Apparently blogging is going the way of the analogue phone, the mangle, the iron. It is not the uber coolest in school any more the way it was in 1995. Its allure is fading like bell bottom jeans, snaking the line from must-have-item back to what-the-hell-was-I-thinking? irrelevance and derision.
Well, okay, maybe things are not that bad. But it certainly does feel like there is not the warm fuzziness that there once was with blogging, where there seemed to be more of a community spirit. But maybe that's just my personal perception. Blogging has changed for me, too.
I partly blame professionalisation. With every new article about 10 Ways to Bring Traffic to Your Blog and tips on smartening it up with SEO, the lustre has gone down a notch and the self-consciousness has risen. Who am I to say these things? Is this not self-indulgent twaddle? With every company that's started up a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account, the blogosphere gets a new pimple on its arse and a little bit of fun goes out of everything.
Blogging has gone from something that people do to express themselves, to something people do to be seen, to display their brand, to Get Ahead.
The word "brand" is not only dirty to me, it's boring, tedious and soul-diminishing.
I'm not at all immune to the whole "your blog is your persona to the world. What if an editor somehow clicks through to your blog and the post they come upon is some hastily scrabbled-together mess, and then you lose out?" dictums for a professionalised blogspace. And I'm also not immune to thinking, "Oh, that post didn't get as much reaction as the one before. Maybe I should take it down. How is the world going to see me if I have this post up here?" But then again, even though I do grapple with those things, it's all ultimately - yawn. Are there not enough things to hang my anxiety hat on throughout the day without worrying about things like that? Do I really want to Get Ahead that much? (Yes. When it comes to writing, yes, I do. Unfortunately.) Do I want to do it in a straightjacket? (No. Or at least not one that comes from excessive worrying about my "platform", or turning my platform from something that's fun to something that's Furthering My Career.)
And one more thing - I feel disturbed transcribing court cases as I do which involve family breakups and divorce how much focus there is on having professionals give evidence over non-professionals, the dweebs, the losers who don't know anything because they haven't got bits of papers and accreditations under their belts. So the focus is on psychologists and family report writers, professionals who may only see these people for relatively short periods of time considering the seriousness of what is at stake, but their evidence is given uber weight simply because they are professional and understand the court system. There is something very out of balance there, to me.