Nobody reads blogs anymore!– Everybody on the web
Not true. Fewer people write or read blogs than some years back, but… stay with me.
First off, I like writing.
I even wrote a few novels and short stories, but that was another life.
Writing feels liberating to me because it helps getting messy ideas off my head and turning them into a more useful form. It’s like taking a weight off my brain and refining ideas at the same time.
Writing also allows me to understand things. It’s a very useful exercise, especially when complemented with other tools like the 5 whys or by dividing a complex item into smaller, simpler parts.
Writing frees ideas from the cage that is our brain.– Me
This is so true that some of the blog posts that I start writing are never published because the idea or thought behind them turns out to be too stupid, uninteresting or just plain wrong. If I don’t start writing, I can’t find it out.
So, why not just write for myself? Why go the extra mile and organize these thoughts into blog posts? Certainly it requires some additional effort, doesn’t it?
In a way, it’s to break free from social media platforms, which are flattening, destroying our thoughts and our ability to read, comprehend and – hold tight – write complex text. It’s my blog, I can write as much as I want, unfiltered and unabridged.
But, you see, a blog is an incentive. Having a potential audience – however slim – makes me more attentive and involved in what I write. I pay more attention about form and semantics and I delve into concepts much more than I normally would. In short, I make sure that what I write makes sense.
Consider these aspects and keep in mind that with “text” I mean “text with images when necessary and useful.” Images add meaning to text without taking away anything from it.
Text is way more usable than video. You can consume text anywhere without annoying anyone, without earbuds and without broadband and powerful devices (yes, this is still a problem in some parts of the world). You don’t have to pause and seek if you want to revisit a concept. Just go back to the previous sentence or chapter. You can read at your own pace.
Reading stimulates the brain much more than watching a video, especially because written sentences tend to be more complex than spoken ones. It’s also easier to stay focused when reading than when consuming other media.
Reading is faster than listening to someone give a talk (bidirectional, in-person conversations are another story).
If I’m reasearching a topic, a place, a device – anything – I search for text articles, not for videos. Blogs still come up very often in search results.
When Blogs Fail
Text fails mostly when a concept requires a lot of visual content to be explained properly, for example “let me show you” tutorials. Sometimes video is better, easier to follow and quicker to consume.
And yet there are literally millions of videos out there that would work much better as blog posts. But, of course, ads. And centralized platforms. And walled gardens.
That ship has sailed long ago, I know.
No Longer Journals
Blogs started as web journals or diaries. I remember the days when it was cool to share your daily life on one of those free blogging platforms. They’ve since lost this trait because, honestly, nobody cares about other people’s daily life. Besides, that’s what social media is about, isn’t it? Sharing parts of your (somewhat made-up) life with friends you’ve never met. Journals were too real to be interesting, I guess.
Today’s blogs are sources of information and ideas. You may not notice them, but they are everywhere and they are alive and well.
I like being part of it. Maybe I’m getting old.