Hey guys, you remember blogs? Man, those were great. I miss them.
Because earlier this morning in the process of cleaning out a bunch of old folders in the dusty and cobwebbed corners of my hard drive, I came across a folder containing my user archive for a long-forgotten web browser. Based on the contents, I think it was created two computers ago–probably when I got the computer that my current computer (which is itself several years old, and about to be replaced) replaced, and just copied all of my user data and files over from the old box so as to make sure I didn’t lose any of the obviously vital information that I apparently didn’t look at again until today. Anyway, I started clicking through the folder, and found a sub-folder containing a great big long list of bookmarks–sites that, 5-7 years ago I visited regularly. Most of it was blogs–holy smokes the blogs. Blogs from the days when Blogger was just exploding, and every family in the ward, every old high school friend, and every bored office dweller with too little to do was creating a blog, posting some pictures, and feeling like the king of the internet because that one post got like, I swear, 9 comments, and none were from your mom.
I used to visit these blogs all the time. I thought they were important! They were maintained by people who thought they were important, too. As I eyeballed the URLs on the text file, I felt a twinge of shame(?) upon the realization that the last time I visited that site was also the last time I thought about the author, and what that says about me as a person. I don’t actually know what it says–I just know that I thought about what it says, and I felt ashamed.
So, in an effort to assuage my unexpected guilt at not paying attention to people I once paid attention to, I pasted URL after URL into my browser, which is something that I really shouldn’t have done, because it just made me even sadder when I discovered that almost all of the sites were gone. Some of them were technically still there, but had not been updated for several years. But most were literally gone, and they’re never coming back.
I know they’re never coming back, because my old personal blog is one of them. So is the one that my wife kept for our family. And the one that my siblings and parents kept for a few years. All gone, forever.
It was just slightly over 5 years ago that I was asked to blog here at BCC. I had a lot of energy back in those days, and my posts were almost always well-received. I loved interacting with people, exploring new topics, trolling people, and fighting with people who trolled me. That has all been on the front end of the blog, though. Behind the scenes, I’ve participated in probably hundreds of conversations–over email, on the phone, and via chat–about how to improve BCC. Sometimes, these conversations involved all of the permabloggers. More frequently, though, these have been discussions between myself and Steve Evans. We have talked about reaching new audiences, about finding new writers, about adapting to a changing internet landscape, and of course about dealing with the trajectory of the bloggernacle.
At some point, about two years ago, I ran out of steam, and discovered that I had lost all interest in talking about Mormonism online. I withdrew from this community entirely, and didn’t visit the site–or any other LDS-themed blog/forum for over a year. A vacation with Aaron and Ronan in England last Spring stoked the fires of interest somewhat, and I resolved to giving BCC another whirl. Upon returning, however, two things happened. First, I found that I am basically incapable of writing a coherent a block of text longer than 140 characters. The rambling, disjointed nature of this post is evidence of this.
It takes so much effort. Ugggghhhhhhhh.
And second, I don’t know anyone anymore. Just like those sites that I used to visit and think were great and important have all disappeared, so have a lot of the commenters and cobloggers that I used to know and love and look forward to reading from. And, like those websites, they’re not coming back, either. Maybe some of them will pop in for bit from time to time, but they’re not coming back–not really. And of course, most of you don’t know me, either. That’s too bad, because I am pretty great, and you’d love me if you knew me. Read my old posts if you don’t believe me.
I always maintained in all the discussions about how to help BCC grow and prosper that Facebook is the great blog-killer. It’s a killer because it panders to our most lazy inner selves. It provides new “posts” every minute of every day, without having to visit multiple sites. It allows would-be authors or bloggers to barf out the idea–raw and undeveloped–onto your timeline instead of cultivating and expanding the thought into a more mature blog post. Most importantly, it killed commenting on blogs, because it’s so much easier to just “Like” things.
Liking something is so much easier than typing out “Nice post” on a blog.
Is there a point to this blog post? No, there is not. I just really wanted to say that.