog. I always use the "next" button now so I read the blogs I follow on the actual blog. Reader does seem much more disengaged and impersonal.
Yes, competition! Agreed. Pressure to be the best and be everywhere. Have the most followers. Do it all. I have to say that's the bit that I am taking a stand on. No Facey Book or Twitter or Pinterest for me. I can't - and don't want to - do it all. And yet I feel so much pressure to.
When I started blogging I did it for me and as if no one was reading (they weren't), and that's still my motivation. I blog what inspires me. Here's a corny ending: if you blog from your heart that's all you need to do. When you stop enjoying it stop doing it. Have a break.
Yours is one of the blogs I most enjoy reading. I love your writing!
Loving that book cover.

Jess said...

Yep with you totally on this, and it's not just it , it's me too like you said. I miss the old blogging too, when there was more of community feeling and interaction between people. I agree with Kirst, as much as I love Instagram i feel like it's taken a lot away from blogging.
ANd as great as IG is, the connection isn't the same as blogging ( in the good old days)
At times I've been thinking chucking in the towel, especially after I've done a post particularly person or meaningful to me and get hardly any comments. But I'm guilty of it too, not commenting as much as I should sooo I can't get knicker knotted.bravo for you to be talking about it out loud xo

Evil Genius Mum said...

Aw crap. I've just started and I was just talking to someone today about how I love this fresh new cesspool of creativity, where the minions are actually creating a network of minions, rather than all choking the living shit out of each other. (yeah - still new enough to have fun)

But I can relate to a few of the comments (yep - I read them). I love the idea of sharing ideas - that's why I want to blog. I do not love the attempts of some bloggers trying to cover everything, like it is some fiduciary duty to do so. I know crap about ankle-boots, even less about ankles (except for shackles... know a bit about shackles), so I'm not going to blog about it just so I can link to some fashion page.

You know what - take your time. Have a rest. I like what you write and I'll come back. Personally, I'm lucky if I can get 10 readers a day (and that's including my family checking up on whether I mentioned them). But I love finally being able to share with you guys. And I hope you still haunt the interwebs enough to remind us what the original point of blogging is all about.

Christina Lowry said...

I agree that Instagram and it's friends are competition for blogs. Perhaps attention spans are getting shorter too? But I am still a happy blogger. I feel a part of a blogging community still and have made friendships and connections because of my blog that I am grateful for.

As blogs have grown up they have gotten more polished. They all start out a big geeky and awkward, but a few end up with really nice hair and great make up and win the popularity contest. Which makes the other blogs feel they should put a bit more effort in to their make up too. Some take it that bit too far.

While I may never win the popularity contest, I love blogging and can think of so many wonderful blogs that I love reading, including yours of course. Maybe there is something we could do to reinvigorate the feeling of community?

PS. You made me realise that my blog turns four in ten days. Hooray!

Nikki | Styling You said...

I've been blogging just 6 months less than you. I feel the community way more than those early days and I'm beside myself that I get to hang out with that tribe for 3 days in Melbourne this weekend and it will be OK to IG and talk. I've met the most amazing people through blogging - you included - who I would never have met except for blogging. My life is richer for it.

Leanne Bertram said...

Great read + comments .. i'm back to basics .. re-hashing the 2006-2008ish blog, not using readers, commenting, oldskool. But it's NOT like the old days .. in fact, when I was asked for a media kit for my blog recentl ( um, hi, stats suck ) I wanted to yell BUT HEY, THEY LOVE ME ON FACIE.. because I can type in whatevs a lot faster and guarantee engagement ASAP .. like the old days of blogging. I don't moderate, sell, censor, and it's quicker to post and receive reply. While I wouldn't blog about a tv ad ( maybe ), I sure the hell FB it, and I like it when I make my peeps laugh. Many of them are OB ( old bloggers ), and I like that.

I used to tweet a lot more too - in the days btn blogging and fbíng. But I won't instagram. nopies, no way, no how.

+1 to Cass Ward on all the selling me shizz stuff. #notafanofnuffnang

Hazel said...

I know what you mean. I haven't even been blogging as long, but I still find myself referring back to the blog to find out practical stuff about when we started doing something at the hut or in the garden, so I guess it still is a personal web log to me. I used to be a bit sad that the following/commenting interactions were a bit non existent, but Instagram is filling that spot now, in a far more immediate way. So at the moment I can cope, but I do feel guilty when I'm commenting on peoples IG feeds and not their blogs.

anastasia said...

ive been blogging for about six years now and I know what you mean - I think when I first started blogging it was a different community, there were less bloggers, less distractions (no twitter, no pinterest...) it was more a thrifty, handmade, creative community... where-as now it all feels very professional and competitive, design savvy, striving for sponsors and bloggers wanting to be 'full time' bloggers so guess that means making money from your blog - the popular bloggers are so hard to compete with, it feels like highschool all over again - why would you want to anyway, where does it stop...there will always be newer, bigger and better?? its lost its way for me a little but Im still blogging and sharing and enjoying it...and will keep going as long as Im having fun!

Nicole Avery said...

Late to this post Lexi, but I do understand the sentiment of this post. There is sooooooo much going on in this space that at times when I think about it all, I get over whelmed. But then I stop, take it back to what do I want to do with my blog and I breathe freely again and realise that I can still run my own race. I may not run as fast as others, but I am loving looking at the scenery as I jog along. Nic xx