Blogs – Do they last?

by | June 13th, 2008

Here at the PINT blog you can see that we don’t post every day – far from it.  Like most busy Web firms there are lots going on and some things take precedent.   Writing-wise we are far from lazy – some of us post on personal blogs, some of use write books (PLUG: ajaxref.com), and of course there is lots of writing involved in launching Web sites and doing maintenance for all our clients.  However, we just don’t post on the corporate site that much.  Not that we don’t have lots to say, just not lots of time and maybe some sense of self-editing waiting for something useful to say.

Not to say that today is the most useful post, but it does address a common question about blogs – frequency and longevity.  So if you are like us when you see those who are busy posting in blogs all time and others even twittering about every consequential and inconsequential moment of their life you might just wonder “how is it reasonably possible to be full participant in this Web of thought and writing and do anything else?” I’ve come to the conclusion – you just can’t be such a frequent online participant like this at least not for long or in a meaningful way without significant effort that will likely keep you from other things in life.

This is no Friday the 13th gloominess, not at all. It’s just a simple observation backed by my own personal measurement.  You see today I had the chance to peruse a few hundred links to blogs of interest I have collected over the years as I moved and synched everything up in Foxmarks.  I decided to clean up my blogs folder which was filed with sites written by folks who had interesting things to say about Web design and development, JavaScript, usability, programming languages, SEO, and all sorts of related topics.  The bad news was that at least half the sites were simply done.  A large number were done forever–domain squated, 404, and so on.   However more were just caught in time– no posts for many, many months or in a number of cases years.

Despite my nearly daily scans I just hadn’t really noticed the change. Sure my RSS feeds didn’t show much, but I didn’t measure time and think to see what was going on – to understand just how long it had gone since I read any interesting thought from a Canadian designer, pondered a careful analysis of a chief Info Architect at Bank of America, or discovered the cool findings of a New York City based JavaScript expert.  As I deleted the sites I saw quite a number had moved on to well known Web firms with a few posts about the transition and then silence.  It appeared that the blog helped them land a more meaningful job which then took over all their time and attention. However, quite a number of the sites just seemed to peter out.  The posts were longer and longer between and the nature of the posts less about Web design and more just random observations of life or mentions of the occasional milestone met with a son or daughter.   Those truly are important posts, but it does make you ponder the immense difficulty it takes to write with frequency about any topic.

My finding is clearly not a unique view of the world (5 Stages of Blogging – From Creation to Abandonment ) which ironically is on a site which is suffering from lack of post/interest fatigue itself – quoting the blog owner most recent post which is “ In honor of my light to non-existent posting latelyJust add me to the list of those who have observed the idea firsthand.

So if you have a blog or just read one show some respect to those bloggers who do it day after day, year after year and do it well — they really are rarer than you might think.

-TAP



About

Thomas Powell is a long-time web industry veteran, as well as the founder and CEO of PINT.

  • I think the blog is great! Just post when you have something to say. Today or next month. At least you write well, I certainly don’t. One thing I’d like to see… the personal side of PINT, ie. we painted the building, company bbq, going to this conference, etc. As a client, I know you guys are Techzilla’s, but I also want to feel warm and fuzzy with PINT’s personal side.

    oh yeah… PINT RULES! And I’m not saying that because you linked to my worthless tweets 🙂

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