Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Decline of Blogging (See Jane Ponder)


It's not so much that blogging is dead but that other avenues are much more accessible.  Maybe it's the fact that our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; we only have time to catch up on someone's life if it's via a casual scroll or swipe.  Long captions?  Forget it.  I need a pun or quick sound byte--and it'd better be way less than 180 characters (no wonder kids today can't be bothered texting full words...c u 2nite?).  I felt like blogs brought the written word into the digital age and now, they're dying a slow death.  If we're truly seeing the demise of the blog, well, we had a good run, didn't we?!

Alright.  So, what happened to blogging?  I've been in this game for six years now; wow, it scares me to type that out.  In some ways, it's fun to watch my journey.  In other ways, it's scary to think that blogging is somewhat defunct now.  Snapchat and instagram are king and queen of the prom, but will the way of the online journal ever reemerge?  When I started this blog, it felt like a small community.  It seemed as if everyone knew each other and was rooting for each other.  Link ups, comments, and #FF.  Everyone caught up on blogs over their morning coffee, just wanting to be feel inspired.  Now, it's a race to create your own brand--a unique identity on a mobile platform.  With millions and millions of people constantly getting thrown information, it's a race to stay relevant.  I'm shocked at the amount of people I follow on instagram that have thousands of followers; hell, I'm surprised that I have thousands of followers.  We've turned into purveyors of information and goods.  Everyone's got a price and everyone's selling something.  And hey, I'm just as guilty.

I've said it before but I'll say it again: I don't know if I'll ever blog full-time.  I actually look at my blog as a resume addendum of sorts.  Plus, I think I missed that boat.  If I went and built a real and tangible brand, I should've done it a couple years ago and struck while the iron was hot.  For now, I question my own future of blogging.  Not because I don't love it--trust me, if i didn't love blogging, I wouldn't do it.  But moreso, what's in store for this platform?  Will it continue to fade out and die a slow death like Xanga and LiveJournal (RIP)?  Will we laugh at our personal blogs much like today's teens laugh at our MySpace accounts?  Man, the internet is a weird place--and it also never forgets, so remember that what we put out into cyberspace now will come back to haunt us now.  Perhaps when my grandchildren read this, they'll laugh about the olden days.  But, I'll probably still be alive trying to instagram them for all my old-school blogging friends.

So what say you--is it over?  Any hope left for blogs?


49 comments

  1. Exactly my thoughts. Have thought about this for a while and I really don't know in what direction it will go, but it definitely seems people have less time/shorter attention span etc. Which is unfortunate. I like to get to know bloggers better through their thoughts. But nowadays it's like you said just a race. Some things have a revival though. We'll see :)

    http://www.bshujewelry.com/

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  2. I really do miss the way blogging used to be. You captured it perfectly here. I don't really blog anymore, other than random collages and occasional sharing of music videos, but after 1.5 years since my last outfit post, I think it's safe to say I'm done. I miss it but at the same time it's so different now and I don't feel relevant. I love the fact that you still have a list of your favorite blogs in your sidebar - something almost everyone did (and it was SO exciting to appear on someone's list that you admired!) and now that space is prime real estate and instead of a list of favorite blogs, it's a list of favorite stores with affiliate links. Not that there's anything wrong with that, necessarily, it's just different! I enjoy the fast paced insta/snap world too, but I still keep up with my faves on here and enjoy reading what they have to say!

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    1. Yeah, it really has changed. I wonder what it will look like in two years..?

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  3. I've been thinking about that too! I remember looking forward to blogs and reading them now. Now with the increase social media, it is starting to fade out. Not many people take the time to read it. I do hope it does stick around for a little bit longer. I still enjoy reading my favorite blogs!

    www.rdsobsessions.com

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  4. I think that blogging is just getting started because brands actually accepted the value of a blogger!
    Love,
    www.thestyleventure.com

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  5. I personally love certain blogs still but it's really those who stay themselves (or at least what I perceive to be who they are). I'm less fond of outfit photos with no written word. One of my very favorite blogs has lovely photos but also the way she writes really draws me in. It's a piece of her that I like to take in (the blog is called Frassy by the way, in case you don't know it). I've never been even close to a full time blogger, I do it as a creative outlet. But I'm doing less of it and have really been drawn into youtube (both filming and watching.

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    1. I'll have to check out Frassy - I haven't heard of it! It's definitely a creative outlet for me, too.

