In what must have yesterday been a thought-provoking SBL presentation, Mark Goodacre suggests that blogs are self-indulgent time wasters:
“It really is a waste of time to blog, to podcast, even to tweet if you are doing it for its own sake, to gain recognition or something like that. But if it’s something you enjoy, it does have its rewards.”
I tend to agree, though this makes me wonder why I’m not blogging nearly as much as I used to. I still enjoy it, after all.
It may have to do with something else Mark touches on, when he mentions the way e-lists peaked in the late ’90s. Blogging has likewise dropped significantly in the last few years, abandoned especially among the younger generation in favor of micro-blogging media like Twitter and Facebook. Recently I’ve lost some of the passion for blogging as I once lost it for e-lists like Crosstalk. Either I’ve been doing it too long, or it’s lost its luster, or — and I think this really has a lot to do with it — there’s a certain contagion effect. Many of the bibliobloggers who inspired me to start this blog aren’t blogging a third as much as they used to, and some not at all. That could just be part of the aforementioned trend, though Mark mentions the irony of an increase in biblioblogs which makes them harder to keep up and interact with.
As for enduring value, Mark is surely leaning on hyperbole when he says: “Blogs are ephemeral. Blog posts do not endure. Even if you keep a full archive of everything you have ever posted, the vast majority of your posts, the great bulk of activity, 99% of your output evaporates from consciousness. Here today, gone tomorrow.” I certainly retain a lot more than 1% of what bibliobloggers have put forth over the past seven years!