Monday, March 22, 2010

The State of Blogging

I started this blog in 2005. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bolivarian Revolution, the state of the arts, Iran and other disruptions have been debated over the years.

In the time since this blog started, several blogs came and went. I was lucky enough to meet some of the commenters in real life.

With social networks as Facebook and Twitter, being the prominent form, where does blogging fit in the mix?



K. said...

I don't have any numbers or sociology studies to back me up, but my sense is that blogging is more and more an activity for the middle-aged and elderly. Younger people turn to Facebook and Twitter because of their brevity and social networking.

Speaking for myself, my blogs are where I write. Facebook is great for keeping up with kids and family (especially nieces and nephews), staying in touch with otherwise lost college friends, and showing an occasional photo. I steer clear of political commentary on my wall, although I'll join a debate on someone else's.

I don't Twitter at all. It's too rapid for me; I don't want to be inundated. It's great for high school and college kids with a wide circle of friends, but as one begins to work and age, that circle tightens and grows smaller, so (it seems to me) tweeting becomes less useful. But I admit that I don't get it and that it holds no appeal for me.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Twitter and Facebook are for vanity pages only. The only people that will gain a wide and lasting audience are mostly the already famous or infamous. A blogger can get real recognition, provided you are patient, dedicated, original, and resourceful. It takes time and effort, and its not a sure thing by any stretch. In fact, the odds are stacked against you with blogging as well. But it's still more likely to get you recognition than Twitter or Facebook. That's just my take on it.

Nevin said...

I was not aware you had an account on Twitter. If you do, let me know so I can follow you. :)

For me twitter is an environment where I post interesting articles that I have read and want others to read. I do not write any mundane day to day crap of my life. Most people who I follow do not either so that works out well for me.

Facebook is fun and a great way to keep up with my friends who I lost contact with. Don't forget, I lived in so many countries that I left a little piece of me somewhere. It almost feels like going back to my past and that is a good feeling. I realized how many various nationalities are my friend!
I also befriended various journalists, activists, writers whom we share as friends, which makes FB that much more fun to follow.

Now As for blogging, I use it to vent! Simple as that... Instead of venting to my husband about the state of the world, I vent to my virtual followers/bloggers... He is relieved, I am relieved. Everybody is happy... :)

I must also add: I love your blog and I am glad you are my friend on FB.

Anonymous said...

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troutsky said...

Generally blogs have much more depth which probably means they are doomed. All trends are towards fast and simple, glossy and shallow. Perhaps the same thing could have been said about the printing press but tweets are a quantum change.

K. said...

You're not being fair to the young people, Pagan. They make pretty good use of both technologies. And Facebook has its limited uses even for a middle-aged dodo like me.

I prefer blogging because I like to write. Just as important, I get to write about whatever I want to write about. I can't say how much the debates, reading, research, and writing have sharpened my thinking.

Also, I like the tiny community I've built. I've got about 8-12 regular followers, which is fine with me. I've made friends and met interesting people like Ren. And I've certainly enjoyed tangling with you from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Facebook is a nice way to keep in touch with old friends, but, because of the way it's set up, you really can't do much more than that.

SecondComingOfBast said...


Don't misunderstand, I have nothing against Twitter or Facebook. I have accounts on both of them, in fact. Like Nevin says, Facebook is a good way to keep up with long-distance friends and to get in touch with people you haven't seen in years. Twitter can be fun too. My point was, if you're looking for a wide audience, blogging is a better bet than Facebook or Twitter. Not that its easy or a sure thing. You can be linked by a major site, and get a couple of hundred extra hits for a day or two, and suddenly, nothing, you're forgotten like the morning dew. You're very unlikely to achieve a wide audience with blogging, but you at least have a small chance of doing so. It's a lot more luck than anything, but at least you can dream. Frankly, it's just about run its course with me. It's too time consuming, if you really want to work at building a wide audience, and I just don't have the time or resources.

But of course, if you just like to write, express your thoughts, and don't mind how much of an audience you have, blogging is that much better.

K. said...

PT wrote:
"You can be linked by a major site, and get a couple of hundred extra hits for a day or two, and suddenly, nothing, you're forgotten like the morning dew. "

Why, PT, that's rather poetic! I didn't know that you had a sensitive side.

