Take a look at my RSS feed reader list on the left. There is a lot of stuff I read on a quite regular basis and for not being bothered to visit all those websites manually, remembering what I last read and then finding new interesting stuff — I have a feed reader. While for professional web sites like news, webshops or developer blogs, RSS / Atom news feeds are inevitable, personal blogs have those too. A couple of years ago most of my friends started blogs and so did I by writing my first article.
High blog death rate
Like many others, from time to time I neglected my blog for a while, pickup up writing again, got lazy again, picked up again and so on. Most of the friends blogs I subscribed to appear to be inactive. The ones in ocher on the left did not get updated for ages which means, their authors don’t write any new articles. I guess that’s life!
To be honest, it take a lot of effort to write a blog and constantly maintain it. For those of us who have it even running on their own servers you got to think about all the technical stuff like software updates and so on. Despite that, the most painful part for everyone writing blog articles is the actual act of sitting down and hammering a couple of lines into the keyboard. It takes a lot of time and creativity to come up with a topic that people might actually read and you are willing to write about.
I could write about my sex-life which would probably be interesting to one or two, but I am not quite comfortable doing so — especially as it doesn’t just involve me 🙂 Anyhow, those who keep writing articles on a more or less frequent basis deserve respect.
Writing is relaxing
Knowing how hard it is to do so, for me this is also about focusing one thing and one thing only: this article. During my work week (which is usually Monday to Friday with little patches during the weekend and public holidays) I tracked the amount of tasks I am working on, thinking about and dealing with at the very same moment over time. On average that is currently something between 5 and 7 and I often get distracted by people popping into my office asking questions. Well, on weekends it is a bit more quiet — sometimes too quiet when my better half has to fly Shanghai and interview another Formula 1 driver. But well, that leaves me time to write an article, right? No distractions, me sitting on the terrace (when there is good weather) having a fresh beer or like today an ice tea, and just trying to write some lines that are not totally bonkers.
That being said, I also consider this a learning process. The more you write, the better you become and may be one day I will develop a writing-style that’s actually worth reading. In the meanwhile, please bear with me and provide feedback by leaving a comment.
Advantages of personal blogs
I have seen a big migration from personal blogs to micro-blogs like Twitter or the Facebook Newsfeeed. Indeed, those sites are very convenient and they made our digital life a lot easier. I am using those as well — mainly from my phone because it is quick and easy to share something that’s happening right now with everyone I know and I can even selectively share certain kinds of information with people I think it is relevant to. Still, personal blogs have advantages which I treasure sometimes: (virtually) unlimited size of posts, images, videos to embed, full control on availability like scheduled publishing, full control over the layout and the possibility of monetization. Right, I said it out loud: I make money with my blog – not much, but it pays for the server. I doubt anyone could blame me for that (but feel free to try :)).
Kozen’s blog allows me to write a little longer articles like this one and giving a bit more context to all of this. Like I mentioned before, I won’t give a promise I can’t keep, but I will post my thoughts about whatever I think might be interesting to you. This time we had a rather plain article with lots of text and a question at the end. I reckon most of you skipped the top paragraphs and jumped right down here. You are still welcome to leave your comments, though.
Twitter version of this article: “Are personal blogs dead? I don’t think so, what do you think?” (please RT or @reply)
P.S.: I got distracted while writing this post as well. An Easter Sunday parade was going on somewhere nearby and they performed a part of Schiller / Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy” which is my favorite — even though I had to sing that one in school and not even our music teacher could stand listen to those “tunes”.