A note on blogging

It’s amazing that blogs even exist any more. Facebook and Twitter are the Fast Food Nation of thought. Who wouldn’t rather take 15 seconds to spout something off instead of the hours it takes to write a decent blog entry? Bloggers are the resistance, and before they get taken into custody in the name of Vapid Über Alles they need props while they’re still with us.

-from the Competitive Cyclist Year in Review, of all places.


On the one hand, if blogging is the attention-demanding, longhand form of writing and reading these days, our standards have indeed been warped.  On the other, I think that blogging might well be an ideal compromise between sharing a breadth of content with a wide audience and creating forceful, thoughtful media. I’ve gotten a lot out of blogs and blog-esque content this year.  My life is richer for it.

So how about a brief, sporadic, beginning of the year shout-out to some of the content I’ve enjoyed in the last 12 months:

Eugene’s great black and white photos.

Luc’s ski movies.

Hendrik’s reading lists.

Roman’s reminiscences.

Ryan’s Teton traverse.

Damien’s video of the same.

I could of course go on and on and on.  But that little quotation got me thinking about blogging in a new light, and clarified why I don’t like Facebook very much.

Thoughts?  Your own good stuff to share?


9 responses to “A note on blogging”

  1. Fresh content that I read daily I prefer if it is relatively short and I can digest and appreciate it in a few minutes (say sub-ten). However when I’m researching a topic and I want to really get to know something I enjoy finding in-depth reports that I can spend 20 to 60 minutes reading. I’m torn I guess.

  2. I’m with you that Facebook and Twitter are the fast food. I also agree that I feel that I’ve enriched my life through writing and reading. My blog started as most others – blah, blah, this is what I’m doing.

    I’ve found in recent months that I’ve begun reading books (yeah, real books) and select blogs to seek out great content and writing. Now it’s lead to a mini personal journey to get better, learn more, and be able to really share some good stuff (not sure how long that will take, but I damn well am going to try!!)

    I think that Facebook and Twitter are good too. They serve as a place to congregate. Think of it as a pool in a river. Many fish head for the favorable currents that bring an abundance of food. If you show up, throw your lure 20 or 30 times and get 5 big bass out of that spot, you’d be happy.

    Good stuff, keep it up.

  3. That paragraph is spot on. For good or ill. I’ve struggled to keep the content flowing at my blog for the last several weeks. But it’s forced me to focus on other things (photos, mainly) and reassess the direction I want to take that space. I have no intention of killing it, as it still acts as a place for me to go and hash out my own thoughts, and document my activities.

    But I’ve noticed a dramatic drop off in the frequency that others are posting in the last year or so. i think FB/Twitter are a major factor in that.

    1. I find Twitter, to a certain extent, interesting. A hard standard of brevity can be a good thing, and the portability gives some things (I’m thinking of the press coverage of the Tour contrasted/enhanced by the tweets of the Pros) extra dimensions.

      FB on the other hand, I have little use for. Though Brad’s use of it for the Glacier Avalanche center observations is nice.

  4. Dave your comment is much more accurate than the paragraph that inspired it, which strikes me as some crap someone had to file under deadline with the notion of being provocative. FB and twitter are conversations, time-filler, socialization. A blog can be that way, but if you are bothering, it is much more. Who wouldn’t rather write something meaningful instead of spouting off for 15 seconds? The by-design limitations on FB and twitter dictate them as conversational – space limits, no formatting or inline pics, limited ability to link inline, no editing. A blog is more presentational, for whatever you want to be presenting. I actually find FB to be a good way to get myself writing, cause its not isolated – I can kick something around, get some feedback on it, like open mic night. but i can’t imagine trying to tell my stories or keep a journal of my kids (stupid all that may be to others…) on FB.

  5. I don’t agree with Competitive Cyclist’s paragraph at all. It’s a bit like saying that it’s amazing sit-down restaurants still exist when people can just go to Taco Bell and Subway instead. Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are all distinctively different means to the same end — disseminating information. Everyone’s gotta eat, but needs vary widely.

    Twitter’s brevity is refreshing but its format is convoluted. I don’t even understand at least 35 percent of the content I see from the people I chose to “follow,” what with all the @’s and truncated words. Conversations are a lost cause; it really is like shouting into a crowded bar. Using it to follow race updates, like iRunFar’s coverage of Western States and UTMB, is even more difficult. I really don’t think that site is actually good for anything. Facebook offers all the same functions in a much easier-to-follow, more conversational and viewer-friendly format, and if you absolutely can’t hold your post to 140 characters, you can just lengthen it rather than making it incomprehensible. But that’s just my opinion. Even I find myself using Twitter on a near-daily basis.

    And blogs are still completely different … really, a blog can be whatever you want to be. People still want freedom from contrived formats to write what they want and integrate photos as they please, which is why the “blog” isn’t going to die anytime soon.

  6. I still think blogs have a huge role. Facebook is really just about following friends and seeing who ate what for dinner (if you’re into that sort of thing). I love blogs!

  7. […] came across this rather accurate insight at Dave’s blog: It’s amazing that blogs even exist any more. Facebook and Twitter are the Fast Food Nation of […]

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