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Are you bored with blogs?

By Shelah Miner

A few years ago, I ate, slept, dreamt and breathed blogs. I wrote nearly every day, commented regularly on my friends’ blogs and on blogs around the bloggernacle, and looked forward to the odd spare minute when I could sit down with Google Reader and get my fix. Gradually, every day blogging turned into every other day blogging, and then once a week blogging. Now sitting down to blog feels like work (can you tell this feels like work?). I still like to write, and I recognize that blogging is a great form of getting immediate feedback on the things I have to say, but lately I’ve noticed that the feedback isn’t as immediate as it used to be anymore, either. I’m experiencing something of a blogging burnout, and I wonder if you are too?

A few months ago I participated on a conference panel with a group of bloggers. During the Question and Answer session after our presentations, one of the members of the audience stood up and asked us how we were going to maintain our community once the medium of the blog had run its course. We all looked at each other with blank stares, no one eager to jump in and answer that question, because none of us knew how to answer that question; I don’t think that any of us realized that blogging, as a medium, would one day be replaced. But after that experience, I’ve been noticing things– the blogs that I read that seem to get updated regularly are usually those that are commercial in some way, many of my Mommy-blogging friends have essentially quit blogging (and I rarely pop out of Google Reader to say “He’s adorable!” when someone posts a picture of their baby anymore), and the enthusiasm I once felt in the blogging world seems to have, well, deflated a bit.

I’m not saying that blogging is dying, but this maturing phase of blogging feels less interactive, less social, and less fun than blogging did three or four years ago. Am I the only one out there who feels this way? If you do blog, has your output as a blogger decreased, and if so, why? Do you comment as much on blogs as you used to? How do we, as a blog and as bloggers, keep our medium fresh, keep Segullah as a place where people will come back and interact with the community we hope to create? If blogging isn’t going to be around forever, what do you see as the next logical step, and how do you propose we get in on the action?

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About Shelah Miner

(Co-Editor-in-Chief) teaches English at BYU and French at a Salt Lake City middle school. She has an addiction to her Audible account, hates making dinner, and embraces the chaos of life with a husband, six kids, a dog, a lizard and four rabbits.

37 thoughts on “Are you bored with blogs?”

  1. No, I definitely feel a weariness about it sometimes. No idea where it's going though. I don't think it will die, but I also don't think it can maintain the paroxysm of energy and activity it began with.

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  2. Wow. I've never considered that question before, but now that you mention it, I fall into the very pattern you described. I was gung-ho with my first (now obsolete) blog…and found personal validation through the comments people left me. It seemed to be a measure of my worth in a twisted way. It got to the point where my emotions were tracking the ebb and flow of blog comments, and I realized ENOUGH! I stopped commenting on other blogs as a rule, and considered turning comments off on mine…you know, to break the addiction.

    After a cooling down period, I eased back into commenting on only the posts that I felt I had something meaningful to contribute.

    I still read blogs, but I organized my google reader into folders, putting the ones that mattered most to me in one, and others in another. I unsubscribed from a load of blogs I'd been trying to follow. I rarely comment on blogs most of them…(you happen to read the exceptions to this, Shelah).

    I don't feel compelled to blog any more. I write when I feel like it or have something to say. I've considered "Slurping" my blog into a printed book, but am waiting till I have some extra $ to do that (guessing it'd be pretty spendy), because I'm not sure how permanent it will be. If they started charging, for example, I'd probably drop it.

    I have come to realize I am no visionary when it comes to predicting the future of things like technology or society…so I can't say what the next-best thing is. But till it's run it's course, I can't see any reason why I'd quit it altogether. Segullah is still at the top of my blogroll.

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  3. These are interesting questions, Shelah. I've noticed the same trend in general and in my own blogging. I wonder if things are moving more quickly towards social media outlets that are even shorter than blogs like Twitter for bigger organizations and Facebook updates for individuals.

    It's sad to think that blogs may already be on the decline, though. They've saved me as a SAHM πŸ™‚

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  4. This is all news to me. I love blogging and have been for 2 1/2 years. I especially love reading other blogs, getting to know people on a level that I didn't quite know before.

    I've always said if I could be a fly on the wall of people's lives, that would be my wish. I am fascinated by how they live, what they think, what they eat, the challenges they face….I LOVE people.

