Nick Cernis in Rise of the Tablog:

The blog format has devolved. Once a simple gateway to self-publishing, today the blog format is responsible for a thousand tawdry tablogs: hideous half-breeds of tabloid and blog built around odeous content, cluttered site designs, and optimised for pageviews alone. To understand how it happened, it helps to see what changed when blogging moved from a pastime to a cottage industry — the same point, for me, when writing and reading blogs stopped being fun.

Putting this into perspective for myself, I used to blog. Every day. Before it was even called blogging or before I even had a “blog”. What I had was an “online journal”, that I wrote in Adobe CodeCrapSuite 0.9 and uploaded to the spinning platters hosted somewhere in the basement of the University of Minnesota Duluth. I didn’t know, and didn’t care to know, a stitch of HTML. My URL had a tilde in it. My server logs told me I had five readers, three of whom were probably me looking at my website from different computers.

From 2001 until 2005 I wrote nearly every day about whatever the heck I wanted to write about. It was cathartic, it was rewarding, but most of all it was fun. Then, starting around 2005 or 2006 it became “blogging”, it became a chore, and it subsequently stopped being fun. I haven’t been able to find a way to consistently and rewardingly write for pleasure ever since.

As interaction designers we create tools, and these tools impart a particular worldview that we ask our users to participate in. Sometimes, these tools actually take over the activity that the user wanted to conduct in the first place, and the tool, rather than the activity, becomes the focus.

As one, as a writer not a blogger, who got left behind in the great democratization of the internet and thusly lost his muse, for me this is a deeply personal issue. Writing is lovely and I believe the blogging format tacitly insults the worth of the author, and yet blogging is today’s assumed model for publishing online.

Just had to get all that out. I’m confused and emotional and my body is going through all these changes.

Advertisements