Tuesday, January 12

How did we end up here?

96 down to 19. What am I talking about? Age? Waist size? Ha-ha, no, no. Rather, that's just how many sites I had in my blogroll that are no longer updated or have been deleted. Of the nearly 100 blogs that piqued my curiosity somewhere along the way in the last 7-8 years, 19 is all that's left*! Blogging has certainly lost its fad factor over the years, hasn't it? In fact, this recent spring clean was reinforced by a post Jackie made on her Home blog. She and her readers brought up valid concerns about the nature of blogging: why people come and go; how to maintain privacy yet be authentic, etc. All this had me pondering my own thoughts on this curious craft...

Ironically enough, when blogging was most misunderstood and misjudged, that's when it was most engaged, most popular! Now, the platform's become almost blase with seemingly everyone having blogged at one point or another. Portions of it, true, can be terribly designed with hard-to-read formatting, huge images requiring tons of scrolling, bright garish colours, flashing animations and so forth. No wonder it leaves a bad taste for some.

Just the other day, I heard some young chaps discussing blogging with one noting that while they enjoy writing, they haven't blogged as they don't have anything important, or more so, unique to say. That's also a good point. Certainly there is nothing new under the sun, yet we humans keep writing books, journals, magazine articles, you name it. Not only that, we now go so far as to maintain something even more intrusive — personal Facebook accounts! Add to that, we often "friend" people we barely know just to keep in touch. We are reduced to simply "liking" posts that may share something even tragic in order to show our support. Unlike what blogging affords, there's no art to the message, no crafting the words or choosing that perfect photo to add to your online presence. No, it's rather become a sort of haphazard, immediate way to let the world know where you are and what you're doing on any given day. That's fine, I'm not invested either way.

What a bizarre dichotomy though that now we readily embrace a platform that engages most in ways that increasingly raise those same concerns about privacy, mediocrity, authenticity and so forth! While sometimes I too am tempted to catch up with relatives, old friends, even co-workers and the like, I have refrained from having my own personal Facebook account. It seems to me from the frequent comments I hear from its users that it's often filled with drama, people getting hurt unnecessarily and a network used by some to unfortunately snoop and gossip. It's gone beyond the pale of its useful social experiment. That's one trouble with technology.

So, no thank you, I will stick to blogging! Here's an avenue for writing something beyond just a tertiary snippet; a place to explain one's wonder and aesthetic; to connect with other artists and writers one might never have the privilege of knowing otherwise. If you "thumbs up" a post or not isn't my main concern but whenever you do happen to leave a comment, wonderful! Truly. I love getting to know people and what makes them interpret something as they do, thus in part why I host Creative Tuesdays.

All this to say that I'm not abandoning the blogging ship! Yes, admittedly too, there are very few of us men out here in the blogosphere, at least those who aren't discussing sports, geek stuff, political/social activism or what have you. Well then, if nothing else, perhaps that makes my voice at least a tad more, dare I say... novel? :)

* My blogroll, btw, has now increased to 23, finding that some have re-taken to Blogger. Perhaps there's been a mini resurgence of sorts for creative souls out there? One can certainly hope!


  1. I could not agree with you more, blogging is sort of an old thing now but there are still a lot of us around so, I don't think it will ever go away, just like how the internet use to be new, blogging can be new again, some years from now.

    my blogroll is a bit longer than yours but my list has bloggers that are taking breaks so, it's not really as long as it looks but I still hope people will come around.

    anyway, hope you have a wonderful day.

  2. And you know what, Lissa? I counted your various blog reiterations as one since one replaces the other each time. :)

  3. I still think that blogging is best Michael. I really don't like Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram are mainly selfies and pretty photographs and Twitter ...... well, what can I say ? !!!! So many of my early blogging ' friend's ' have left their blogs and just communicate on Facebook with one-liners .... such a shame. I used to get over 100 comments in the early years of blogging but, that doesn't matter ....... there are still lots of like-minder bloggers out there and, I guess I need to do a bit more networking like I did when I started. It's a shame that technology and social media sites move on so quickly ..... as soon as a new one comes along, people move with it and leave the older ones behind { and, they're not even old !! }
    Anyway, we are all here and there are thousands more out there so that's happy and good !!
    Have a great week both of you. XXXX

    1. Oh, nearly forgot ...... thanks for linking me !!! XXXX

  4. I read your post with great interest Michael, as I so agree with you. I first started my blog on 1 January 2011 and would regularly try and post every week but seemed to have a very lean year of posting in 2015. This year I plan to do better. Like you, I have also started going through all the blogs I have followed through the years discovering that they are now not updated, so out they are going. Only a handful of blogs regularly come up on my feed now, which also shows people have moved away from blogging. There used to be a regular publication on bloggers published by a major american art/craft company, but not sure if that is still around.