    So no, I can't get enough of blogs. I have a theory about those who quit blogging…it just was not their fortΓ© in the first place.

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  5. I am getting bored with blogs. I stopped reading most of them, and only check about 4 now. My own blog I update maybe once a week, but it's pretty much about things I'm thinking about, not so much what's going on in my own life.

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  6. I love blogging but I am feeling more and more like the minority. I believe techcrunch or someone did a study that showed that blog readership was predicted to rise — but authorship of blogs is predicted to decline.

    I started out the year going to all sorts of corporate events for my blog… and I have realized that I love it more now that I don't do that kind of stuff. Now I just concentrate on writing.

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  7. I blog for journaling purposes, so I'm not burnt out yet. I notice I go through phases where I have several things to blog about at once, and then there isn't much. Usually during the lack of family excitement, I try to blog about something random. I figure my girls and grandkids will one day see many different sides of me through my blogging. At the end of the year I have my blog posts bound in a book. So for me, it's very fulfilling. However…I do notice that I get very few comments. I know my family reads the blog, but many are not computer savvy. My friends who are are probably too busy to stop and comment. I don't blog for the comments, but every now and then I do get a little sad and wonder what my family/friends think of what I'm writing. I am still a commenter on my friends' blogs. I love it. It's my little time at night after the kids are in bed. So I guess to answer the question, I'm still going and still enjoying. I think we slow down when we expect to much of ourselves or our blog. It's good to have a purpose. Segullah has that kind of purpose, and I don't see it going away. My purpose is journaling, so I'm hoping to keep that going. I don't post every day, but if you are one that does, anything done at a high level over a period of time is going to cause burnout. Balance, balance, balance, right? πŸ˜€

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  8. This is why I don't blog. I could tell it was just the latest fad and would probably die one day, just like scrapbooking. So, I am super lazy and just never get into those things in the first place! I feel like a misfit Mormon Mom that I never do the trendy stuff but, oh well, I don't lose sleep at night over it! I do like to read a few blogs though. With a laptop and little kids, it's easier to surf blogs in snippets than try to read a book.

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  9. I've noticed a bit of disinterest in me but mostly because I have just kind of hit a wall and have trouble thinking up something to say anymore. My life just ain't that interesting unless I go someplace. I enjoy blogging, I really do, but … like everything else … I'm sure it will run its course someday being replaced by….something. Then what will I do. πŸ™

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  10. I think it depends on why a person started blogging in the first place. The social mommy-blogging can easily be replaced by something else like Facebook and Twitter and whatever new thing is coming out. It is a fad. Most of my friends, both irl and online who started blogs for that reason have quit, or post infrequently.

    But I think blogging will stick around longer for the people who are using it for non-social reasons. I still rely on blogs for news and commentary about places that aren't covered on traditional news sites and that isn't likely to change soon. And even though the bloggernacle has changed a lot in the last seven years, it's still going strong. New people are still discovering it and becoming involved.

    Blogging is a lot more than a social outlet and I think Segullah's blog isn't going to become obsolete anytime soon because it's also far more than a social outlet. I think one of the best things a group blog can do to stay fresh is to continue add new bloggers who are excited about blogging or who have an interesting perspective. I'm sure something else will come along sometime that can replace that sort of blogging, but I don't think anything is even close to doing so.

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  11. I'm wondering if those who are still really gung-ho are new enough to it to still be in the honeymoon phase. If you charge hard for 5 or 6 years, do you think you will still be enthralled? just curious if there's a blogger-life-span that roughly correlates a human life, eg: birth followed by rapid growth, intense activity and energy, gradual slowing down and maturing, (and eventually followed by death?!)

    It would make sense, if you think about it. hmm…I guess I'm middle-aged now! πŸ˜‰

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  12. I still really like blogging… both reading and writing them. I certainly hope the "next thing" isn't Facebook or Twitter. As a writer, that would kill me. I can't handle all the language shortcuts, the nondeveloped thoughts, and the allusions to things not revealed. I love blogs because it's writing… real writing. With words and paragraphs. And as a writer, blogs are my outlet for what I have to say. I'm not a published author, so my blog is my only voice. If blogging dies, so goes my voice to the world. If a tree falls in a forest…

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  13. I've been blogging and reading blogs for about five years now, and I still feel mostly excited about it. I started it as a creative writing exercise, as did most of my friends who did it at the time. Many of them aren't blogging anymore either. I have noticed a major slowdown in comments on my blog and I do miss that conversational aspect with my readers like I used to have. I do know that I don't comment as much on other people's blogs like I used to.