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  6. I know what you mean! I still love blogging but the engagement on my blog is nowhere near what it used to be 5 years ago. It used to feel like a family, but now it's just "there." I do still comment on all my old favorites, if they're around but for new blogs I follow I end up just reading the post and moving on because they don't know, or care to know, who I am. Ha ha

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    1. It really has changed so much; I wonder if it'll ever feel 'community-like' again!

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  7. I still read blogs daily. I love reading more than just a caption. A lot of my friends follow bloggers on social media without even realizing they are bloggers. They'll ask, have you seen a top like that? while showing me an instagram post. And my answer is always, check their blog! They don't even realize there's a website with the sources of everything that instagrammer is wearing, eating, visiting, etc. But I guess I'm way more fascinated in other people's lives. I think bloggers get more instant gratification from the social media responses today. It's faster, more real time! I hope you continue blogging.

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  8. Don't stop blogging! You're a good writer which is just part of the reason why your blog is so good. I read daily but hardly ever comment. I think you're too talented to stop.

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  9. I think affiliate linking and indiscriminate c/o killed blogging, not our attention spans. You started getting style bloggers wearing brands only because they were able to get commission off the clicks instead of providing inspiration. Creativity is out and consumerism is in. Now the ones in it for the money and free clothes have found easier platforms to sell themselves and their clothing.

    Man, I sound like a crotchety old blogger. :) In the beginning style blogs were the alternative to glossy magazines constantly selling us something. But then it was the young, beautiful, mostly very thin women in expensive clothing that became the most popular. It turns out that's what we really want. A glossy magazine selling us something. It's fascinating.

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    1. I completely agree about the sponsored posts. I read blogs for diverse perspectives from people. But it's becoming difficult to keep returning when they are doing a sponsored post about the same product at the same time.

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  10. YES to everything The Suburb Experiment said. Some of my favorite blogs have just become advertisements for their own lines or the companies who are paying them to promote product. Or perhaps they only share clothes that have a shopstyle link. And maybe I do wish those blogs would just die. #sorrynotsorry

    And yes, Instagram is now king. But I honestly get bored scrolling through my IG feed. How many times must I see a pajama-clad lap with a cup of coffee on it??

    Your blog is a breath of fresh air, as others have said. If it is still a fun outlet for you, please continue!! Because I'll continue reading!

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  11. I read a ton of blogs and never comment but feel compelled to respond to this post. I love the visuals on fashion, travel and lifestyle blogs but my favorite part is reading posts, especially the more personal ones. It makes me sad how short attention spans are getting because in my opinion reading does much more to expand one's horizon than just looking at images. I hope you keep blogging despite shifting audiences. Talented bloggers will always have a loyal audience!

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  12. I think as less people begin to read those popular blogs - due to advertising fatigue/affiliate links/overproduction/whatever - the money will start to dry up, forcing those people who were using it as a source of income to move on. In the absence of these big, juggernaut blogs, people will start to discover smaller blogs again, and the community feel will return... kind of like how many of the big box stores have closed and tiny, neighborhood shops actually have the ability to thrive again.

    I actually know a few people who have just recently started blogging (and I actually started mine recently as well) and everyone knows they won't make any money from it - it's just for fun, as a creative outlet. I'm also making an effort to read more of these tiny little blogs because it's more fun for me too... I like getting a glimpse into a stranger's life, rather than looking at slickly produced, professional-level photoshoots.

    Your blog has never felt like one of those overproduced, money-centric blogs to me, and I love that you're in Chicago because for so long I felt like all the style blogs were based in LA or NYC. I will admit that I sometimes miss your earlier posts just because the clothes were ones I could actually buy, and I actually started reading your blog because I felt like you made high street clothes look way more expensive! But I still really enjoy your blog and would miss your posts if you stopped writing.

    Longest comment I've ever left on a blog! Thanks for the thought-provoking post :)

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  13. I enjoy your blog & getting to "know" you- your comments on everyday, affordable clothes very entertaining- I have unfollowed several bloggers on IG- how many photos of themselves, events can they post in a day! you are real and have just the right amount of fun w/ regard to fashion. I would be sad to see you go...

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  14. I agree with people who said the shift from creativity to consumer-ism is what killed blogging. At least for me I have stopped following many blogs I used to love because they don't seem real and I feel like ppl are playing dress up to get paid.

    Yours is one of the few I still love and enjoy the creative effort you put into it. I hope you never quit :)

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  15. Maybe I'm completely clueless, but this came out of left field for me. I would have said exactly the opposite. I feel like blogging is growing and growing and it looks like it's here to stay! But maybe it depends on how you define blogging?