Anyway, sorry to hear that you're moving away from the blogosphere. You're a much more worthy adversary than the supercilious twits at

Frank Partisan said...

If you go back to the first postings on my blog, you'll find I was friendly to neoconservatives. You can trace my political development.

This blog in its early days, made a splash across the internet, with the dinner party game post.

I had the experience Pagan talked about, being linked to by a bigger site, and getting hundreds of hits. My posting Karl Marx's letter to Abraham Lincoln, got hundreds of hits, by followers of the supernatural.

I occasionally get into a political argument on Facebook. One was on ex-WWE wrestler Val Venus's page, who is an active Libertarian. I except on Facebook, everyone who asks. I put up my blog postings on FB.

I have a Twitter account, but don't use it.

Through blogging I met people, from every continent.

The rightist equivalent of my blog, I believe is Sonia's. She has a rightist blog, with leftists leaving comments.

消失: Thank you.

K: You're not alone, how you use Facebook.

I met you based on a common like of a certain musician. My favorite blogs, combine art and politics.

Pagan: The choice isn't between blogging or giving up. Some blog once a month, just to keep the connection open.

You can reach people with Facebook. I believe you didn't even put up a profile picture yet.

Troutsky: You are right. I don't relate to Twitter, the same as Facebook.

Nevin: Thank you for your remarks. I don't use my Twitter account.

I added the celeb activists like Amy Goodman etc on Facebook. I'm friends with Camille Paglia even.

Spanish Prisoner: On FB you can invite people to events. You can form groups and fan pages. I play Mafia Wars.

SecondComingOfBast said...


Thanks for the kind words, it is appreciated. I haven't exactly quit blogging, I just don't do it to the extent I used to. I used to try to do a post at least every day or every other day, and on pagan Sabbats, I used to do a series of ten or more. I just don't have the desire for it anymore. I probably blog about once or twice a week now, just to keep my hand in, more or less, but my heart isn't in it like it used to be.


I remember when I first started blogging and learned how to do links and stuff, I decided I wanted a mixed blogroll that represented different points of view. I thought, well now I need a communist blog, so I typed communist blogs in the search engine, and yours is the first site that come up on the first page.

As I said, I haven't quit totally. I just am going through this phase where I need to step back for a while. Maybe I'll start back, maybe I'll just do what I'm doing now, but I doubt I will completely stop all together.

Facebook and MySpace just never did anything for me. Twitter can be fun, but for me that's just a place to raise hell ever now and then. I like to fuck with people like Ashton Kurcher on there. You have to really devote a lot of time there to get noticed, so its really quite the waste of time. My screen name is WhiskeyDrumCock, which is an anagram. I won't say what it is.

sonia said...

Blogs have one huge advantage over its Facebook/Twitter competition: they can be anonymous.

It's pointless to create a false identity on Facebook, unless it's a REAL false identity (pretending to be a real person), which is probably illegal...

SecondComingOfBast said...


It's not illegal so long as you put up some kind of disclaimer to the effect its satire. People do it on Twitter all the time. One of the people I follow has a satire account for Octomom.

I started out using Facebook as a means of promoting my blog, but its a waste of time if you don't have the resources and time to really work at it, and if you did, it still wouldn't be worth the effort most of the time.

Frank Partisan said...

Sonia: I miss the times, when are arguments would spill over everywhere.

I met The Red Mantis in person. He used a fake ID to buy a beer. He was in town for a debate competition.

People can subscribe on Facebook to my blog.

I never thought of a fake ID on Facebook, other than to have an ID for Mafia Wars only.

Pagan: You can use Facebook, to meet people with similar interests.

Lynn said...

When I thirst for content I turn to blogs--like Renegade Eye. I got hooked on Facebook for awhile. The lazy writer inside me made me do it. I'm looking forward to blogging more and posting on Facebook less.

SecondComingOfBast said...


People who spend a lot of time on things like Facebook, whatever their interests, do not interest me. It strikes me as an obsession.

There are friends, and then there are "friends". Spending time earning "points" by cajoling people into visiting your page, viewing pics, making comments, etc., strikes me as a waste of time.

