why don’t we write long blog posts anymore?

I started blogging in 2003, intensely personal and set to completely private. I thought that was what blogging was for: an online journal, diary, lists of daily experiences, woe-is-me’s, and small joys. I don’t remember being able to add photos or links, it was literally just an online personal notebook. In 2004 i discovered there were PUBLIC blogs–and WHOA, there were artists, there were TEXTILE artists out there who like me, wanted to record their journeys, their tests, their revelations, how to’s and failures, and their art, for everyone to see.

I would spend hours every day clicking on links–in those days we shared that, shared the work of people we admired, with no thought of jealousy or snark, long lists of blogs we each visited, links to strange things we liked. One of my favourites was “Corpses for Sale“, an artist who yes, made life like (death like??) corpses from latex and hardware supplies. (That was part of my body fascination in art phase ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Theย  site is pretty slick now and i guess disturbed people enough that a warning was posted on it: “WARNING: Displaying a corpse in public may break some County laws.”ย  HA.

I digress………

We posted samples of how we worked, we wrote actual tutorials, we traded art, we wrote long posts and added lots of pictures, bared our guts, and laughed at ourselves a lot. I remember being excited so often by what i saw, what people made, how they discovered things, how their artistic exploits evolved and expanded. We formed groups by dint of actual MAIL, real letters and packages, we created round robins and exchanges, we made art collaboratively and entered shows specifically for that, we solved problems for each other, we communicated almost every time we “visited”. Our best “communal platform” was Flickr, a Flickr that was a lot more user friendly in those days. We were interactive, wrote long “in response” posts of our own, did even more sharing of links and how to’s, and left thoughtful comments that were more than a “like” (or a troll response!).

So what happened? With few exceptions, most of us don’t do, act, think, or respond any more, do not inhabit our blogs the way we used to. (Guilty.) They’re drop shipping ports now: “Go to my Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, flavouroftheday platform”. (Guilty.) Or they are “monetized” now, supported by suppliers, links to quote affiliates unquote and advertising for spuriously related products. (By the way, any ads you see at the bottom of MY posts are completely out of my control, as i use WordPress’ free platform. They get put there automatically and i don’t even know what they are!)ย  Islands in the vast galactic sized ocean the net has become, with no other land in sight it feels. Some of us disappeared by choice, or sadly, died, some just faded away with no reaction or reason from themselves or their followers, some did abrupt turns and we left them behind because they no longer interested us. (Guilty.) Attention spans shortened drastically, “yeah but’s” appeared, “one up man ship” started distorting responses. (Guilty.)

So. Almost 17 years later (cause that calendar page is gonna flip again in 20 days and everything will be MAGIC again…), i want to go back to 2004 in a sense, and BE here. I may miss things, may not appeal, may flounder, flop and fail, but i’m going to try. Are you?




18 responses to “why don’t we write long blog posts anymore?

  1. Well written Arlee! And definitely something to ponder over. I miss those days of being able to send each other care packages in the mail – great (or maybe not so great!) additions to our component boxes, some of which I still have because they’re precious little bits I simply can’t bring myself to use and prefer instead to come across at unexpected moments. Postal rates have, alas, put a stop to a lot of our fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, yes! I still have some of those as well, that actually survived the “purge” of the recent move—-perhaps it’s time to dig those out and use them! A challenge? ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. I must say I miss it too. I haven’t written in my blog for ages, mostly because I haven’t made anything for ages. Frankly, I feel I’ve lost a bit of myself! Other things have taken over for a while. My blogs are still there, maybe I should try to find the rest of myself again in the New Year. I’d like to go back to the way fo 2004 too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay, that would be fantastic ๐Ÿ™‚ In some ways , i feel i lost myself too, and would really like to re-connect—-some of us *are* long gone and un-findable, but us Oldies could be together again!


  3. Oh Arlee i feel the same. Blogging has brought me so much, some of my best friends now. As the bloghost stopped we all transferred to Blogger but that didnt improve. Most of my most loved followers disapeard and without that interaction blogging became less fun. But…………i miss it. You give it a new start? Thats great. I’m gonna write a blogpost this evening and from that on, one post daylie for the rest of this year, see what happens.
    Arlee i love you……………..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that’s lovely, Martine, hugs!

      Don’t pressure yourself for every day though! Have fun with it, not Duty ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll still probably post only once a week or so, myself–gone are the days when i would post 4x daily!


