You might have noticed my post output has been consistently dropping lately. This is partly due to the fact that over the last few years this blog morphed into a collection of essays and long-form reviews rather than a daily blog. In the past I used to re-blog interesting links or provide commentary on current issues in technology under the mistaken impression that my “expert opinion” was somehow relevant. In most cases it wasn’t. It was merely adding to the echo chamber effect of our little community without adding much to the discussion or providing any unique insight.
These days I feel that the things I post should be either original and creative (like my tabletop gaming posts), provide some value to the readers (like reviews or tutorials) or at the very least say something thought provoking. As it turns out it usually takes me a few thousand words and at least few hours of research to produce something I think is worth reading and interesting. The posts that I was really happy with, and even proud of were the ones that took me weeks to compile. For example I started working on the Fimir article was already in the making when I posted about the Duckbunny. These things take time, effort and attention… And when they don’t, when I just randomly throw something quick together over the weekend I’m usually not happy with it. I have a dozen posts in my drafts section right now, which were queued up for posting but never went live because I decided I hated them, and I would rather have nothing go up than post something rushed and unfinished.
On the other hand, I hate to leave the blog dormant for a while, because it’s disappointing for readers, bad for SEO, and it decreases my already mostly insignificant ad revenue. There is a conflict here. I do want to keep trying to raise the bar and keep pushing myself to write longer, more thoughtful essays. But I just can’t physically pump them out that fast and I’d much rather take time and make something good: either by being creative or by actually doing research on the topic. But at the same time I don’t want the site to seem abandoned while I work behind the scenes.
Which brings me to a question: what is a blog supposed to be anyway these days? What blogs do you read, and what is their format and post frequency?
Blogging has matured a lot ever since I started this site on a free Blogger account, long before it was acquired by Google. While the general format of a blog remains the same, blogs became many things to many people – from marketing to journalism and anything in between. It is quite interesting how this medium has evolved, and how it now has to share it’s niche with social media and collaborative experiments like Medium (where you partly cede ownership of content you produce exchange for exposure and curation). We did not have microbloging, tumbleblogs and curated colaborations back when it all started.
What should be the purpose of a modern blog then? Is it to inform or to analyze? Should posts be bite-sized and accessible, or exhaustive and deep? I guess you pick whatever works for you and you run with it… But that’s not much of an answer.
I know that personally I love reading thoughtful and well researched essays or long form reviews. At the same time I also do see value shorter posts that simply touch upon an interesting topic without going into much depth. These sort of things can be thought provoking in their own way, as they provide a launch-board for discussions, or can inspire you to write something of our own.
In the last few months I have posted a few shorter pieces and most of them went over well, even though each time I felt like I was cheating by not providing more thoughtful analysis. Perhaps I shouldn’t though. Perhaps I should just tag these sort of posts as what they are, “short musings”, and post more of these as I work on longer and more organized and researched essays. I think I can manage to write few hundred word blurb whenever I just don’t have a few thousand word essay in me. This may actually make it possible for me to squeeze out more than one post a week without feeling guilty about post quality.
Also, fellow Americans, have a happy 4th! I was planning to post a picture of Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, like I do every year, but I’m kinda tired of that joke. Maybe next year.