You're a different kind of person. You seem unique in that you can actually establish relationships with fellow bloggers, and actually meet them in person. Most social networkers aren't really interested in that, it's all about them and how high up they can get in the social networking thing.

I have friends on Yearbook, Facebook, and MySpace, and followers/followees on Twitter. I doubt I could name three of them off the top of my head, and I doubt that any given one of them would know who you were talking about if my name was mentioned. Nor is it from lack of trying. It's an illusion, and my prediction is that it will eventually fade in importance and popularity, and be replaced by something else as the next big deal. Blogging will not ever rise up to that level again, in all probability, but it will remain steady.

In fact, social networking may well prove to be a boon to serious bloggers. It eases the congestion in the blogosphere.

Ducky's here said...

Blogs are simply more comprehensive and present more abstract issues.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ren, we started blogging at the same time: March 2005, when blogging was all about the individual, the simple idea of an online diary.

It has become more than that I suppose but as long as you do what you want here and it never gets to be a drag.

Anyway, hope you're well.

Frank Partisan said...

Lynn: Interesting how people use blogs and Facebook by their writing needs.

I have on my mind popularity of forms. Facebook is where people go.

Pagan: The internet is the greatest invention since the printing press.

We're waiting for the next trend.

Daniel: You've had announcements before, that you're quitting blogging. You get brought back.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...


I've never quit, I've taken long, long rests and having an Internet presence comes with various downsides but that is why I say, if it ever becomes a drag, stop until it isn't anymore.

Frank Partisan said...

Daniel: I often tell people, its not an either or question.

Larry Gambone said...

As other have said, blogging is for lengthier material. I can't see it declining until some wilder technology to do lengthier stuff comes up. I have been blogging since 2005 too and found it a good way of developing my thought. Being able to bounce ideas off of people is a big help.

Frank Partisan said...

Larry G: I use the blog to test ideas.

I wish I knew as much about politics in 2005, as I know today.

Red Frog said...

Reading blogs is many times more informative than reading articles. And it also lets you get a feeling for the forces out there. I post on, and it is always interesting to see what the neo-cons, the liberals and the left have to say, on issue from politics to culture.

Glenn Greenwald is a good example of a blogger who's principled and careful detail made him a national figure.

The Sentinel said...

I think blogging is a great alternative to the vested interest and traditional owned media and agree with Renegade Eye that the internet is up there with the invention of the printing press, and in many ways much more spectacular as a human opportunity as it places the full potential of a worldwide media in the hands of individuals.

Never before has such power been in the hands of the masses nor has the individual had such license to be so free and even anonymous in open opinion and unhindered debate and potentially reach the world in the outlet of their ideas, experiences, and aspirations.

By the way, what has happened to FJ? His blog seems to have disappeared into the ether…

Organized Rage. said...

I agree with Nevin, facebook is for me an organising and publising tool, the best so far, I see twitter as dropping a stone in a pool and seeing where the ripples go.

Blogging is different and I wonder whether we will all be blogging in ten years time,

I think given time many more bloggers will drop out, leaving a hard core. it really is time consuming for very little return.( I do not mean financial)

In truth it has not moved forward in the years I have been blogging, it would be useful if someone had some ideas how it could develop outwards.

PS if I do not publicise my blog, no one else will ;)

Quimbob said...

One real simple difference between blogging with Blogger/WordPress as opposed to FaceBook/MySpace is that FaceBook/MySpace want to keep you on their site, get you to join & collect data so they have a product to sell. Doubtless Google is collecting data & packaging it with Blogger, but the ease of finding info & lack of having to have memberships makes the blogs a much better medium for the casual user.

Frank Partisan said...

Red Frog: I can see your point.

You can post links at FB.

Sentinel: I've been derelict about visiting blogs. I don't know what happened to FJ. My curiosity is sparked.

Mick Hall: The UK left, is a hardcore blogging group. People like Osler aren't going to stop. I think the UK left, likes polemics more than in the US.

Quim: Thank you for visiting.

The ads on Facebook, are as sharp as an arrow, based on your interests.

How about when FB says, you haven't spoken to Charlie Smith for awhile?

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