  5. You are so good with words, glad you will keep blogging! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on blogging vs Facebook.

  6. One day Mr Blogger may well decide to abandon us. With so many pages being either abandoned or deleted he may consider the whole concept as 'old hat', and leave us in the lurch. I've never satisfyingly analysed why I blog; I suppose it simply keeps me off street corners.

  7. What a great post Michael - more on that after. Meanwhile I have to tell you that the whole Follower thingy seems screwed up lately. I've followed you always and sometimes I do get an e-mail update but it comes in that g-mail "Promotions" box not the regular e-mail Inbox and I don't see it with so much 'junk' stuff swamping that box. I was surprised I wasn't in your itty-bitty sidebar box tonight when I looked at your Followers - so I signed up again and have reappeared I guess.

    I love Cro's comment here - but also shudder at the thought our blogs might just disappear into the cosmos some day. I want mine to be there for my grandchildren (and now I have my first great-grandson on the way!). I thought it would always be there as my personal journal and huge photo album. Methinks perhaps I should have continued with the tried and true paper and pen, a pretty diary with a lock and key, and a huge box of those yucky photo corners - like we had as teenagers!!! For the first couple of years blogging I printed my posts out, but after the 4th huge ring binder was filled, we were spending more on ink cartridges than food, and I used more copy paper than a good-sized office - Bob said "no more".

    I agree with everything you say here - and you said it very well. London Jackie from HOME (I love that lady) also stirred the same feelings recently. I told her the same thing as to my feelings regarding my continuing blogging and not participating in any other social media platform - no time, no interest.

    Can't begin to tell you how you have amazed me with all your fabulous comments lately - you were so kind to take all that time reading back and then always having something worthwhile and heartfelt
    to say, thank you Michael. I'm also thrilled to have your beautiful Alexandra as my newest Follower and now I can keep in touch with her too. I must add that the two of you are such fabulous artists - and I love that you are illustrating a book together! I'll be looking for it when published - might be perfect for that little baby joining our family later. . . . . . I could start his bookcase!

    Hope you two both feel better soon - stay warm and snuggle a lot with handsome pup (I asked Alex for his name - I love black Scotties!).
    Love, Mary

  8. Thank you, Mary! Your blog is filled with incredible travels, even to your glorious garden; wonderful photos, good writing, so yes, it's a true pleasure to read. I enjoy every moment of it.
    I found Jackie through YOUR site but funnily enough, it turns out that Alexandra has followed for her years, even before I knew her. Isn't that funny? She had lost touch until I pointed it out to her whilst encouraging Alex to read yours since I've often read snippets from yours before, showing photos etc. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement over the years. Whenever you visit it's a lovely surprise.
    And yes, that is quite unnerving about how our blogs can just disappear one day. Mind you, Ive deleted many along the way on my own fruition as they represented different parts of my life's journey...ooh! there's another idea for a blog post perhaps. Hmmm. I have to admit, been feeling the writing bugs quite a bit lately. Odd that.

  9. Well Hello dear friend, it's been a long time :)
    So lovely to see you are back to posting, and yes, those of us who are still plodding along, are doing just that....
    I see you are making new adventures and loves in your life, and still live in that beautiful state of mountains and endless vistas. How I miss them.
    I often think I should throw in the blogging towel, how much can a person talk about, blog about, without sounding repetitive, and in my case, I try and refrain from disclosing personal events, so the blogging world narrows without fodder.
    Hope to visit often dear Michael, it's good to know we are still connecting.

    1. Oh wow, Jo, what a thrill to see you here! Yes, I have as of late really felt the pull to write and blog again. And yes, there is that balance about how much to write or not. I want people to know the artist behind the art adn now that my life has turned aroudn again and am no longer so desperately heart broken and alone I feel I have more encouraging things to say again! no one wants to read a downer. I do hope you keep "plodding" along (love that old word)! Your blog offers memories of English delights for us ex-pats. Have you ever read Mary above? She too has lived Stateside for yonks. You might enjoy her prose. :) Lovely to see you still out there and it was fun catching up with you through your old posts, even if not much self revelation. That is ok too.

