The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

It seems I missed my blogiversary. Happy 5th Birthday to me!

It also seems like the academic blog world is getting smaller. Bitch PhD signed off. Other bloggers have either slowed down or ceased blogger altogether. Even yours truly has not posted as much.

I started blogging as kind of a release of frustration. My pal, GML thought I should start one. Not afraid of a challenge, I did. Five years and about 1600+ posts, I'm still here. Over the past five years, I have laughed, cried, snarked and bitched about academics, stupid people, my battle with RA and my happy and crazy life with Husband and the Boy. In turn, you have commented, advised, supported and challenged me in ways that have made me think about who I am as an academic, a woman and a friend.

That's what I love about blogging, that sense of community. In the early days, that's what it was. We could talk, vent and discuss. It was all good because we could agree to disagree. I learned and considered new ideas that I had not considered. And, of course, I have met some awesome people, some of which I have met IRL. All of you are not just peers, but friends.

But, something has happened to the academic blog world. Many have disappeared for Facebook. Some have ended their blogging because it was time to move on. What bothers me the most is blogs that once used to be a place to "agree to disagree" have become less than civil. I am not going to call anyone out. Don't need to. But, I think many of us have experienced the wrath of the vicious comment or have comment on a blog in which the response was less than civil.

Why? Why has this happened?

Let's start with Facebook. Maybe it's the ability to say what you want to say in real time. Also, you can control who sees what you say. For some, there is that real time feedback, that conversation like piece that blogging doesn't have.

As far as the civility part. I think it's part of a bigger problem. People are really angry. Angry about everything and nothing. Somewhere in the last 10 years or so, we have become bears with a sore ass. We want everyone to see it our way. If you disagree with me, you are not just wrong, but you are somehow inferior to me or not worth my time. Why should I consider your view when I am obviously right? And if you are not in lock-step with me you can kiss my ass.

Sound about right?

Call me old school or nostalgic, but I miss the blogging days of old. I miss those certain bloggers who spouted their words of wisdom. I miss the healthy debate and discussion. That's what has fueled me to write academic posts and comment on other blogs.

Sadly, I may be a dying breed. But, I will keep on blogging.

And I hope you will be there with me.


jo(e) said...

I too miss the days when I was part of a community of bloggers. I still blog, but it feels less like a community now.

Brigindo said...

Happy Blogaversary. I'm glad you're still with us and hope you continue for many more.

The academic blogging community has grown smaller and I think it is a loss. I haven't experienced the lack of civility as much but I think that's because I avoid a lot of comment reading. It is, of course, everywhere else in our society lately so I'm not really surprised.

rented life said...

It does feel like less of a community, but for some of us younger folk, it has been to hard to break into the community in the first place. The age old I'm not old enough to have thoughts of worth thing. (That's part of my problem with trying to comment back in 2004-05 when I first started.) Like Brigindo I've avoided reading comments on some blogs because it's just healthier for me.

JaneB said...

I'm a fairly recent joiner of the academic blogging community (been blogging about 18 months now), and I really like the tone of blogs like yours and Brigindos and Jo(e)s. I'm an academic in a science subject, and it seems to me that whilst there are a lot of new science-academic bloggers around, they tend to be more competitive and research-funding-focused than some more established academics.

I see this in the academy too - I aspire to teach well AND do good research AND be collegial, doing a fair share of service, but more and more universities (here in the UK, at least) seem to emphasise individuality and competition and, of course, the business model (which I hate).

I still manage to find community here, and by being selective in the blogs I read avoid a lot of the grumpyness - I've given up commenting some places, because it's not possible to have a civil conversation, but on balance the community here is still really important to me.

Facebook - pah. It has no interest for me. It feels less like a community and more like a bragging venue (and it feels FAR too much like High School for my comfort, I so HATED school...). Hope you continue to blog, though, despite the changes

BrightStar (B*) said...

hi. I read the title to the tune of "Where have all the cowboys gone?" (doo doo dooooo) -- is that what you intended? ;)

Yeah, I've been meaning to do a post about this, too. I think I blog less now because I used to blog when I was stressed. I honestly feel more stressed and relaxed now, so I have less of a need to process online. I also have more face-to-face friends, because I'm in my 7th year of living in SleepyTown, so I don't feel as lonely -- more people to talk to face-to-face, less need to process online. And there is something about blogs being less of a novelty now, so they're not as interesting for me to write (but I still like reading!).

Where is this controversy?! I have not seen it -- I am curious! Please share (over email?).

Happy Blog-i-versary!!! I am glad to have had the chance to know you over these years. I am honored to consider you to be my friend.

Professor Howard said...

Happy Blogiversary! I keep wanting to return to blogging, but I've been busy on 750 words and writing privately. I've been writing privately and haven't felt the energy to return to blogging since my father passed away a few years ago. I've returned to blog reading, though. I've missed the gang.!

Elizabeth said...

Happy blogaversary! Hope you will continue.
I blog under topics of religion (Orthodox Christianity) and RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), and not in the "academic" blogging community.

TiredProf said...

Happy Blogiversary! I know what you mean (am also mourning the passing of Pitch Ph.D)...

I suspect you're right about the move to Facebook, though I prefer this world for some things and this for other (anonymous) posts.

Abbey said...

Im with the others in that I haven't seen the controversy, but I have noticed the smaller circle of academics. I kind of assumed it was because I was less academic than I was when I started. As far as FB goes, several of my RL friends and I have commented on how nasty those can get...which is weird cause it's supposed to be a social outlet of people you choose to be in your circle. Weird. Happy blog-aversary!

Seeking Solace said...

Thanks everyone! I "heart" my bloggy friends.

For those who are familiar with the ugly side of the academic blogging, it's probably a good thing.

B*: I was totally thinking of that song! I will email you soon. :)

Elizabeth: Academics, RA, it's all good here. Welcome. :)

Leslie M-B said...

Happy blogiversary! My 5th is coming up this week, too, so I've been reflecting on the decline in blogging. I do miss the greater feeling of community, which I don't get on Facebook; I know more academics via Twitter than FB, I think. Maybe if I had bothered to do some detective work and figure out who's behind all the bloggy pseudonyms, I'd be on FB more. :)

I'm glad to hear you're planning to stick around the blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

I felt like my community fragmented after a while. And then I needed to protect my space which meant that I didn't show up in feeds which meant less readership, so I really wound up turning my personal facebook page into the place I posted what I would have formerly blogged. I created a separate profile recently for work, and I find that's really working for me.

I missed the old days of blogging and having that network of support, but I'm comfortable with my current outlet.

Happy 5th! :)

RageyOne said...

Things have definitely changed. I'm still here, slowly chugging along though not as often as I used to.

BrightStar (B*) said...

I came back to read the updated comments and re-read what I wrote. I meant to say that I am "less stressed" (not more stressed) now. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy blogiversary (did I spell that right?). I think life has gotten busier and maybe that's why people stop blogging, either permanently or temporarily. I like blogging and reading other blogs. Personal, professional, health related, doesn't matter. I like 'em all :-)

Kai said...

I miss blogging too, but there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day! I'm hoping to regain my balance and get back into it. I'm glad you are still here and posting!

A very happy blogaversary!

Arbitrista said...

I was never really an academic blogger, but I know what you mean. I think my blogging started to tail off a bit when I got discouraged about politics, but I'm doing my best to hang in there.

BTW, happy blogaversary!

comebacknikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
comebacknikki said...

Happy blogiversary! :)

I also miss the community of bloggers -- it really was an awesome time and so many fantastic relationships came out of it. Despite the loss of that group, I will continue to blog. I'm glad you're still around, too! :)