Update: the day after posting this, I’m adding a little disclaimer: I am NOT saying blogging is finished! I’m saying a specific era is possibly coming to an end. And I still think blogging is, for information professionals, still extremely useful, very rewarding, and a great thing to do. Okay, glad that’s sorted.
Recently Andy Woodworth blogged about how he wasn’t blogging that much any more, and today @tinamreynolds sparked a debate on Twitter about whether the library bloggging community was slowing down, and if so, why?
I’ve definitely noticed this. There was a set of around 10 blogs that diverted into an ‘Essentials’ folder in my Google Reader which I read all the time, and there was at least 30 more that I regularly caught up with. But hardly any of the bloggers in question are producing regular articles in 2013. I don’t really use a Reader any more – I just pick stuff up via Twitter. I don’t blog nearly as much as I used to – and when I do it tends to be about things which happened ages ago (my last post, published late last week, was about an event which happened in February, 3 months back).
Lack of time is the biggest reason given for not blogging these days, and that makes a lot of sense. But I think it might be a changing of the guard, rather than an overall slow-down – a bunch of new professionals becoming older professionals, and newer ones attacking the biblioblogosphere with a fervor in their place. If we interact online in loosely defined sets (in my case, it’s largely ‘the people who were new professionals in 2009 when I went to the new professionals conference’) then it stands to reason that there would be a collective ebb and flow in our activity. As we get up the career ladder we become busier and have less time to blog, and we’re on similar cycles of activity, commitments, and enthusiasm…
I really, really enjoyed being part of a thriving, dynamic online community of info-pro bloggers. But I don’t miss it now it’s gone.
For me though it’s not just lack of time – it’s lack of energy for the profession itself. I think I’d make time if it was all as important to me as it used to be. Which isn’t to say it’s not important – I’m quite passionate about libraries, and still very passionate about librarians and our community. But I said a LOT of things on this blog in the first 3 years or so I wrote it, and that level of momentum – that fire – wasn’t really sustainable. There are librarians whose CPD is seemingly never subject to atrophy – I admire that, but don’t aspire towards it, weirdly.
I just don’t have that much to say anymore. I used to write posts like this one, about the state of play – I used to love it when lots of people commented and we had a big debate about stuff. But now when I write things on here it tends to be more focused and specific: the last four posts have been about an online tool, a marketing idea, an event, and a presentation. These kinds of posts don’t get as many views as the old debate type posts, but the blog gets more views overall because there’s now so much of it for Google to find!
So if you blog, do you blog less now than you used to? Is it the end of an era for librarian blogging? And if so, to what do you attribute this – is it just lack of time, or are there other reasons too?
p.s just as I was about to hit publish on this, I saw this tweet from @barlowjk which sums up one of the problems very nicely – we have finite mental real estate! And SO much stuff filling it up these days…