    I don't anticipate stopping my blog anytime soon. I like to have a place to write, and having an audience for some reasons helps me feel a desire to write and gives me inspiration. I have been spending more time on Facebook lately, just because I have a different group of friends there and I tend to get more immediate feedback. But the types of things I talk about on Facebook are different from the ones I cover on my blog.

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  14. I started one as a cheap hobby while I was in a "demanding baby" phase and couldn't get out of the house.

    Now I find my responsibilities are taking more out of the house and the blog isn't as important as it once was…but somehow I can't bring myself to just deleting the thing.

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  15. Fascinating discussion. Shelah – you voice what most of us have been wondering. I've definitely noticed a general decline in blog activity, but I can see Natalie's Telecrunch prediction making lots of sense. Blog readership increasing (older, less tech savvy individuals finally coming on board) while authorship declines.

    Writers seem to be the group that feels most confident continuing with the blog trend. As mentioned, Twitter, Facebook seem to be the more efficient way to "stay in touch" as a social medium.

    I would guess new technology is already lurking as a replacement, but personally, I hope the ability to pursue deeper thought (in some online form) will remain intact. I still enjoy blogs as a place for ideas and discussion of various topics – from politics to family life. But I'm way more choosy than I used to be.

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  16. I get tired of reading blogs that were once witty, and charming, but are now just a big platform for advertising. It makes me sad. I was just thinking this morning that it seems my friends aren't posting as much anymore.

    I have no idea what comes next after blogs, but I'll still be blogging, and blog-hopping (and even blog-stalking) until the next great way to stay in touch takes over!

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  17. I've noticed a slower pace in discussions lately, but I attributed it to more of a "7 minute lull" in the conversation on a larger scale. I hope that's what it is anyway. I thrive on some of the discussions that are able to take place on blogs and I like the expanded depth of a blog post verses anything on Twitter or Facebook. Which, I imagine, are the only things on the horizon that could replace blogging, but really? Don't we have better attention spans than that?

    I think it's probably cyclic in some way, and yes, if you've been around for the lifetime of blogging, you're probably legitimately burnt out. I remember I started one back in 2005, but didn't really "get it" until 2008. So maybe I'm just not spent up yet. In some ways, I feel like I'm just getting started and I look forward to being exposed to more and more opportunities for expanding my outlook. I've learned so much from blogging and reading the experiences and perspectives of others. It's been a great way to continue my education while I'm in this phase of life.

    I can definitely see a future where it is less enticing and I'm too busy outside of the home to give it the time I do now, but for now I'm enjoying feeling connected and I'm grateful for it.

    Plus, I really just enjoy the exercise of writing on my personal blog – it keeps my brain fit. πŸ™‚
    (My family blog is also vital and probably irreplaceable as we don't live near any of my family)

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  18. My blogging has definitely slowed down mostly because I've run out of things to talk about. When I first started blogging everything I said was new. But now when I come up with ideas I feel like I've already talked about them before.

    I have come to care about comments a lot less. I guess I've realized that a lot of blogging compliments are kind of hollow.

    I still really love finding interesting new blogs.

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  19. I still read the same number and the same blogs I did before. I still write the same amount I did before. Actually, I write more since I have a few extra blogs now than when I started.

    But I never bothered with commercial blogs. I detest commercial blogs.

    I read the blogs of people I know and care about, and that's just fine with me.

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  20. I've noticed more and more of my friends' blogs being essentially abandoned, but then these were people who really had no passion for writing to begin with. I think they only started blogging because it was the cool thing to do.

    Fortunately, I have never been burdened with coolness.

    I started my blog to scratch a writing itch had become unbearable. Somehow making it a public thing forces me to keep plugging away at it, even though very few people read my blog and I don't expect that to change. I plan to keep blogging daily (or nearly so) for a total of five years, until my youngest child starts school. By then, I hope to have satisfied my curiosity about whether or not I'm any good at this writing thing and move on to something else.

    I firmly believe that lurking is honoroable, and if a blogger is doing it for the comments, then he or she is in it for wrong reasons.

