Thursday, April 11, 2013

Is Facebook Killing Your Blog?

Or is Instagram?
Or is [insert alternate social media platform here]?
Follow up question:  Or, is Facebook (et al) just killing the comments to your blog? 

Would love to hear your thoughts.  My sister and I got into a discussion about this a couple of months ago.  Also, I gave up Facebook for Lent this year, which was a nice reprieve and an eye opening experience in some ways.  Here are some bullet points from my brain:
  • It is so much easier to comment (or click 'Like') on Facebook than it is to leave a comment on most blogs that I think most people have gotten used to the ease of Facebook (and Instagram, etc.), so now leaving a blog comment feels like a huge pain with all those indecipherable code words to type to prove that you're not a spamming robot.  (Hilarious when you think about it.  Oh, how times have changed.  How did we all survive when communication involved stamps and dialing?)
  • I do not think that blogs in general are a dying breed, but watching blogs I have loved over the years come and go, it seems that those of the true "mommy blog" variety are the most likely victims.  I think this is because posting pictures to Facebook (et al.) is so quick and easy, as is writing one liners like, "Georgia lost her first tooth!", so a lot of former mommy bloggers (circa 2005-2010) have moved on to just posting everything on Facebook.  Blogs with additional content or narrative seem more likely to still exist.  
    • Exception to this:  Die hards like me who for whatever reason just feel committed to keep going with what I've started.  There are a few reasons I prefer to keep up with the blog that I can think of right now:  (1) I like having one chronological record for our family -- this is like our ongoing scrapbook, (2) I like the fact that I can print the blog in book form, and (3) My big mouth and over-sharing of pictures.  If I feel like writing for pages or paragraphs instead of just something of Tweet length (not that I'm on Twitter...), or if I feel like posting 50 pictures instead of 5, then I can do so without feeling bad about it.  This is because anyone looking at this blog sort of chose to come here, whereas with Facebook, I feel like whatever I post is getting put in everyone's faces.  (Not that they don't have a choice in the matter to unfollow or 'hide' or whatever the "you're annoying me go away!" terminology du jour is, but still, in my view there is a certain etiquette that should be observed when using other forms of social media that I don't worry about with the blog.)
  • Another thought regarding family blogs is that it may have a bit to do with the children aging.  First, as Beth pointed out, there's the simple fact that recording the family's fifth trip to the apple orchard may not feel as critical as capturing the first four did.  Second, as my friend Heather, (who recently realized while trying to compile a photo calendar that she had taken no photos of her children during the entire month of October), pointed out, older children do not change (physically, maturity-wise, or otherwise) as rapidly as wee ones.  Her eleven year old seemed roughly the same to her in November as he did in September, whereas at Waylon's age huge developmental milestones and physical changes may have occurred during that time span.  Third, for some bloggers, depending on how much of their family's lives they had been sharing online in the first place, they may no longer feel comfortable for privacy reasons discussing intimate details about their children as they get older.  (This applies to me with Georgia I would say.  Something about turning five, I guess.  I still share a lot and try to paint a relatively accurate portrait of our lives, but I hope all readers know there's probably more to any blog that is left out than is included.)  I have felt shocked to hear of impending divorces of bloggers I thought I knew so well, and thought were living in happy-marriage-bliss-ville, which just goes to show that even the most open book blogs, well, aren't.  [Note: OMG, no this is not some kind of secret message foreshadowing.  To my knowledge Joe and I are not getting divorced.  That was just an example!]  
Okay, that was all.  I know it's a pain to comment, but if you have thoughts on this subject please chime in, because I love it whenever anybody does.  In summation:  it sure would be nice if Blogger would see fit to update their comment-leaving doo hickey.

Also, if you are my blogging friend, please do not stop blogging, because I so enjoy reading your blogs much more than Facebook.

Okay, bye.  I have to go check the book of the face now.  Something may have happened in the last five minutes.       

16 comments:

Susan said...

I think you're right about it being the more personal types of blogs that are the dying breed. It's almost like it was a fad and then people moved on to other things. I still keep up with a LOT of blogs, but very few are friends and most of them are actually run as either part of (or their entire) business (mostly interior design). I personally got bored with my own blog...it was super fun at first and I really enjoyed it, then it became more of a drag, and then just boring. I kept it strong for over 5 years though! And, I STILL want to go back and blog that last year in NYC, because like you said, it served as a scrapbook for my years there and now it's just incomplete.

Frances said...

I think it is harder to write blog posts and harder for people to read longer posts. Instagram and Facebook are so much easier to post to and to read. But I do think it's good to have long form writing online.

TomT said...

OMG! Don't even THINK about not blogging!!! I will become a COMMENTING MACHINE!

TomT said...

PS I am not a robot.

Andy said...

