|Social Media changed blogging|
When I started this thing eight years ago, I really did it just for fun. I love science. And I'm a funny guy with a good sense of humor (although my writing is pretty serious). So I started blogging about it. Thought I'd do it for a few months. Then a year went by, and two...and I did have a hiatus or two, but I come back here because this is a great way to express myself.
So what I want to do is to talk about how blogging has changed since 2005.
1) Blogging experts told us to post every day. Or try to. I posted every other day. It was hard to do, but I grew my following by posting so often. Readers could count on me for 3-4 great posts a week. These days, life is just too crazy. I post just on Mondays now. I wish I could write more, but life gets in the way.
2) There were all kinds of cool crazy gadgets and widgets bloggers put on their sidebars. These days, some bloggers still do it. Even though many of us have DSL, these extras slow down loading time. And they clutter your blog. To me, putting all that stuff on sidebars is messy and distracting. But back in the day, I was guilty as charged.
3) Blogrolls are pretty useless to readers. Up until 2010, my blogroll was HUGE. These were my faithful readers and good blog buddies. That was when readers were on the prowl to find new blogs. Not anymore. We now stumble on good sites, or maybe click a URL on someone's comment thread. Blog Hops are also a great way to find new blogs to visit.
4) Most of the blogs a few years ago were online diaries. Some of it was mundane, others had a theme. Many blogs were filled with some pretty heavy posts. People who went through tragedies or great triumphs shared their lives on blogs. Facebook pretty much replaced all that.
5) Almost all the blogs I loved are gone. Only a handful of us old timers are left. I consider these bloggers great friends, and I've been fortunate to meet a couple of them in person. Our online friendship wasn't limited to the interwebs, and I had such a great time connecting with bloggers face to face.
6) Social media was online bulletin boards, MySpace, and blogging. These days you have YouTube (which launched the same year I started blogging) vlogs, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Posterous, Google+, and I know there's more. So much noise, so much to choose from.
7) My posts used to be pretty long. I was told by many readers that my funny science posts were long even for 2005, 2006 standards. But they loved them that way. With the explosion of social media and microblogging, writing long posts is no longer feasible. People just don't have time to read long posts. In fact, I bet a bunch of my readers skim through my posts!
8) I used to write about the funny side of science because at the time, I worked for a company that was an offshoot of NASA. My company worked with research & development and legal for all kinds of huge companies. My employer was an outsourced research company. It was fascinating, and it fueled my love for science. But around 2011, I decided to pursue writing again and completely revamped my blog to reflect that.
So lots have changed, but I resolve to remain in my little corner of the blogosphere. Thanks so much to all of you who keep coming back here. I appreciate it, and I look forward to the next eight years!