    Fewer blogs cluttering up the blogosphere wouldn't be such a bad thing. If someone is burnt out, take a hiatus! It would save me feeling like a sucker when I click over to that site only to find that no, it hasn't been updated… again.

    Good writing will always find an audience, so I think my favorites will stick around.

    Segullah is at the top of the list, you know.

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  21. Oh, Shelah, you voiced exactly what I've been thinking! I remember having to write down ideas at all times of the day & night… "I'll blog about this." And now my blog gets a once or twice a month post of something fun we may have done with a few pictures for the far-away relatives and friends. I was posting about 3 times a week for a couple of years. I have more kids now and life is busier…. but also, when I started, hardly anyone had blogs and it was unique. Now I have way too many to read and rarely get through everything in my reader.
    ANYWAY, I just HOPE the new trend isn't Twitter. (I mean, it already is a trend… but I hope it doesn't keep getting bigger and bigger!) I really really don't like little snippets and don't want to be updated on the minutia of everyone's lives. I can't get into it.

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  22. I started blogging in 2004, but around 2007-8 when mormon mommy blogs started overwhelming the internet, I quit doing it. One, because I tend to lose interest once things become trendy, and two because being a part of the blogging community was no longer what I wanted it to be. I wanted to WRITE on my blog. I think that what most people use blogs for – keeping in touch with family – is more efficiently accomplished on Facebook. The blog is, or should be, a medium for substantial thought. As tons of people who were not writers at heart began blogging, I didn't feel like being a part of that community was benefiting me in the ways that i needed anymore. I could either blog and thereby feel obligated to be involved with other's blogs as well – which was not a desired priority – or I could quit altogether. So now I just read a few select ones. I test it by unsubscribing from my google reader and if I miss it, I put it back on, but most are promptly forgotten and I'm no worse off! I read and comment on blogs that I find contribute to my knowledge and keep my brain working amidst all of the laundry and dishes!

    And ditto to what Katie said… so many once-great blogs have been ruined as they succumb to product promos! That's always disappointing.

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  23. My first blog post was written January 2006. It was public at first, but I took it private several years ago. I prefer it that way most of the time. Anything I want to tell anyone, I can put on Facebook. Anything that is personal, and I want actual, thoughtful dialog about goes in my blog. It is definitely my journal.

    I would say I read just as many blogs, commenting on hardly any anymore. I can't remember the last time I commented here, for example. But I know I used to with regularity.

    I use blogs to challenge my thinking, and to find commonality in thinking.

    I think Segullah has changed. I'm trying to think how exactly. I used to read it more. Maybe it used to seem more personal? If I think of a more accurate description, I'll let you know. And then you'll get two comments from me. πŸ˜‰

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  24. I still enjoy my blog, but I'm not trying for a big readership. I write for myself and my family, so it's not a big deal to me if I get many comments. I like Facebook, too, but for different reasons. I assume blogging will not last forever, but I'll keep putting my pictures and thoughts out there until it doesn't make sense to me to do it anymore.

    Yes, though, I've dropped a bunch of blogs off my Reader, and I don't read nearly as many as I used to. I mostly read blogs of people I know in real life and a few that I find inspiring and beautiful. Not many.

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  25. I enjoy blogging when I do it with a purpose, instead of out of habit or addiction. Avoiding drama-for-the-sake-of-drama helps too.

    I've had my blog since 2007, and it has grown with me. It's a way for me to constantly express myself, and reinvent myself in a way that is meaningful to me. Sometimes I contribute things that matter to conversations. Sometimes I contribute things to conversations that matter. But I would continue to do it if no one ever read what I say because learning to say what I mean is something I learned from blogging. I will always need to improve on that.

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  26. Like several others have already said, I'm blogging for me. My blog is a combination of family fun, quirky observations, and things I'm thinking about. It's the best record of my life that's happened in many years and it is a delight to me & my family. I've not slowed down, although my few comments have definitely decreased over the last 6-9 months.

    I still read the blogs of people I know and care about. I'm a fast reading and keeping up to date with those blogs takes me very little time. It is interesting to see some blog authors switch over to facebook. (And facebook is definitely NOT my format!)

    I've noticed a decrease in comments on a lot of blogs, though–and wondered what was up with that, so this post was interesting to me.

