Today I went through all the long list of blogs that I’ve followed over the years and realised that they have all stopped, bar one or two (thank goodness for these persisters …you know who you are!).
I know I post less often, and in fact a whole blog series was terminated a few years back, though it had simply run its course and I hadn’t simply given up or lost heart. I’ve never minded too much that hardly anyone reads my posts, nor have I made any efforts to increase my readership. My own declining reader numbers is partly down to the absence of fellow bloggers these days, because there was always been the sense that if you read mine I will read yours – something I’ve always liked about the WordPress community.
My own view is that changes to WordPress a while back have reduced its appeal. It used to be that one logged in and the site would suggest blogs to visit, quite randomly, and I think this helped everyone. It was also tempting to search WordPress by using the handy search box and category lists. While it’s still possible to search, one has to actively go and look for the search facility.
WordPress also gave a convincing appearance of being run by people who enjoyed reading blogs and making personal recommendations, and if one hadn’t posted in a while they would remind one to do so. There was a competitive element. But now it seems entirely anonymous…merely a neutral technical platform. I think all these things have actively undermind those of us who saw this site as a bit of social media, rather than simply a computer programme.
I am aware that I used to put more effort into finding blogs to read, and signing up to the ones I liked, and that this kept the whole business of being here alive and kicking. One might get new followers to replace the lost readers, for example. There clearly is a turnover of readers, and one needs to keep up.
But perhaps it’s something else…a tendency for bloggers to suddenly stop after three or four years. Often you can see from a defunct blog that an attempt was made to recommence posting, no doubt with good intentions, and then this too ceases. I can understand this. People’s lives change, and other things become more important. Or they may feel discouraged by a lack of response. Or the urge may simply have passed or been redirected. But for those who remain, a virtual friend has been removed and a twinge of loss is the result.
Well, I intend to continue, and the longer winter evenings always help by providing one with more time indoors to wonder what to do next. I might even find a decent template to use and bring back some illustrations.