    ~Sarah of Sarah's Real Life

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  16. Agree with everything you said. With millions of voices and endless sources of information, it's total overload on the internet now and will probably continue to be so. However, I don't think social media platforms will ever completely eliminate the need for actual sites.

    www.preppypanache.com

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  17. I think it depends on the people you're trying to reach. Many of the bloggers I used to connect with on a daily basis are no longer blogging, at least in this way (a lot of them have moved to Tumblr, go figure). For many of them, it wasn't because blogging is dying but rather that they grew up and had less and less time for blogging in their adult lives. I think many of the bloggers who are successful tie their blogs into their careers, and I don't mean they're doing sponsored posts. For example, I work in news and use my blog to hopefully reach out to budding journalists to give them some insight into the career they've chosen. I'm not getting paid for posts but were I to change careers, my blog would probably cease to exist.

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  18. I hope blogging is here to stay! Even if I don't read the posts on every blog I go to, I love to engage with them more than just through a like on Instagram. It feels more personal.

    www.maggiealamode.com

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  19. First off, I love this post because of the sentiment it shares.I've felt the same way recently.

    I personally feel like Instagram and the cash cow it's become because of liketoknowit and sponsored posts has, Like it or not (no pun intended) made the whole thing so much more commercial. I think the biggest thing that's bummed me out about that is that it's made a lot of the blogs I genuinely liked to read and follow strictly commercial and disingenuous. I also feel like it's encouraged copy-catting and seeing the same old thing bundled up and sold every day (like someone above said, you can't go two seconds on saturday without an overhead shot of a dischelved white bed with a cup of coffee).
    I've been blogging now for almost 5 years (crazy) and I agree - at the beginning things felt so much more community-oriented. It was easier to "get to know" people because there was so much more real, genuine content. But the bloggers that have stayed true to themselves are still in my reader and I feel like if you produce strong content, even when it's sponsored, that people will continue to read posts.
    While I will never blog full time, like you I consider an extension of my resume, I think the rise of full-time bloggers has made some blogs feel oversaturated in sponsored content but the same thing that caused people to start blogging in the first place - sharing real experiences, advice and pretty things - will keep people coming back. I hope blogging isn't dead because I still love it and am always so excited when I see people in real life who make comments based on things I've shared on the blog. It's always fun to know that someone actually read what was written.

    I'll continue coming back to your blog because it always seems genuine. Your writing is great, your perspective is interesting and your style is on point. I also love that you continue your real life job and have a real life family eating real life food that isn't always perfectly styled up in an overly aspirational way. Thanks so much for sharing this and so sorry for the absurdly long comment.
    xo
    d - louwhatwear.com

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  20. It's so interesting to read that many bloggers who have been at it for a few years feel like blogging is dying. I just started mine a little over two years ago, and almost every day I learn about a new blogger! While the market is definitely saturated, it still feels like it has a place (for me, at least). I hope it doesn't go away anytime soon. I'm still discovering new blogs to love (including yours—a blog friend of mine told me that one of my outfits reminded her of you, and I am so flattered!).

    I do wish it wasn't such a rat race sometimes, though. I have to constantly remind myself to not get caught up in the numbers game. It's really draining when I look at my stats and compare myself to others. That's not why I started blogging, but I feel the pressure to keep up with everyone else. I love knowing that I have an authentic group of women interested in my life and what I wear and who leave comments! (I really hope people never stop commenting!)

    Anyway, thank you so much for this post!

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  21. I'm a new follower of yours and I'm not sure if I've ever commented before. I really love your blog. I like the big photos and your thoughts on why you put an outfit together. To a reader like myself, the thoughts behind the image add so much. I know Instagram is the media darling these days, but it's very difficult to see the detail and linking on a phone is so difficult. I think at some point we are going to become oversaturated with "the edited image". Perhaps we already are! And I think the viewer is going to miss the written word and the "thoughts". I hope you don't stop blogging. It's hard to find a good blog!

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  22. You know, this is interesting because a blogger friend and I (she's been doing it a while too) were chatting the other day and we both said that we thought for a while that blogging was getting worse, but that it's starting to get better! For a while (maybe this was a New York thing) it felt like it was starting to get overly competitive, overly sponsored, and boring because everyone was linking to all the same things. I really miss the days when I read blogs to discover cool new things (and made it my goal for this year to bring that back to my own site -- that discovery element.)