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  27. There are a lot of blogs I'm not bored with, but my problem is just that–there are a lot of them, so I can't really get around to leaving well-thought-out comments on them as much as I'd like to and still live a normal life.

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  28. Frankly, blogging is not as exciting to me because I've realized that, lately, it's been wasting my time.

    Don't get me wrong, I love me a good blog! I still maintain my own, too. Even more so, some of my greatest friends I met through blogging. I don't regret the years I've spent doing it– not even for a second! The things I've learned, the perspective I've gained –it's invaluable, really. But as more children have entered our family and as priorities have shifted (thanks to many-a-personal-prayer), I've realized that my "real life" experiences really should trump those online.

    I've also realized that I don't have time to read about every person I've ever met. I'm often tempted to delete my Facebook account, too –just because I hate the ties that come with accountable communication. The need to maintain a relationship with every person I've ever encountered is really annoying. And impossible!

    And even on blogs such as Segullah, where I go to read and learn (rather than maintain a relationship), I've realized I have to be picky. I don't have time to read drivel, nor do I have time to read contentious debates about crap that really doesn't matter (luckily, that's not Segullah!!). This, unfortunately, has greatly limited what is worth reading online. Or maybe it's fortunate??

    Anyway…

    So, although I will continue to write on my blog, and occasionally comment (emphasis on occasionally), it won't be the main focus in my life anymore.

    [If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be saying this about blogging, I wouldn't have believed you!]

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  29. I'll agree that blogging has changed, but I like it mostly. Those who did it because it was a trend are falling off, while those with something to say (write) are hanging around and giving out the good stuff.

    I can't see that the very accessible and user friendly platform of blogging will ever be completely gone. (It's interesting to read this post after reading so many articles about newspapers going the way of the Dodo because blogs/websites are taking over.) There's no way I'm Skyping in my pjs at 3am, but I can write a blog post in that situation. The development of a theme and a thoughtful post (AKA writing) is impossible with twitter and facebook. If we revert to that we'll officially become the world of the short attention span and the idiot – heaven help us.

    I like what Melissapete said about having a purpose. Although my purpose for blogging has changed over the years, I still very much enjoy blogging and don't see myself quitting. Although because my focus (in writing and life) is now on foster care, and I don't post daily like I used to. I used to be more motivated by comments, but now I feel the reciprocity of blogging through a network of blogs, not necessarily comments.

    Mommy blogs were never really my fav. I want to read about your life, not see an over idealized Christmas-card-like snapshot every week. Keep it real and give me something useful or thought provoking!

    Katie said that it's sad that good blogs turn commercial, I agree. The biggest blogging mistake I ever made was to comment on someone's blog about how nice it was that they were offering a free tutorial when the everyone else is money hungry. Then I clicked the link and saw that she wanted $3 for it. Oops. That is one blog I never commented on again.

    I'll agree with Elizabeth W.- it seems that Segullah has changed. I assume it's a intentional change? I appreciate the banter and discussion that previous posts would generate and it seems as if those type of posts are infrequent. I enjoy hearing from people with perspectives different from mine and miss that here. Segullah remains one of my tops reads but it's sad not to have the posts organized as well as before(two posts in one day, then none for several days).

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  30. Maybe TAMN has made some people realize how silly most of their posts are? lol. I used to read a lot of blogs, too, but now I don't. Its just too much, too the same, too fake. It started out as a great way to keep in touch, but turned into a "who can be the happiest, craftiest, scrappiest mom EVAH?!" war. It started making me feel like crap to be honest. Plus, I found that whenever I got together with my friends in person, we had nothing to talk about because I had already read about everything on their blogs! It was a major conversation killer. So I stopped. I still read a ton on the internet, but I don't follow personal blogs religiously anymore.

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  31. I started blogging in August of 1998. Initially, I posted once or twice a week; now I post every day except Sunday. So I guess my interest is growing, rather than shrinking.

    The thing is, I've always written every day anyway, even when I had small children at home. I just need to write or I get out of sorts. That's my process.

    It's also become a great way to journal. I now have 8 books produced by blog2print that amount to a personal history more complete than any I ever would have written without the discipline of a blog.

    I do notice that a number of my blog friends are posting and commenting less frequently. I do miss them, but their absence has no lasting effect on my personal enjoyment of my blog. I use it as a means of self-expression, and I like being able to use words, pictures, music, color, etc. to create a feeling and atmosphere on my blog that pleases me and welcomes others. I enjoy the experience even more than I do writing books. I have complete creative control with the blog.

