I just published this blog post. And it felt great. There’s just something about logging into my WordPress installation, typing up my own words, and publishing on a site that is mine. (after doing numerous updates of course). I get the feeling a few times a year, often in the summer or at the New Year for some reason, to post something. Each time, I think it would be awesome to take up regular blogging again. Pretty much every time I post a few things, then the blog goes dormant for several months.
I miss blogging. Back when I first started this blog, there was no Twitter and Facebook was still limited to people with a .edu email address. Blogging was the social media that connected me with peers in my profession around the planet. It was awesome to see when others linked to something that you posted or commented on your site. It was awesome to play with the A-list bloggers, and equally as incredible to discover a newcomer to the blogosphere. We were a community. I made new friends.
Like many of my blogging peers, my job has changed with different and increased responsibilities from when I originally started blogging. I’ve had more kids. My hobbies have changed. My free time has dwindled.
This was originally a library, tech-focused blog. That was my niche. I was big into wikis and instant messaging and Library 2.0 and gaming in libraries and all those buzzwords. I’m still into that stuff, but have since climbed my way into middle management. I’m not pushing as much new tech as I used to, and the middle management stuff isn’t something that I feel compelled (or smart enough) to write about. Hence the lack of posts here. My boss has told me I need to take more time to reflect and write. Perhaps I should do that here.
They say you must have a niche these days in order for your blog to be successful. I don’t have enough content in one particular niche to continue this as just a Library-tech-teaching-focused blog. I’ve got another blog that I haven’t touched in years. Perhaps I will delete and merge that blog (also originally a niche) into this one.
Possibly related to my recent interest in writing again is social media has got me down lately. There’s lots of sharing but not much caring. I’ve always liked the sharing aspect of blogging. It’s rewarding to share some little bit of knowledge you’ve learned, or an experience you’ve had, or a skill you’ve practiced. Reading that kind of content from others it what inspires me to try something new, practice harder at a hobby, or learn more about a topic of interest. That kind of content can make the world a better place. Maybe my content can inspire or help others in some small way. We’ll see.
Edit: I wrote all of this before reading Meredith’s post, in which she also ponders the good old days of blogging and community building as well as her dissatisfaction with social media. Go read it. And of course, just like the good old days, Meredith blows the rest of us away with her way with words. It’s quite cool and interesting to know that others have the same thoughts about blogging. FWIW, this is the first time I’ve linked to another library blog in years, and that feels great, too. I wonder if the old-school track-backs still work?
I’ll keep the good feelings flowing by posting an old-school comment. It’s funny that you mention updates on your blogging software, as that’s about all I’ve been up to for the past few years (some day, I’ll weed those plugins and themes that I’ve been carrying around as dead weight). My mistake was to set up three separate WordPress installs at my domain (one is for a basic “who am I” profile site, one is for Digital Reference, and one is for Beating the Bounds). That’s three sets of updates I have to do all the dang time. Maybe I’ll teach my older son how to do this and make it a weekly chore he’ll do to earn his allowance.
You made my day, Stephen! Thanks for stopping by! Now you just need to get off the porch and dust off your old blogs. My brother has been talking about starting one up, which got me thinking about mine again, and inspired me to actual log in to this one. If I help him get started, I probably need to go back and do some newer learning modules, reading, or training, as initial setups and such may be a bit different. Plus, the way I did it back in the day is probably not the same for these younger whipper snapper bloggers. Good to “see” you! Ping me if you post something.
In case you missed it, Kathryn Greenhill had a post on the state of biblioblogging last week. Her post is an example of why RSS still matters to me so much. For years, I’ve added to my RSS reader account (these days, in Feedly), every librar* blog I can find. Every now and then, I take a peek at a page that shows me “dead” feeds and wonder if I should weed them a bit, but then I remember that every once in a while one of those “dead” blogs springs back to life.
I’ve been in the same boat. While I still use Feedly, I’ve found that I’ve been using Flipboard, Google News, and Reddit more over the past few years. However, I use Feedly when I want to go read stuff that I subscribe to, not stuff a machine is recommending. My Library Blogs category in Feedly has been largely dormant as well, but within the past few days I have added a few new-to-me blogs that still have a pulse. Thanks for the link.
I am equally reluctant to weed! I consider it an optimistic stance. I have a folder in Tiny Tiny RSS that is entitled “Defunct?” Every once in a while a blog in there does spring back to life. I often wonder if those people who stopped blogging know how much we valued their words and ideas. I was thinking about writing a post where I share a list of blogs that I miss, bloggers I wish would post more, and people I wish would start a blog.
Agreed. I go through the same thought process and exercise multiple times a year.
Thanks for stopping by, Doug! I’ve always loved your writing and stories about your activities and family adventures. I need to clean up my “bike blogs” folder in Feedly, and visit your stuff more often! Also, we should go ride sometime. 🙂
Hmm Chad, someone commented on an earlier post of yours just this morning! (haha) https://liaisonlife.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/readings-2018a/ –sc
Glad to see you posting Chad! I think a lot of us are feeling this nostalgia for how blogging brought us together as a community back then in a way that Facebook and Twitter cannot replicate. I think early on, we all had a niche, but most of us grew beyond that and simply now reflect on the things in our professional lives that are weighing on our minds or are getting us really excited. I still find it very therapeutic to process my own thoughts this way.
Trackbacks do still work for the most part, but I didn’t get one for your post. Fortunately, you’re still in my feed reader as I always hold out hope that my blogging friends will come back to it eventually. 🙂
And thanks for the kind words about my post.