I actually got into blogging after FB. The latter used to have a "Notes" feature (maybe it still does?), but few people do much reading, much less writing, on FB. I prefer blogs for better editing of photos and narratives about something more than the typical "Hey look at me!" FB post.
I also agree with the scrapbook comment. Ever since FB stock went public, it's just gotten worse: more and more intrusive ads, quirky algorithms for who/what shows up in my news feed, etc. etc. I'm glad for the straightforward organization of blogs. FB is good for blog exposure, and that's about it. Sure wish they were better integrated (e.g., FB comments could automatically show in your blog).

Ann said...

Okay...my thoughts are pretty similar here except that I'm not sure I ever had too many comments to begin with. So maybe Facebook isn't my problem when it comes to the feedback I get on my blog. I really love blogging for many of the reasons you mention. It's my journal, my scrapbook, and it allows me to narrate the life we are living when photos alone can't do it justice. I suppose I often think of FB as my immediate update place and the blog is for more reflective writing/updating. But that said, I throw a lot of content up on FB and some of it is good and a lot of it is just filler. Stuff I am goofing off in the moment and want to post. So your observation is a good point that FB could be more "in your face" whereas the blog is something people really have to seek out. I hope I'm not too annoying with it, but then I like that FB has lots of settings and controls for people who like me, but don't "like" me. And for anyone who still reads my blog, please know that comments are delightful. I truly don't expect them, but they are wonderful to get. Here's to more comments!

Mindy said...

Even though we are leaving the blog game for now (who knows, I might miss it!), I ADORE other people's blogs, so I am happy that you are so committed!

I wonder if you and I read some of the same blogs because in the last 1-2 years there have been at least three announced separations/divorces that left me totally stunned with no idea they were coming.

Kate said...

Just to clarify in case of any confusion, I didn't mean to sound as if I'm lamenting a lack of comments, although they are super fun to receive! In some ways FB has trained me to want that instant feedback more I suppose.

I think it's all related, though. The ease of posting on FB is probably killing people's blogging mojo to begin with, and then the lack of instant gratification in the form of comments may just be the straw breaking the camel's back, so to speak.

P.S. I don't think you're annoying on FB, Ann. I really like you like you, I do. : )

P.P.S. Tom, you are the 2012 Commenter of the Year, you know!

jessica said...

If I'm going to keep up with you all online then I much prefer the blog format. Sometimes FB makes me feel like I just ate too much candy, but blog reading feels like a balanced meal. Weird analogy. But I definitely have to be in a "blogging" mood to sit down and write a blog post which is why my own personal blog has turned into more pictures than words. I do agree that commenting on blogs can be a pain in the ass.

Teresa said...

I love reading your blog even though I don't know you in real life or FB! (As I think I said in probably my only previous comment, I'm not even sure how I came across it... maybe we have a mutual friend?) I agree with your assessment and don't really have much to add. Just wanted to say that's it's fun reading stories - not just isolated sentences or pictures - from someone in a similar life situation (my husband and I are both attorneys, and I became a SAHM after being laid off/fired after kid number two. We also have three kids - two boys and a girl, and the oldest seems very similar in temperament to your oldest). I also just enjoy reading your writing. Thanks!

Emily said...

I would comment more if I didn't have to prove that I was a robot. I'm only a lurker on FB so I very rarely comment there, even though it's easier.

Did you pick a place to move? Find a house? Want to live in my basement?

Sarah said...

Agreed and agreed. I much prefer blogging for the same reasons - having my own archives, being able to tell a story (or get on my soap box), and allowing people the option to step into my world or keep on going. I will probably do this for as long as we are separated from family (which, could be a looooonnnngggg time) and I would say my in-laws are my biggest blog fans, though their comments are always over the phone :).

My siblings seem to rely on iphoto stream now, which is even less detailed than fb. I want a conversation, even it if is one-way!

So I enjoy the blogs too and wish more people would blog. It's so much more interesting.

Definitely keep 'em coming!

btw, I think the google robot detection has become a little less trying. It used to take me several tries, and I know I'm not the only one whose comments got lost in cyberspace for that reason. It seems better now, no?

TomT said...

YEAH!!! Commenter of the Year!

TomT said...

Have I commented yet today?? Love pix of your family!!

katandkarl said...

Look at all these comments. ;)

I have MUCH to say on the subject. I adore all the social medias but I don't know if I will be able to ever truly give up my blog. I am stubborn.

That being said, lately, carving out time to sit down and write a true, honest and accurate post that is up to my PUBLISH standards seems to take HOURS (ask me what stage of draft my most recent Nora Kate post is - I've been working on it for a month! It's not even accurate anymore!).

And, like you pointed out, as the kiddos get older it's harder and harder to decide what/how much to share and sometimes just a quick snapshot on the Book Face seems easier.

katandkarl said...

Ok. Also, I've come back to make one more (very important) statement! The FB and the IG - GEARED toward mobile and phone pics and on the go. You can do it at the park, right?

The blogging = real camera + computer. (Which, in first world problem world = SO TAXING.) :)