  4. I agree with all you say, Arlee. For me, I too often feel that blogging is just adding to the clamour. I find myself repeating things I had said years ago. Blogging has come to be a duty, a commercial enterprise, an invitation to spammers. But like you, I wish I was excited by my blog the way I was back in 2006. I don’t know how to get there, but “Blog more” is always on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a bit ambivalent about blogging “adding to the clamour”—i think FB is just that, though i do enjoy the links, groups and news people share there. I find IG quite calming, despite some of the dubious work or claims posted, but blogging to me has always felt like coming home. You know what kind of noise level you’ll have to deal with, it feels the same, it smells the same ๐Ÿ™‚ At the same time, the monetization of really popular blogs turns me right off–that’s another reason i’m going to be more careful of my shop updates–i don’t as i said want it to be just a drop ship portal! Blogging for me in the beginning was a way of meeting people–and you’re one of them :)–building relationships however “ephemeral” they may be in “reality”, by revealing more of personality and process. I’d like to go back to that, rather than umpteen FB posts where people become attention whores for all the tribulations of life that WE ALL face. (Guilty ๐Ÿ™‚ )


  5. Iโ€™m reading, nodding in agreement. Thinking about what to do about my blog as well. Considering the blogs I follow, FB โ€˜friendsโ€™ and IG. Iโ€™ve been a bit of a lurker and liker over the past (difficult) year or so but feel the need to come to the surface again . . . but where and to what? There are only a few blogs on my list now and I think theyโ€™re all people who continually go deeper in their work, who focus on the concept and the skills required, who are generous with the how and why of it and share some of themselves. FB has become a stream of memes, politics, self promotion, and ads so I spend very little time there . . . some groups Iโ€™m interested in. IG posts are so curated that I wonder about that too although Iโ€™ve discovered some fascinating work . . . itโ€™s a bit like going to a gallery for a few minutes without having to leave the house . . .
    Hmmm . . . thereโ€™s a blog post here. I used to blog more about my thoughts, the occasional rant. I started mine a bit later but yes . . . there was a feeling of community there. Iโ€™m with you for 2020 . . . more exploration, more work, more blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point about IG! You never see the failures, rarely the process, just artfully staged shots (Guilty ๐Ÿ™‚ ), but i’ve discovered like you some phenomenal work–some blog, some blog sporadically and some have barely any other web presence. It’s hard to get to know someone from the weekly photo shoot!


  6. Hi Arlee,I tried to comment to your last blog re: blogging … and couldn’t m! …have no damned idea what to do or how to remedy it.I, too, have wondered how to get back to that time when we were in contact and sharing with so many fellow fibre artist ..miss that a lot !I would gladly follow your followers if it meant we could have a blogging revival !Sharron

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, somehow it worked ๐Ÿ™‚

      I think part of the problem with the blogs now is that the firstly people don’t comment now, or as much at least, because the platforms make it difficult to “sign in”–as you found!–and secondly, people are so used to either hitting a “like” button, or just reading the info and taking what they like from it, with no thought of thank you’s in any form, whether a word or an actual question/thought, that comments fall off.

      Let’s make it a better Thing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. (((Arlee))) I have been online since 1998 in various permutations, my first website was built in iVillage on dial up in 2002, it would take half an hour to load the tiniest of jpgs but after a year they wanted to charge people money to use it so I let it go & built a website with Freeway software in 2003 which was great until my webhost in Montreal pulled the plug, these days I love blogging & enjoy reading blogs where people share their processes, so good to see that you will be continuing to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW! I think that was about the time i said to my son when he requested to get a computer “WHY??? So i can store recipes on it???” ๐Ÿ™‚ Little did i know…….
      I used to joke too that the only way i knew how to turn a computer on, was to rub my body on it, snort.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I will devour whatever you write. Your generosity inspires me to overcome my fear of speaking (writing). I think of “Only connect . . . . Live in fragments no longer.” (E.M. Forster).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve come to your blog via Threadpainter with whom I’ve been in blogging contact for sometime.

    I agree absolutely with what you (and all those commenting) say. I’ve been blogging since 2012 (a mere novice compared with many here!). During that time, I’ve often found it enormously helpful.

    Like so many, I am also on Instagram where I post and where I follow lots of artists, both though only in fits and starts. To me this is always just eye candy – fun and occasionally uplifting and inspiring – but it doesn’t give the depth of thought I’ve found through blogging in the past.

    I enjoy writing and find the process of it all helps me to formulate thoughts and work through problems. In the early days, I formed links with other bloggers that over time I’ve found most supportive and encouraging. A few of these early blogging friends do still comment and the contact with them is always appreciated. One much-appreciated regular has provided kindly criticism and particularly useful advice that I’ve found invaluable over the years. However, I too, have noticed that the number of comments from less frequent posters has dropped markedly.

    There are names I already recognise here, but I will be looking up all those who have taken the trouble to post in response. Perhaps between us we will start a revolution and that this will encourage me to blog more often. I truly hope so!

    Thank you Arlee for trying to stimulate debate and contact (and Sharron for directing me here).


    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit, i’ve been a lousy, even non-existent commenter on *your* blog! Shame on me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Like you, i find blogging very handy for thoughts and process development, but over the last couple of years, have been doing most of that on my private work blog, because i thought no one was interested anymore! It’s a constant battle now to engage people past the almost obligatory “like”, (is it attention span, actual dis-interest or over stimulation because we see so much elsewhere, faster?) rather than a thought or a sharing of info, so it’s refreshing to see this from you. Even when sharing information, i find huge hits on one particular post, but never a comment on it about what i’ve shared, no questions, NADA ZIP ZILCH.

      Thank you–and i will do better too ๐Ÿ™‚


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