Bloggernacle Death Knell

Every once in a while, some false prophet declares that the Bloggernacle is dead.

I should know — I’ve made such pronouncements myself (cf. multiple posts bemoaning the end of the Nacle’s golden age).

Such pronouncements are, of course, utter tripe. Let’s dive into some navel-gazing, shall we?

First, the Bloggernacle has never represented a static entity. You can point to roadmarks during the past 5-6 years as indicators of a high water mark, I suppose — and let the speculation begin in that regard. The founding of the MA? Steve’s Zeitcast? The departure of JMW? The possible events abound — but when all is said and done, the Bloggernacle has never been a finished product or anything other than a bunch of lawyers, intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals voicing their beefs, and as such we cannot speak as to any real birthdate or, for that matter, time of death.

Second, the Bloggernacle (such as it is) is far from dead. Readership of the blogs, from what statistics I can glean, has been progressing at a relatively constant pace, with no sign of real decline or slowdown. Posts, and mega-threads, come at regular intervals. Liberals still hate God and Conservatives still hate rainbows and puppy dogs.

So why, then, do we feel sometimes that the Bloggernacle is dying or that we’re past our peak? Let me make some suggestions.

  • Our favorite bloggers haven’t posted in a while. Sure, if my standard were Greg Call, I’d say the Nacle died in 2003. Bloggers are people with real lives. Some of them take vacations and –gasp– don’t blog for a while! People move on. But don’t conflate the disappearance of individual personalities with the demise of the collective.
  • Our favorite blogs have imploded. See above, mostly. Blogging is not some everlasting covenant. People get bored and move on. If some blogs die, resurrect in some unholy ritual then live some kind of zombie half-existence, that’s no reason to say the sky is falling.
  • We’re not feeling it anymore. Hey, it happens. No single activity, outside of the Nintendo Wii, can occupy our attention 24/7. It’s natural to get out of rhythm, to feel disenchanted, to think the magic is gone. Well, boo. Guess what — it’s probably just in your head. If you look at the world around you, including the cyber-world, you’ll see tons of people out there ready to interact, participate and share. Spare us the anguish of transposing your mid-blog crisis on the rest of us.

I’m mostly speaking to myself here, as a kind of reality check. Every once in a while it is good to take a step back, evaluate yourself and think about where the future is leading. Will the Bloggernacle die? Who knows. Probably. Is it dead? No.

Now, let’s suck it up and get blogging. Didn’t Ronan just post about how he is really the Ancient of Days? I swear I just read that somewhere…


  1. Steve Evans says:

    I should add — we’ve made some minor improvements around here. You may notice some acronyms are underlined; mouse over them and you’ll see what they mean. No more confusion about TOTAL Nathan, the YM, BY, the KFD, or WYSIWYG.

  2. I imagine that everyone who has participated in the community for an extended period of time has experienced a personal dynamic. Things do change, and perhaps there is some nostalgia for yesteryear; but, it seems to me that things are as “good” as ever. I am consistently impressed by some of the content offered.

  3. If you’re going to do the mouse-over thing, get it right. TOTAL Nathan = “The Only True And Living” Nathan, which spells “TOTAL.” “True and only living” spells “TAOL.”

  4. As far as I’m concerned, the Bloggernacle died when Lyle, aka Lile, aka L’ile, stopped commenting. Without Lyle, all is meaningless.

    “Brent’s” departure (ejection?) from BCC commenting was also an ominous moment. And where is Kingsley?

    But seriously, your comment that “Our favorite bloggers haven’t posted in a while” is a transparent acknowledgement of the fact that my own participation, or lack thereof, perfectly correlates with widespread public interest or disinterest in all things Naclish. I appreciate your belated recognition of my crucial, central place in the pantheon of Blog-Deities, and I accept your veiled plea to once again grace the Web with my presence and bring back joy and meaning into the lives of millions.

    Aaron B

  5. Steve Evans says:

    AB, at some point in time the boundary between yourself and your Prudence McPrude persona became awfully fuzzy. Perhaps that was the death knell.

  6. Ben Shafer says:

    Neat! BoM does that work? Any way. I would agree that it the nacle is not dead. People on the blogs do have aother lives. Thier participation sometimes depends largely on when the IT guy notices time spent on X website and blocks X website.

  7. Come on, Steve. If you’re going to posit end-dates for the Golden Age, there are really only seven genuine possibilities:

    1. DKL got banned from Times and Seasons
    2. Banner of Heaven starts
    3. Banner of Heaven ends
    4. M* considers having DKL guest-post out of pity after BoH fiasco (this was the end of M* as we know it for sure, even if it wasn’t the end of the nacle).
    5. DKL starts LDSelect
    6. DKL ban lifted at Times and Seasons
    7. DKL involved with new startup blog

    And what ever happened to that Mark Butler guy, anyway?

  8. Steve Evans says:

    LOL, DKL — you gotta hang out more.

  9. While I won’t argue with the fact that rainbows are a complete waste of time, I do like puppy dogs.

    On a more serious note, I think there will be an LDS blogging community for a long time. Whether LDS bloggers will favor or disfavor the term “bloggernacle” or will want to define themselves as such may not really matter.

    I think that a lot of bloggers get to a point where they cease to go outside their own blogs. No Steve, I’m not aiming this at you. There are a lot of campers in the ‘Nacle. That’s just the way it is.

    Also, Ronan spelled backwards is Nanor.

  10. I think Lyle shipped to Iraq with his Guard unit. So perhaps he can’t comment because he’s busy bringing the hammer down on the fedayeen.

    Kingsley has no excuse.

  11. If we’re going to blame the death of the Bloggernacle on the absence of a specific commenter, then it’s all Kingsley’s fault.