  10. Wow Michael I had no idea that blogging was on a downswing though I must admit that I have been amiss at tending to mine. I'm with you, I love blogging and will always find it valuable and perhaps even moreso compared to other means of social communication. Thanks so much for your incredibly generous words at the ol blog. I don't know about ever catching Tomie's eye but it won't stop me from participating each year. It's a challenge I welcome and makes for a portfolio piece if it turns out well enough right? ��. I will have to change those links! So sorry about that. I'm hoping blogger makes it easy to do so. Have a lovely rest of the long weekend! Oh and I will only bring copies to NY. They forbade any originals or framed pieces etc. Very strict. Thanks again for your kind visit!

    1. Ok well that is good to know, Shirley. Good luck with your portfolio and thanks for the visit! BTW, re: links, in blogger you have the option to have links open up a new window--the checkbox jsut need to be clicked on.

  11. Dear Michael - thank you for visiting me.
    Mary saw your comment and has sent me a further message telling me what a great and talented guy you are and that you, like her, are originally from this side of the pond.
    I have similar feelings about blogs too, lots of the ones that I felt I had become friendly with have disappeared. Most alarmingly they dont say they are going and you are left wondering what has happened to them. I personally don't intend to give up, and if I do I will say so first.
    Instagram, pinterest, FB etc are a mystery to me - they appear to be places for displaying photos without any meaningful conversation or explanations to them. In fact I have seen lots of my own photos on them, and wonder why people take mine instead of using their own.
    Perhaps it is a question of time, blogging is not instant.
    We bloggers must continue to stick together.

    1. Yes, Rosemary, I found you through one of your thoughtful comments on Mary's blog! :) So lovely to see you pop by here too, btw. Thank you!

      Yes, it is distressing when someone leave a bog with no notice. I wonder if they've died (As has been the case before) or got ill (also one case there) or just got busy or lost interest and sort of forgot which I suspect are a few of the reasons too.

      I do have an instagram account and twitter but find both hard to keep up with. Like I wrote, they don't engage one's intellectual or creative prowess as much either.

      now, Pinterest I do enjoy as I use as a sort of dream board--filling each board only with photos that truly touch me and are beautiful. Those then inspire me and I enjoy finding them too. Now, some people use Pinterest for tips and ideas but I prefer to take advantage of the picture orientated nature of it the platform.

      Yes, let's all keep blogging quality blogs. Yours would be one of them with all your interesting, far flung posts!

  12. Michael...thank you so much for visiting me and more importantly, you actually listened to my songs and made such nice comments about "I Wanna be Adored"...I too am a minor key person, and find myself returning over and over again to the Noel Gallagher school of songwriting!! I assume you found me via Jackie @ Home...she's the best....I have followed you....I have become a real snoozer with my blog but pop in from time to time...take care and thanks again...cynthia

    1. Well, it was my pleasure, "Beatnheart"! I LOVED your song and you have a great voice too. Yes, I have Jackie to thank for finding you and I fgoudn her through Mary from Across the Pond. AS it is, my wife has followed Jackie for ages I guess but lost touch.

      Thanks for following along. I will check in on your creative endeavours now and then as able and keep an ear and eye out for any other songs you might write My wife too has written several songs, plays a piano and violin and sings. :) Me on the other hand? Rubbish musically, sorry to say. I do enjoy listening though.

  13. Hi Michael. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving the nice comment behind. Making new friends is truly the best part of blogging. I've made friends all over the world that I never would have had the opportunity to meet save for my blog. It took me awhile to figure out that what I really wanted to do with my blog was share my passion for simple living in a small space. In my case a cottage. Oh, I love cottages so. And I love sharing them with others. Whether blogging is in or out of favor, makes no difference to me. I blog for fun. When it becomes otherwise, I'll quit. I like your writing style and I'm glad to have met you. All the best, Nancy

    1. Nancy, how lovely of you to leave a comment. Yes, I love that you celebrate downsizing. I just wrote about a hear friend of ours who is 80 and has done that so successfully (http://dottyhill.blogspot.com/2016/01/ageing-with-finesse-style.html). Her tiny 400 sq. ft. studio apartment doesn't feel close to how small it is as she has mastered decluttering.

      Anyway, I will certainly keep following you and your posts. Thank you! your passion shows through. Well done!