It’s tragic, watching a dear old blog die.
You’ve followed it for years, seen its posts appear in your feed reader or inbox daily. But then the posts come less frequently. They trickle to a minimum that’s mostly composed of “why I haven’t been blogging” posts. One day, you realize it’s been months since you last saw a post. You check the website just in case it’s been your feed reader that’s messed up – but no, the site is now dead.
Yes, that type of blog death is sad and painful – but equally painful is the blog that keeps on living, but is no longer the friend it used to be.
You used to devour every word the blogger said, excusing the occasional post on a topic you disagreed about or found uninteresting. But then something happened and whether gradually or abruptly, the blogger started posting more and more on the uninteresting or disagreeable things and less and less on the things you like. Your tastes diverged and what you once had in common has been lost.
You start to contemplate unfollowing – but you’re reluctant to do so, given the long relationship you’ve had.
It seems there are several blogs on my blogroll that have been coming to that point lately.
My daily reading has gotten cluttered up by sponsored posts – thinly veiled advertisements for products I couldn’t care less about. I understand the desire to have something monetary to show for the time and energy you put into blogging – every so often, I wish I could get something physical out of it too. But I started following your blog because of the stories you told, the insights you had, the books you reviewed, the recipes you shared, the camaraderie we had. When you occasionally shared about a product, it was because you loved it so much you simply had to share it – not because you were getting paid to do it. What was a friendship is now marketing – and frankly, I don’t care to be marketed to by my friends.
Other blogs, like a group blog I’ve been following, have slowly become less and less interesting to me. Contributors change and these ones have tastes and preferences that aren’t as much in line with mine. I still read them because it challenges me to be exposed to different opinions. But when they also switched to giving just excerpts instead of full posts in their feed? I’ve stopped clicking through.
And then there’s the blog I’m willing to name. When I started following Twenty-Two Words, it was a blog consisting of daily posts written by Abraham Piper. Each post was 22 words long and may have been profound, funny, or thought-provoking. When thinking up 22 word posts became to onerous for Piper, he switched to sharing short clips of interesting things from around the web. I kept following because the posts were short and amusing. But now? Now a dozen (I don’t know the exact numbers) contributors post a half dozen posts daily, each one consisting of lists of twelve or more items with corresponding graphics. The titles have gone from descriptive or evocative to absurd clickbait: “This man took thousands of pictures of flowers. You’ll be amazed at the result.”
I liked short and interesting, twentytwowords. You’re giving me long and laborious. If I wanted Buzzfeed, I’d have subscribed to Buzzfeed. I wanted the blog you were.
It’s sad when dear old blogs die, whether from lack of attention or the wrong kind of attention.
I’ll mourn them each as they go, but the time comes when I’ve got to let dead blogs die – and move onward and upward into better things.
RIP, dear old blog.