    I'm still a regular commenter on blogs I follow, but I don't follow unless a blog catches and holds my interest. The dialogue is a big part of the whole experience for me, so I like putting in my two cents worth via a comment. I feel connected to most of my followers, and I am interested in reading their comments. However, I only follow them back if their blog interests me. I'm not into the "You follow me and I'll follow you thing." What's the point of following if you aren't going to read and participate?

    JMHO, of course.

    Thanks. Interesting discussion!

    =)

    PS. Segullah has changed a bit for me, too. I don't feel as compelled to comment as I once did. I think, perhaps, the essays (in general) are more slice-of-life and less profound and thought-provoking. (Or maybe I'M less profound and thought-provoking!) Probably, in fact. Either way, I miss something. It may simply be that I miss the way the posts used to be organized on an exactly-one-a-day basis.

    =)

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  32. It's interesting to note that people blog and don't blog for about as many different reasons as there are comments for this post. Blogging certainly is meaningful in different ways for different people. As for me, it's been an evolving journey and will continue to be. One thing I'm grateful for is that I decided early on it wasn't going to be an attempt to make money for me.I didn't have the time or energy to devote to making it successful enough to advertise or make money, so it was very easy to just ignore that option and pressure.

    Sure, I blog less now than perhaps a year ago. I'm busier now in the my 'real' world than I was a year ago. But I still enjoy creating a meaningful blog post for me. It's always a bonus if anyone else stops by to read it as well. I enjoy visiting my family members blogs that live far away from me. It's wonderful to see their family experiences and partake of their insight and wisdom.

    I probably will always continue when I have spare time to visit my favorite blogs, those that humor me or inspire me, or teach me in some way. And for those blogs I am indeed grateful.

    Kristin

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  33. I'm a little done with blogging, but I just think it's because I've been doing it for so long–pushing on towards 6 years. Also, 6 years means I'm in a different stage of life. My kids are older, I have a little more freedom, which means less time stuck at home, which means less time on the computer. Also, I have more confidence as a mother, so I don't need to seek for confirmation as much about what I'm doing. Plus, my oldest is old enough to want his privacy, so he doesn't appreciate anecdotes about the funny things he says going up on the internet.

    Also, FB is fun. Very fun.

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  34. My sister and sister-in-law started my blog for me 3 years ago. (They literally sat me down in front of a computer at a family reunion and made me type in a url and password.) I got the hang of things and loved blogging. I thought my posts and pictures were clever. I am not a terrific writer by any stretch of the imagination, but I tried and enjoyed the journey.

    A several things turned me off to blogs. One was that I was finding out things I didn't like about family members. Political views and ignorant tendencies. Blogging didn't bring my family closer together, it irritated us.

    Another thing was the discovery (via my sister-in-law's blog post) of cJane and her sister, the one who was burned in a plane crash. I had no idea who these people were, but I got sucked into their world. It frankly embarrassed me that I was spending my "spare" time getting absorbed in the lives of total strangers. I spent too many unproductive hours getting nothing done far too often because of blogging.

    Another negative for my blogging was the discovery of Seriously So Blessed. I love that blog. But it makes me think twice about every blog post. Am I being too "It was soooo fun." or "It is the best ever." when I post?

    The last thing that slowed down my blogging was Facebook. I have time and don't feel guilty about quickly updating my status. Compared to the ease of Facebook, I can't justify taking the time to write, edit, add a photo, then post what I'm thinking on my blog.

    All said, I still follow blogs. I find myself lately more interested in blogs that teach me something–whether concrete things like sewing tutorials or intellectual things the way Segullah does. Long live the *great* blogs!

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  35. I still love blogging. I switched from a weekly email newsletter (which I did for six years) to a blog almost three years ago. I love the free-form style. When I started using Blurb to preserve my blog in book form, I loved blogging even more. Having volumes of current family history (is that an oxymoron?) on the shelves brings great satisfaction.

    That said, I have noticed a huge decline in my comments over the last few months. I get the sense that lots of people still read, but no one cares enough to comment. That makes me sad!

    I love keeping in touch with friends and family through their blogs. I try to comment as often as possible…hoping that they'll return the favor! πŸ™‚

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