It was maybe seven years ago that I started using the internet for anything besides MSN messenger and Limewire. I don’t remember the order of joining Facebook, MySpace and Blogger, but Blogger’s the one I miss.
If you don’t know, Blogger was (and is) a free service for hosting, well, your blog. This was all pre-Tumblr and Pinterest and Twitter and all that. It was hugely popular, but only a few people I knew had blogger. Maybe a dozen. It was all very manageable. Each blog was bookmarked, and every few days you would open them up to see if there was a new entry. Usually there wasn’t, but there would be a new one from someone at least once a week.
It didn’t feel like “social networking” or “writing” or anything like that. It felt like catching up with what was going on in someone else’s lives. These weren’t even necessarily the people you were closest with, but you were close enough, and the blogging formed something of a community. There was no “dashboard” or “newsfeed”- you had to literally visit each site, and see what designs, sidebars, and fonts they used. Get to know them.
Something got lost along the way. Facebook got bigger and bigger, of course, and Twitter took off, and now it seems like no one blogs personally anymore, they all do it for professional reasons. Even my own site is written more for the stranger visiting for the first time than it is for friends and family. Most people, of course, have abandoned the idea of blogging altogether, using social networks instead.
Can we go back? I’ve thought of pseudonyms, private blogs, things like that. I like the idea. But I don’t know how to implement it. I don’t even know if anyone else even feels like this is a problem. I mean, I still blog, but most people I know have abandoned the idea altogether, using social networks instead. Maybe that’s enough. Twitter is great. Facebook, as much as people love to hate it, is going strong. I enjoy the small community I have here, and new networks like Medium and Svbtle are offering interesting ideas. But when I think back to Blogger, I feel like something’s been lost along the way.