  12. As long as you keep putting things like “The History of the Bra” on your sidebar, the Bloggernacle will never die.

  13. Who are these pseudo-intellectuals of whom you speak?

  14. After #4 and #7, all we need is Steve EM sharing his past transgressions just one more time to cap this one off as HemorrhoidCon 2007:The End of the BloggerNackhole.

  15. We’re not feeling it anymore. Hey, it happens. No single activity, outside of the Nintendo Wii, can occupy our attention 24/7.

    If everyone on the bloggernacle would make sure their sites are Wii-browser compatible, I could read them between sessions of Wario Ware with my daughter.

  16. jjohnsen, Wario Ware is the finest game ever. I hear they are putting Wiis into temples now, and that’s why they are all in white.

  17. Tim,
    An early Carnival present from Vienna. I got that link from a professional Ancient Near East email-list. It’s scho-lur-ly man.

    The Bloggernacle is alive and well. Observe how this throwaway post from Evans garners a tonne of comments, drowning out the erudition (yawn, yawn) below.

  18. Greg Call says:

    Wow, you guys are still talking about Mormon stuff? Move ON, man.

  19. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    …when all is said and done, the Bloggernacle has never been a finished product or anything other than a bunch of lawyers, intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals voicing their beefs…

    Oh, the Bloggernacle is more than that. Don’t forget blogs like Mormon Mommy Wars or Tales from the Crib, two of my favorites. The women at MMW and TftC are amazing and awesome and have great things to say on a variety of topics but I don’t think the discussions of vomit and other excreta are lawerly, intellectual or psuedo-intellectual. ;) And there are other blogs, smaller ones, like mine that mostly exist to communicate with the Bloggernacle.

  20. Steve Evans says:

    PDoE, a huge omission on my part. You are absolutely right to mention those blogs. I do think that one of the evolutionary changes we’re seeing in the Bloggernacle is the advent of new voices, everyday stories and more general participation. The early adopters were the geeks and fringe intellectuals – the mainstays, for lack of a better term – are starting now to discover things for themselves.

    One of the problems that I guess is implicit in my post is the problem of recurring themes. What do you do when you feel that a topic has “been done to death?” This is a particular problem when new readership comes on that hasn’t had the chance to shake out the finer points of SSM, Blacks and the priesthood, etc. I would suggest that a true blog is by nature responsive to context, and as those issues arise in the media and elsewhere that any good blog would revisit the themes, as well as link, hopefully, to past iterations.

  21. I’m fascinated to see Snarkernacle’s take on this post. ;)

  22. I was hoping she was being sarcastic.

  23. Steve, is this post a response to Jettboy’s post The Bloggernacle Dilemma at Straight and Narrow?

  24. Steve Evans says:

    Dave, never heard of it.

    I suppose it’s at least in part spurred by similar themes.

  25. I’ve got to say that there has been a real lack of fondue comments recently. This has made the bloggernacle and much less inviting place for me and others that just can’t get enough fondue.

  26. Ambiguous Ben says:

    a random John,

    what about the nacles supply of crackers for all that fondue?

  27. There’s a neverending supply of crackers in the ‘Nacle.

    Shouldn’t ever be a problem, I’d say.

  28. It would’ve been funny had no one replied to this thread.

  29. Lol, Susan! Crickets. I hear crickets…

    So Ronan, what’s a good Mormon do for Fasching in Austria?

  30. Steve Evans says:

    p.s. anyone who really believes the Bloggernacle has nothing interesting to say should look at Russell’s recent post on Mitt Romney at T&S.

  31. This thread is interesting as just last week, I was reminising with some of my fellow geeks about the monochrome glory days of the Internet. You know, the good old days when you had to at least have a rudimentary knowledge of *nix and TCP/IP to do anything. Telnet, gopher, archie, jughead, veronica, FTP, etcetera! I remember bemoaning the end of the Internet when commercial ISPs popped up. I also remember online personalities that would appear suddenly and then disappear just as suddenly, usually on a BBS.

    I suspect that is similar to what you smart people are going through now.

  32. I think ya’ll (authors and responders) are great! Please keep up the diversions! I hate to admit agreeing with Aaron B, but I would love to have more proportional participation from the guy (with his biting wit, cynicism, etc.). But he is, of course, free to exercise his free or (im)moral or whatever type of agency we call it these days.

  33. I just want to add that I don’t believe the “Bloggernacle” is dying. When I wrote this blog entry I specifically tried to avoid that kind of language. True, it could be implied by what I said. That was not my intention.

    What I was doing was expressing my personal observation. One that I have heard from others. What I don’t believe is that any of this is going to just go away. There are too many people still active and interested. There is, I believe, a change that is hard to explain. Perhaps the whole thing is subjective to the blogs the reader pays attention to.

    Oh, and there just isn’t enough fondu anywhere. when was the last time YOU had some?

  34. It seems to me that the Bloggernacle is growing, but it is mainly growing ‘out’ instead of ‘up’ which leads to a thinning down. As we spread out accross the internet, the sense of community naturally will diminish as a whole. It feels to me like there is a type of congregating going on that looks a bit like wards and stakes but with group blogs instead. With less and less interaction between ‘stakes’. I think this may be a natural thing to happen.

  35. Maybe it’s time to start talking about Bloggernacle 2.0

  36. Jon in Austin says:

    AJAX and the Bloggernacle, nothing can prevent the two from taking over the world! (Though AJAX has a good head start with Google Earth…)

  37. Mark IV: Who are these pseudo-intellectuals of whom you speak?

    Mostly just me.

  38. How can you talk about it dying when I just found it? (Why am I always the last one to find the party?)

    BTW DKL, loved your review of Krakauer’s book. Is there any way we can send it to him? And, just curious, why are you “son of perdition?” Does this mean I should stop reading your comments?