The state of blogging, update: recovery and discovery


In September last year I wrote that a lot of the blogs I historically followed had shut down or just stopped being updated. People didn't appear to be writing any more - at least not on their own sites.

We are constantly told there are millions of blogs out there but our experiences often imply that the numbers and reality don't always tally.

But, more recently, I think the problem is not that people aren't blogging, but finding those that are.


Blogging seemed to die back for a while but, as I wrote more recently, getting involved with the and, now, #indieweb communities has meant finding people who are, again, enthusiastic about their own sites.

As a result I have been gradually re-populating my RSS reader with good, old-fashioned personal blogs.

But I still want more!

One of my hopes for was that it might encourage more people to write in long form once they got used to self-hosting their microposts.

Since the launch to Kickstarter backers I have, indeed, seen a number state it has prompted them to return to their sites with more vigor and become re-engaged with what they are, or could be, doing.

This is fantastic, but more needs to be done. A lot more.


The biggest issue, as with so many other areas online, is of discovery. I'm not so sure that the blog rolls, directories and blogging networks of yesteryear, however, are the right solutions to the problem.

We need to get better at both sharing and advertising blogs, those of others and our own. We need to reclaim the conversation from social media by using our own sites to reply and comment - this is where elements of the indieweb come into their own.

But, most importantly we need to keep reading and writing, engaging with each other via our blogs to, at least, enable organic discovery.

  1. eli says: #
    I've also been thinking a lot about the discoverability issue you note at the end of your post. What do you think of reviving web rings? Could webmentions be used to automatically create networks of connected sites?
  2. Interesting piece. Recently relaunched my blog too. I agree that we need to enhance discoverability.
  3. @eli @colinwalker Discovery is certainly a difficult issue. Perhaps we could talk Kevin and Tantek into reconstituting Technorati?! :) Interestingly this is the third time I've heard about webrings in the last month, and only after serendipitously coming across the only one I'd seen in over a decade or more: Kevin Marks started a table of "Lost Infrastructure" not too long ago:
  4. john says: #
    The state of blogging, update: recovery and discovery by Colin Walker (Social Thoughts) takes me back to my blogging beginnings, excited by a small community of Scots Edu Bloggers, loosely connected outward, it was easy to pull stuff together. Webrings popped up in the tilde club scene recently, but I think your principal of reclaiming the conversation has a better chance. Reply to: The state of blogging, update: recovery and discovery Like this: Like Loading...