“Bloggy to the core” indeed

People are talking about blogs. Again! And not just random nameless “people” cited in some clueless trend story. Specific people are talking about reviving their actual blogs. In some cases, they are even following through.

Michael Sippey, who was so early into blogging it wasn’t even called “weblogging” back then, is doing something like what he used to do in his Obvious Filter over on Medium. Elizabeth Spiers, the original Gawker (and author, most recently, of this superb profile), promises to “write mostly badly and more often” on her personal blog. Vox Media’s Lockhart Steele, declaring that “the web ecosystem will always be bloggy at its core,” announced that he is returning to personal blogging. Susannah Breslin, whose work I first encountered in the days of the original Salon Blogs program, is back at her personal blog with some reflections on “autonomy and freedom.” Christian Crumlish, too. These are people in my universe who I know or whose work I know; look around your world and you may spot similar stirrings.

Jason Kottke noticed some of these developments, and, of course, linked. Fred Wilson, the VC blogger par excellence, noticed them, too, and wrote:

There is something about the personal blog, yourname.com, where you control everything and get to do whatever the hell pleases you. There is something about linking to one of those blogs and then saying something. It’s like having a conversation in public with each other. This is how blogging was in the early days. And this is how blogging is today, if you want it to be.

So let’s be clear: Blogging never went away; if anything, we walked away from it. In large groups, for sure — but hardly unanimously. Many extraordinary bloggers never stopped writing.

As someone who spent several years of my life chronicling the brief but colorful history of the blog, and who within the past few months has put some serious time back into my own wee project here, I’m pleased at this ferment, however it rises — or sours.

It’s a trend! And the really fun thing about trends the second time around is that the media machine generally ignores them. The breathless bad stories all got written already a long time ago. There’s nothing novel left to mine.

Are we really going to see the reconstitution of the blogging era of a decade ago? Of course I have some more thoughts about where all this is headed. But I’ll save them for the next post.

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