Coming Back Home to Your Blog?

Filed as Features on January 30, 2009 5:03 am

Blogs could be in for a second wind. I am seeing more and more bloggers coming back to blogging with renewed energy and certainty that it is the right thing to do.

There are probably many reasons for this, and some cite the economic fragility for part of it, but I do not think this is the whole story. Why are people coming back to blogging after a time in the wilderness?

For a while people were saying that blogs were “so last year” and that they were moving to Twitter or other “micro blogging” services. I am finding increasingly though that those same people are feeling limited by 140 characters.

Then there was the “moving to video” revolution just a little before the 140 character revolution. What happened to that? Yup, video is growing but the producers of these vodcasts are increasingly hosting new episodes on their own sites as well as in iTunes, YouTube and such.

A lot of bloggers decided they were going to publish email newsletters then found that email lists are great as a compliment but are a poor replacement for a blog.

I think the last point is the key. We can do all or some of these things and have great success, but they all work best when combined. Doing something new does not have to mean throwing out what you did before. A blog along with email, video, AND social media is a powerful asset, and much more than the sum of the parts.

Do you see people coming back to blogging? Or are you considering it yourself? Or have you left blogging for good? Please let me know in the comments …

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  1. By Robert Quaranta posted on January 30, 2009 at 5:09 am
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    I agree Chris. IMHO blogging is indeed back, not least due to people’s frustration with the current economic, political and humanitarian situation.

    Reply

  2. By Jay Gilmore posted on January 30, 2009 at 5:24 am
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    I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I started a couple business related blogs a couple of years ago and lost my way. All the while, semi hypocritically telling businesses that they need to be blogging.

    What made me stop was a lack of momentum and focus. Now that I have had time away I’ve gained perspective on what I want to say, how I can help others and demonstrate the value to small business owners.

    It’s time to eat my own food.

    Timely post by the way since Darren Rowse posted this yesterday. I think many of his points fit with people who are returning to blogging after a hiatus or abandoning.

    Reply

  3. By Kate Davis posted on January 30, 2009 at 5:36 am
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    I am intending to put more effort into my blog after several months when it was low priority during the end of my pregnancy and the first few months with my daughter. However, one thing that is stalling me now is all the things I’m thinking of writing about are baby related and they don’t fit the topics of my blog so I need to think a bit harder; I’m very keen to get there though.

    Reply

  4. By Jay Medina posted on January 30, 2009 at 6:16 am
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    I left my blog for over 6 months because I really didn’t think I was getting through to any readers. Then I realized that I should be blogging for me, as writing is a very creative outlet for me.

    As well, my blogging platform at the time was very time consuming to keep it looking the way I wanted. I have only recently switched to WordPress and love that I can focus on writing and spend less time fussing with the site as a whole. Now I am up early nearly every day with tons of ideas about articles to write. To me, this is a whole new focus and passion.

    Now if someone would just read it. :-)

    Reply

  5. By Rob O. posted on January 30, 2009 at 6:39 am
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    Nice to hear that others are feeling the pinch of Twitter’s 140 character limit. I thought maybe I was just some kind of windbag! Seriously though, it seems like there’s only so much you can do with microblogging. To me, it’s like a cross between an old-style paper calculator and cell phone text messaging. It is more conversational than traditional blogging, but it’s also too brief to have much depth.

    In the end, I’m definitely still going to keep up my blog – and my goal for this year is to increase the posting frequency – but I find that Tweeting is something I can do while working on other tasks. Writing entries for the blog usually requires a more dedicated or focused approach.

    By the way, I’m with ya, Jay. I know that blogging should be reward enough on its own, but it can be difficult to feel that it’s worth continuing if you’re not getting many comments to validate your efforts.

    Reply

  6. By Deb Ng posted on January 30, 2009 at 6:50 am
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    If anything, Twitter gave me more ideas for my blogs. But yes, I do find my passion has returned. 2008 was an interesting year as I built a blog nework and took on a full time job, but working for someone else makes you appreciate your own blogs and the freedom of being able to write from the heart.

    Reply

  7. By Furie posted on January 30, 2009 at 8:10 am
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    A lot of people are starting new blogs too. Many mobile users, for example, started off with microblogging services and went looking for more as data services became cheaper.

    I like the time aspect of blogging more than anything. At any point I can start talking about any subject that crosses my mind and, while it may be interesting, it may just as well be boring. With blogging I have time to formulate the thought and make a point with it, or at least turn it into an entertaining read. The other services you mentioned don’t really offer that.

    Microblogs are just status updates with extras (mostly reading like the post history of one member on an incredibly boring forum) and don’t offer the space needed to express things as I’d like. They also have the unholy distinction of bringing “text speak” back into popular use. Mailing lists give the time aspect back but you lose the feeling of interacting with your readers and commenters. As comments are the blood flowing through the veins of your blog that’s not the right approach for me. And, as my main readership is mobile based (about 4,000 daily through Widsets – a mobile RSS widget platform), I don’t use videos. It’d be useless for them. Even the few web videos I’ve used to illustrate posts always have the link to the mobile version included. There’d be way too much work involved in getting mobile and web versions of videos up for every post.

