They Come and They Go: Blogs

Recently I have been checking links on this blog and on our main web sites with a view to updating the material we have posted online β€” a huge task in itself, but necessary from time to time. I have been struck by the number of blogs that vanish into the ether, either because the writer has grown tired or bored or moved onto other media. The ephemerality of the blog is something I ponder often. Is it worth devoting time and thought to so transient a form of writing? I have tended to answer my own question in the affirmative on the grounds that a blog can be linked to current events and allow for discussion in a way that no other medium currently does. The reader can read if and when he wants; he can comment if and when he wants; errors of fact or interpretation can be corrected quickly and efficiently; and unless the blog is behind a paywall, all this can be done at the writer’s expense*. The downside is that the writer is under an obligation to make every word count. There is no room for padding in a blog, or for a discursive approach to a subject β€” not because the reader’s attention span is short (though it may be) but because the modesty of the blogger’s enterprise means that he or she cannot claim too much of anyone’s time. I look back on some of the blogs I or readers have linked to in iBenedictines with gratitude and sometimes regret. It is many years since Wired predicted the death of the blog. I wonder whether those of us who still practise the craft are the Luddites of the digital world or whether we’ll see a renascence in due season. I rather hope we may.

*or, in my case, that of the community, who pay for the hosting and Broadband service, etc.


17 thoughts on “They Come and They Go: Blogs”

  1. Keep on blogging… “Have Courage. Do not be afraid….. for I am with you….”. One of my favourite of Jesus’s sayings, and often much needed…..

  2. David Pocklington and I blog in a very niche area: law and religion. Without wishing to claim too much for the exercise, what we can provide that the legal journals cannot is immediacy. Academic publishing is unbelievably s-l-o-w; and in a field like law, where yesterday’s received wisdom can be overturned in an instant by a new ruling from the Supreme Court, keeping up to date is critical.

    We’re far from perfect and we sometimes get things wrong (and readers soon tell us if we do); but if one of the major blogs in our field – Religion Clause, Law and Religion Australia and Religion-Weltanschauung-Recht – were to close down tomorrow, it would leave a gaping hole that the journals just couldn’t fill.

    So yes: we’re fellow-Luddites. And I reckon that until formal academic publishing becomes much quicker – and free (fat chance) – there’ll still be a place for blogging.

  3. I feel luddites are very much misunderstood. Don’t forget, they were master craftsmen who took pride in their work, and were understandably miffed when (as they saw it) unskilled labourers were undercutting their livelyhood.
    People still appreciate master craftsmen!

  4. Please don’t stop….with a blog I can take a glance, decide to read or come back later or not. That’s the beauty of the written word.

    It’s a bit like food: I don’t have to eat a whole plate of food before deciding that I like it or find that it gives me indigestion.

    On-line media seems to be over-run by video clips, but I can’t scan a video clip to see if I want more. It’s all or nothing.

    So, in rambling conclusion….thank you.

  5. I love your blog, I read your prayers first thing in the morning and I find it very insightful often hearing about world events that are often not on our news (unless I’ve had a bad night and the world service has kept me company) also I actually trust your blog, after reading some Catholic blogs that either leave me speechless, scratching my head and in some cases downright scared. Thank you.

  6. This world would be a worse place without your blog and the highly relevant views expressed in it. Your sincerity, magnanimity and spiritual respect for humanity combined with the calmness of your views on the human condition are without equal. You are loved by your followers.

  7. Thank heavens for Luddites! Yours is the one blog I continue to follow faithfully, in a slow and regretful retreat from the blogosphere. My own little effort remains open, but sadly neglected: silenced by self-doubt, growing unease about the size of the internet’s reach, and other calls on my time. I do hope, with you, that there may be a resurgence or rediscovery of the world of blogging: it was a warm and delightful home while it lasted.

  8. A blog after my own heart! Just this week I’ve been trying to find out about a boat I’m tempted to buy, and 5 google search pages down I found the perfect blog from someone who owned one, sailed it extensively, and shared his knowledge. It stops 6 years ago, and I wonder why. It only had a couple of hundred hits, but I’m so grateful he wrote it and it’s there in the ether, because I’ve learned so much from it. So yes, it is worth it.

    May you long continue with your thought-provoking messages. And isn’t it nice to know people may stumble across them many years from now and find help and comfort.

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