Sunday, 6 October 2013

Is Blogging Dead?

Hi Goddesses

Today’s post asks a question I’ve been mulling for a long time – Is Blogging Dead?

I’m talking specifically about blogging as a channel for polishaholics, whether it be swatches, collections or nail art.  In a world of Facebook, Twitter and especially IG, is there any time for a blog anymore, and does anyone actually read them?

This subject has been on my mind for nearly a year now, and grows stronger each month.  It’s reinforced by questions I hear other bloggers ask, and recently, it’s been highlighted by the launch of The Digital Dozen website, and how fans have chosen to follow.

Let’s go back in time a little.  This blog is officially 2 years and 8 months old.  It started as a writing outlet, cos writing is my thing, and somewhere in about August 2011, it morphed into a nail blog, where I chose to WRITE about nail polish and nail art.

At the time, there were a lot of blogs (and there are certainly more now), but it felt like blogging was THE channel for this passion.  Some of the bigger bloggers had Facebook pages, but by no means all, and no one was using IG at the time.

What I (and several other bloggers I know) are starting to experience is declining page views on our blogs, even though the numbers of followers continues to grow.  We’re also seeing fewer comments and interaction via the blog itself – so is anyone actually READING anymore?

There’s no doubt that we live in Generation Now.   The popularity of Facebook and IG is testament to the immediacy of one button (like / heart) conveying what we don’t put into words.  And if we’ve liked it or pinned it in one place, are we really likely to go and read it in another?  Have we already decided on the merit of the post from that one picture, making all the other hours that go into creating it, redundant?

Let’s expand there.  To create a mani … let’s say that takes 20 mins.  Longer if you’re doing nail art.   To take 1 photo and upload it (all in the tap of a few keys) takes seconds.  Now, if you’re a blogger, you’ll take probably 20 photos (at least) of that mani.  You’ll edit them, watermark them, agonise over which are the best, and then you’ll piece the words together.    On a good day, that *might* take you 30-40 minutes, but typically, it will take longer.  You’re talking a minimum of 2hrs work for a blog post, longer where nail art is concerned.

But that’s fine, I choose to be a blogger, and I like writing the words.  But is 1 click of a like or a heart or a pin, enough payback for 3 hrs work?   If you’ve had an impact, then of course it is.  If you’re proud of what you’ve done, then of course it is.  If someone else genuinely likes what you’ve done, then of course it is.   But … what if … what if no one’s reading the words?  What if no one cares about the extra time you put into more photos, the editing, the choosing of a specific adjective to perfectly describe that polish …. What then?  

So do we just live in a world with no time?   Are we all so busy that all we have time for is 1 second of feedback?  Do we rattle through the too many social media we are subscribed to, doing our best to apologise with that Like button for not having time to comment more?  I must admit, I laughed the first time someone posted they had tried to Like a Facebook photo by double tapping it (as you do on IG).  Having heard that story too many times now, it's not as funny anymore, purely because it shows clicking on the link to read the blog post doesn't even figure in the equation.

It also highlights of course how for many people, that Like or click is a massively positive signal, whereas us needy bloggers want more lol.  Is it because we use so many words that we feel we should receive some of our own?  Are we so immersed in reading and writing that we can no longer relate to a world dominated by images and clicks?   Are we, the bloggers, old fashioned?

I mentioned The Digital Dozen venture earlier.  We have recently gone live over a variety of media, and it’s been fascinating to see which ones got adopted the fastest.  Facebook rules the roost, no doubt, but IG isn’t too far behind.   The blog, and the GFC and Blog Lovin options of following it, are 3rd in that race, and by quite a distance.  When I started my blog, it always out-performed my FB, but now, with DD, FB has 3 times as many followers as the blog.

So where does this leave us?   Well, I’m really not sure.  I wrote this post as a question, not because I have an answer.   Maybe I should just be grateful in this fast-paced world that so many people DO read my blog, and maybe I should take the hint, and do what other bloggers do, and use my channels more effectively.  Let’s face it, I don’t have to blog *everything* I do, do I?


More than anything, I’d really love your thoughts.  I think it’s a fascinating question, and whatever your answer, it will be received with no judgement.  I’m really curious to know whether you read blogs less than you did, whether you think they’re outdated, and (gulp) whether the words even matter anymore, or whether, just maybe, there’s room to have it all.

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