    I think everyone should take a break from blogging once in a while to get their heads together. I remember one week when I realised that all I’d posted over the entire week were web tests and cartoons I’d thought were cool. I just couldn’t be bothered to write anything so I took a month off to clear my head, and when I came back I was blasting out quality articles again that won me a whole new set of readers.

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  8. By Chung Bey Luen posted on January 30, 2009 at 8:37 am
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    I’m one of the coming back blogger. Previously I did not think and plan carefully about my blog and audience, so I failed. After a year of cooling down, I have decided to come back.

    Reply

  9. By Brian Vermette posted on January 30, 2009 at 11:40 am
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    I do see some bloggers returning to there blogs from hautus, like in terms of a NASCAR off season, but not after a long year or two years. Personally though, I have been blogging since March 2005 and take small breaks during the year so I don’t get so burnt out as bad. Blogging isn’t a so “last year thing” to me.

    Now I am starting a second blog in hopes of merging the two, however one question, should the url be your full name or a made up name with your full name published under the articles or somewhere on the blog?

    Reply

  10. By ted de stratford posted on January 30, 2009 at 11:56 am
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    I think there’s been a general maliase on the internet anyway. Personaly I’ve been getting fed up with the misuse, the spam, the scams. Everything started to feel a little grubby. Ah well we’ll see

    Reply

  11. By Tumblemoose posted on January 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm
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    I think that microblogging, video blogging, podcasts, etc are all great enhancements to the blogging experience, but I doubt they will ever REPLACE blogs.

    IMHO, of course ;-)

    George

    Reply

  12. By Steven posted on January 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm
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    Thanks for your post, Christ. I’m one those people who are coming back again to blog after a while. I started to blog about 1.5 years ago, but I stopped after several months. The reason was because I didn’t see any purpose to it, meaning no one visiting my blog. Why bother to post a blog, if no one sees it. Most of my visitors was only from search engine, and they don’t stay long. There is no relationship between me and the readers.

    Several months ago, I decided to come back to the blogosphere world. I renewed my concept of blogging. Now, I’m trying to build relationship with other bloggers. My principle is simple. I just visit other blogs that I’m interested in, and respond to their thoughts. Get involved in their blogs. Hopefully, they will do the same in return. The bottom line is put your heart to your blog.

    In addition, I also incorporate twitter applications to my blog. Microblogging is a great addition to my blog, I think. With microblogging, you can know other bloggers better. You can follow their day-to-day activities and reply to their updates from times to times. All of that is to build a stronger blog community.

    I want to congratulate all fellow bloggers that decided to come back to blogging. You did the right thing. Welcome back! :)

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  13. By Matthew A. Griffith, Esq. posted on January 30, 2009 at 1:35 pm
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    I am new to blogging, but I have lots to say. And not simply because I am a lawyer by training.

    I’ve been helping business owners and real estate professionals for 18 years. So, I have tons on content/information/stories/etc. to share. My goal is to deliver as much value as I can to debunk all the “legal witch doctoring” out there.

    Reply

  14. By Blog of media posted on January 30, 2009 at 3:11 pm
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    I own two blog and the first one I stopped writing on for almost five months. I returned after I started missing my blogging, I then started a new one but am considering changing the name to some other name so it’s more open and it would be all about random topics. not sure though.

    I struggle with good grammar. I understand that others might not like it so much but I figure that if somebody is really loyal then they will stay with my blog or anyone else blog.

    Reply

  15. By ifelicious posted on January 30, 2009 at 8:46 pm
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    I started blogging a year ago and haven’t stopped so maybe I’m a little late to begin with. I’m still fumbling around with Twitter (just joined that bandwagon after holding out arguing that I have way too many social networking things to keep up with), but it serves a purpose. I’m definitely of the mindset that there’s a need for a combination of different media and not that one trumps another.

    Reply

  16. By Ellen Kimball posted on January 30, 2009 at 9:10 pm
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    Hi Chris,

    At age 69, I blog because I can. I’m a married woman, celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary on February 4, 2009. We both had more than 50 years each in chosen careers and now we are part of the “yippie elderly” generation — young enough to have some golden years — if we are healthy enough to travel and enjoy our children and grandchildren who live in various parts of our great country.

    There is a lot to discuss and this is a good way to reach out to other people. Writing is part of my creativity — and there is also a childlike, comedic nature which I appear to have inherited from my ancestors. Consider this my diary. I invite you to peek in and comment if you wish, and in return, who knows who I’ll find on the NEXT BLOG.

    I’d love to have a HUGE audience (who wouldn’t?), but that won’t happen. However, you might decide that my rather unusual story, complete with pictures, is tabloid material. I’ll tell jokes and recite quotes. I might have done that in entertainment, but there wasn’t enough time.