    I think that bloggers got greedy for a while. I don't know if that's the right term. I think maybe the best way to say it was that it was hard to find a balance. How to stay authentic and true to your voice, but also earn money as blogging is a lot more expensive + time consuming than people necessarily think. And then you have all of the affiliate companies telling you that you need to do X, Y, and Z to be successful (link to this, link to that, use LTK on every instagram... it's exhausting!!!) when in fact you can make your own path. The bloggers I read every day (myself included, I hope) are learning to do a better job - balancing the line between content that will earn money (and hopefully doing it in a way that their readers enjoy), content that will help their readers discover something new, and heartfelt, old school blogging - just talking about life, etc.

    What I think is really nice though, is seeing everyone start to focus on different things and take different directions with their blogs and really find their niche... which is exciting to see. You also have people creating their own apps, writing books (that have nothing to do with their blogs, that's always my favorite) and using the audience they've built to take risks and really get entrepreneurial. And I think the blogging community is once again, becoming more of a supportive, uplifting place... or at least I hope it is! We shall see what the next few years bring!

    Anyway, I am rambling now. And maybe I'm idealistic, but I actually feel so good about blogging right now! I rarely comment these days but your site is always one of my favorites. I love what you are doing, so please don't stop! xx

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  23. Much like Grace, I'm idealistic as well! I was a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to blogging (my three year anniversary will be in July). If everyone continues to blog for the reason they say they started, then nothing should change. I blog because it's my escape and a place I can document things I love, what's going on in my life and the like. However, I do believe the future of blogging will weed out anyone who is doing it for the wrong reasons.

    I really enjoyed reading through the comments on this post and it inspired me to add a list of my daily reads to my sidebar to show others some love :) Hope you're enjoying the weekend!

    26 and Not Counting

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  24. Although I have been blogging on and off for YEARS, I only really did it with an dedicated when I set up my blog (almost) three years ago. I hear a lot of people saying they "missed the boat" when it comes to blogging full time and I just don't understand it. If you are good enough, determined enough, and work hard - you could do it. Sure, there are a lot of bloggers out there now but there are also more readers, more brands willing to put money into marketing, and blogging has only ever become MORE attractive to businesses wanting to advertise in a more authentic way. It's almost as though bloggers have come to believe that "more bloggers = less readers/money to go around." Strange.

    I don't see blogging declining at all, I see it growing, evolving, changing.

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  25. I love your blog, and like you, scrolling through blog Lovin' and reading blogs is one of my favorite things to go every morning. It's my little treat before the craziness of the day starts. Thank you for creating a space that is authentic, inspiring, and beautiful!

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  26. I've been reading blogs for about 6 years now (and I've been reading yours since about the beginning). I'd always wanted to start a blog myself but was honestly too scared to do it. I finally did it in the spring of last year. Sometimes I feel like I did start way too late and wonder why I am doing it. But I enjoy it - it's fun and it makes me feel creative and I'm learning new things. And I've admired you and so many other bloggers for so long, I hope that I can do that for someone as well (even if it's just my mom or my sister). I say let's all keep blogging! Let's stay on the ship until it actually sinks!

    www.giltedgeblog.com

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  27. I'm just as committed to reading blogs now as I was years ago when I started, and maybe that's because of Instagram and Snapchat letting us in on more than just what you see on the blog. I don't think blogs are dying out at all - I think it's just another shift in the industry of blogging (hah... which wasn't even a "thing" a while ago!). It will be interesting to see where social media goes, and how blogging changes alongside it.

    Alyssa
    Feathers and Stripes blog

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  28. Wow, this was SO refreshing to read so may I just say: THANK YOU! I complain to my husband (who dutifully listens) that I am so bored by the sponsored content of blogs nowadays. I see the way that brands are leveraging bloggers for their Instagram followers and the way that bloggers don't write anything anymore and I am so sad. Don't stop the blogging, I love it.

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  29. Interesting post. I think once instagram AND snapchat adopt the same algorithm from facebook, people might go back to reading blogs. To me facebook is dead, I'm not on it anymore. Teenagers dont care about it either. Your blog is the only thing you can control, that's why I think it's cool. There's no algorithm to ruin it for your reads. Maybe that's just me, but i love reading and knowing how people live their lives and learn with them. I've been reading more blogs and watching more videos on youtube than ever. I hope blogging doesnt die bc I enjoy it way too much! xoxo

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  30. It wouldn't be the end yet. There are still a lot of people there trying to find something fruitful and inspirational. We shouldn't get our emotions through, let's just blog the most and the best of us!

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