I hate that social media took over as the primary platform for sharing personal content online. Blogging and personal website culture, which was once a staple of the internet, has slowly been replaced by bite-sized social media updates. As someone who has been online for donkey’s years now, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the days when blogs and personal websites were the norm.
While there are still a few awesome people who continue to blog and maintain their own websites, they are few and far between. I miss the days of RSS feeds and visiting the little online homes of my friends, which all slowly ground to a halt as their thoughts and comments got squeezed from 5000 word posts into 140 character burps of content. There was something special about visiting a blog and learning more about the person behind it. The art of blog design was also something that I appreciated, as it allowed bloggers to express their creativity and create a unique online space, something that was really popular when I was growing up in the early days of the web. I mean, we got free domain names with our internet service here in the UK for goodness sake!
But, there may be a change coming. The rise of newsletters and independent journalism was the first sign that things were beginning to shift. People started to see the benefits of owning their own words, rather than posting it on some billionaire’s platform. This glimmer of hope has my hoping we might see a resurgence of blogging culture. I’m a big fan of WordPress, but not so much the default structure of posts with their titles and comments and all that. The idea of simply posting a video you like, or a link that you want to share, has just that little bit too much friction, which is probably what made the likes of Twitter and Instagram all the more attractive. I’d like to see shorter posts be a norm on blogs. Maybe there’s a good theme that can help make this a reality? Just add Tumblr features to WordPress please! I mean, they are owned by the same company and have plans for fediverse integration, so go on, do it! 😁
The slow death of Twitter and the friction of Mastodon might be just what we need to bring back the art of blogging. As people become more aware of the negative effects of social media, they might start looking for alternatives that allow them to share their thoughts and ideas without being constantly bombarded by notifications and advertisements.
As someone who’s always enjoyed reading blogs and getting to know the people behind them, I’m hopeful that we’ll see a revival of blogging culture. I’m looking forward to the day when my RSS reader is once again chock full of blog posts to read, just like a Twitter feed without the shite. One that redirects me to the little online spaces curated by friends.
Here’s hoping at least.