    I am a liberal woman born Jewish with the “gift of gab” who just happened to get some lucky breaks because of FATE. That includes someone you may have heard of. His real name is Lawrence Zeiger, but you know him as CNN’s Larry King.

    My unique background made me one of the pioneer women of the radio talk format in the 1970s at WIOD (Sally Jesse Raphael was coming up to speed at about the same time either in Miami or Puerto Rico). I made my living because I loved what I was doing and had to support two young children after a divorce. All in all, I did quite well professionally but jobs dried up everywhere in the year 2000. So, I dropped in at the PBS station in Portland, Oregon and volunteered there for the Audience Services Department (one day a week) and then for a subchannel audio show interviewing book authors by telephone and local people in studio, as well as reviewing movies, TV and other kinds of entertainment. No stress here because there were NO CALLERS. I just enjoyed being around the radio atmosphere — and I love politics.

    People keep telling me to write a book, but I’d rather not be put through that hurdle. Who would buy my story? I did have a movie offer for my story (or at least, part of it) from Leonard Goldberg, but after receiving the option money, they dropped the idea. I had competition from a wonderful story called “Something About Amelia” which won a lot of awards.

    Full disclosure here:

    I was a minor celebrity on television in my youth as the co-host of a local, live children’s program called “Popeye Playhouse” at WTVJ, Channel 4 in Miami. That was while I was 17 and 18 years old in college. Remember, there were just a few women on both TV and radio at that time, so the job was an exceptional opportunity. After completing a degree in Television-Radio and Film from the University of Miami, I moved to New York to “become a star.”

    Secretarial work was what I found, and a marriage to a y0ung man who wanted to be a film director. NBC hired me in the early 1960s to help out as a production assistant on the “Tonight” show unit. There was another dark-haired young woman a few years older than me who worked there at the same time for the “Today” show. Her name is Barbara Walters, and there are some unusual coincidences in our lives. Barbara was born in Boston and moved to Miami. I lived most of my life in Miami and then was awarded a job in Boston. We both had dynamic fathers. We both had a point in our lives where we had to become the sole support for our dependents. So, we took chances against all odds. Barbara had one small adopted daughter, while I had two toddlers I had to support.

    I also did some work for NBC’s News Department. It was there in the elevator with newsman David Brinkley when I heard about the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dallas. I ended up in Miami again with a husband in a career crisis because he couldn’t make the film dream come true. In 1970, despite a lot of marriage counseling, we separated and eventually divorced. I had about $80 in my pocket and was working in several menial jobs when… well, if you want to know more, go to my blog and find out about Larry King ‘n’ me.

    Earlier, I worked in production in NYC for a guy named Barry Gray of WMCA-AM, who is generally considered to be the “father of talk radio.” Through a series of lucky breaks, I became one of the first women to do a daily four-hour call-in radio program in Miami and Boston.

    You can find out a lot about me by searching Google for Radio_Lady, my former screen name. (Don’t forget the underscore or you will get a world full of some other radio people in other lands!) I contributed to a political blog from November 2004 to July 2008, when I was “banned.” While I had a journal there, the owner and moderators followed ill-defined standards of discussion. It was particularly problematic during the vicious primary battle between a white female and a black male senator. All of us showed the strain of an eight-year long Republican administration which I still believe was stolen from the people.

    I launched my blog in August 2008, feeling wounded and wondering who in the hell will want to know more about a 69-year-old retired radio personality who off her mouth for decades, but now was reduced to writing?

    So, come on down and visit me. You’ll never know what topic you’ll find. If you don’t like what you’re reading, then check the left column for other blogs which you might like better. Yes, this is a little long winded. That’s how I am. You can have your say later…

    Warm regards,

    EK

    Reply

  17. By Danny posted on January 31, 2009 at 5:56 am
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    With the uncertainty in the economy, I’m feeling more depressed. I’ve started blogging more to vent my pent-up fears and anger. So yes, for me it’s mostly about the crisis.

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  18. By Ellen Kimball posted on January 31, 2009 at 2:20 pm
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    Danny: I’ve dealt with depression on and off through my life. It’s tough, and times are tough. But we only have to live one day at a time. We are not the managers of everything. I burned myself out on political blogs for four years. That’s over. I’ve reached out for others in my community in Oregon. We are all feeling scared, burdened, stressed. The Portland Oregonian discussed it last week. I’ve gone back to caring for things that didn’t mean much to me in former times. Exercise. Swimming. Reading. Not getting too upset about things that aren’t going to go away in a minute.

    I’ll check out your blog. If we have anything in common, I’ll make you a cyber-acquaintance.

    Warm regards,

    Ellen

    Reply

  19. By Dr. Larry Mitchell posted on January 31, 2009 at 5:37 pm
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    Blogging has indeed come back into vogue, but I think the fault (if there is one) for it lies not with the blogs themselves, or even the micro-blogging sites, but with the bloggers themselves. People were bored, and tired of seeing the same thing in seventy-five different places. Now, bloggers are taking the medium (and their readership) more seriously, and putting more thought into presentation and content.

    Reply

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