The “what is the point” feeling happens to every blogger, and probably everybody who ever writes anything for any medium, at some point. I’ve had a major case of this over the last few years, and even took about a year-long break about two years ago. Facebook and Twitter pretty much stole blogging’s mojo over the last few years, in my opinion. And I do not view this as a positive, quite frankly, unlike the hundreds of millions of people who love those apps. Facebook is fine for sharing cute pictures of kids and pets, and funny or stupid videos, and the occasional interesting news story, but that’s about it. It’s pretty lame for anything else, and they change the f*cking thing every other day, and the UI sucks anyway. Twitter is OK for certain things, but 140 characters is not that many, as it turns out! And constantly worrying about how to uz shrthnd 2 fit the limit is often an exercise in frustration. I’m a blogger, I like blogging, it’s the right platform for me. Which is probably why I’ve blogged at like 9 different sites over the last 10 years, some of which are still alive if just barely.
Social media didn’t even exist in 2004, but now competes for our time and attention, and people only have so much time to waste. 😉 It redefined what people’s expectations were, and succeeded wildly, obviously. It’s more of a mass media than blogging ever would be, or ever could be. But this is typical for me – I like to go deeper on issues than the average person. I’m more analytical, I am interested in both the details and the big picture, I want information before I form solid opinions, I have no tolerance for b.s., and I seek both intellectual engagement and intellectual consistency.
So these days I blog for the benefit of search engines, mostly. But whatever, it’s for me too, and it’s important to understand that. Ultimately, you have to blog because you like it. As soon as you don’t, you stop. I could do more to promote myself and build more of a readership, but I don’t, because I just don’t care that much about it. It’s just one more blog, in a world filled with millions of ’em.
But here’s a bit of serendipity that makes me happy. A few years ago, C.G. Hill of Dustbury inspired me to write an essay that I called When cynicism is a virtue — and I get hits for that damn thing every day. Why so many people search for ‘cynicism’, I do not know, and that is an interesting question indeed. The essay is about how politicians treat the taxpayer with a level of cynicism we cannot even begin to comprehend, and how our only sensible response is to return the favor. Of course, as a larger world view, cynicism is not recommended, but with politics, cynicism == realism. It’s either that or get played for a damn fool by crooks who want my money, so I’ll take cynicism please for $500, Alex. And if I play a small role in waking up a few people every day to this sad but essential fact, then good. Mission accomplished.
So I’ll keep on blogging while I get something from it, and as time allows, and I’ll post and write about whatever pleases me, from Doris Day videos to sports to political polemics, and if hardly anybody reads it but search engines and a few Facebook and Twitter friends plus a few email subscribers, I’m fine with that. It’s just a blog.