The State of the Blogosphere

Oh Blogosphere, we hardly knew thee. 'Twas but a mere decade and a half ago when I discovered what seemed like a hidden treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom. Chris Guillebeau, Seth Godin, and Maria Popova were there for me from the beginning, and I felt loved. I felt taken care of and special.

And while these individuals still have blogs that are alive and productive (sometimes even innovative), they are a sampling of the few that are still around and visited by the dwellers of the Internet.

Blog-quadrants of the Present

The aliveness (or living-deadness) of blogs today.

As you see above, the horizontal axis gives a measure of how much traffic a modern blog is receiving on an ongoing basis, and the vertical axis measures how often said blog is being updated.

  1. Popular Blogs
    The examples I gave earlier fall in this category. I see two obvious fits to the highly viewed, highly posted blog: 1) large media organization blogs that have usually have a staff between 25 to 100 people and functions more like a media/news website rather than a traditional, early 00's blog, and 2) small, subscription-based, newsletter styled blogs that can be operated by a sole author, creative, journalist etc... (Substack and Medium come to mind).
  2. Enthusiastic Blogs
    "Enthusiastic" refers to the attitude of the person (or people) posting on this kind of blog. Nobody cares and nobody pays attention, and onward they go. "Hardheaded" would have been another apt descriptor.
  3. This Blog
    If I tried harder and posted more frequently, this blog would fall under the above category of persistent yet fairly useless blogs.
  4. Theoretical Blogs
    I can't think of a single blog that could be here. In theory if there were abandoned blog projects that were widely popular in their heydays and still revisited by those who loved it, similar to how you go back to your favorite books and reread them over the years, then those would be in this category. Perhaps there are a few webcomics out there that could live up to these high standards?
  5. Archived Blogs
    While this should be titled "Effectively Archived Blogs" due to the fact that not all blogs will get archived for the leisurely viewing of posterity, a blog that has no new posts and no traffic is as dead as a corpse with link rot.

This is only one way to slice the pie up into pieces. To me, saing that I have a blog feels the same as saying I write letters to people which I send to them in the mail: it feels old.

(Yes, I do send letters to my friends via post.)