I have a pretty narrow definition of what constitutes a weblog. At some point in 2003, the mainstream media co-opted the term "blog" to mean any kind of online journal writing, thus painting with a large brush two different perspectives — one extroverted (blogs) and one introverted (journals).
Hyperlinks, punditry and meta were pretty essential to the success of early blogs. Not so much online journals — meta, yes, punditry, perhaps, links, optional. Blog topics could cover any number of subjects. Journal topics focus primarily on the events of the writer’s life.
I come from the journal tradition. I’m not much of a blogger because I’m not combing the web for things on which to comment. Well, I do for Musicwhore.org, but for this site? This site which was intended to be my dumping ground for commentary? This site which was supposed to deal with subjects other than myself? Not so much.
I’m just not suited to write a blog — which hasn’t stopped me from launching about seven of them — because I’m just not a link collector.
Or so I thought.
I share links all the time on Facebook. When Arts Journal posts something interesting from a psychology magazine, I’ll repost it to Facebook. Something on Metafilter catches my fancy? I’ll pass it on to my Facebook friends. A DZone article has relevance to me? I’ll let other folks know.
For months, I’ve felt self-conscious for letting this site — and others — go neglected. Where can I find that cool content which would make me gaze intently at my navel?
That’s when I looked at the links I post to Facebook and realized all of them were fodder for blog posts. If I had the inclination to ponder and to elucidate, I could have contributed my two yen about, say, Patrick Stewart’s mom, Nathan Gunn’s workout or the correlation between secular societies and prosperity.
Or would I?
Actually, I probably would have just made a link and wrote little more than "Hey, this is cool" — a format at which Facebook excels.
Paste a URL in a box, type some text, press a button — viola! Instant link log.
Sure, I could do something like that with Tumblr, but Facebook has an advantage this site does not — I know my audience.
The Facebook audience are people I have met at some point in my life, a few virtually. I know exactly who is reading what I have to say about some link I posted. I can find out IP addresses of visitors for this site.
This site isn’t indexed by search engines because, well, I have family members on the Internet. So whatever potential audience I have is seriously curtailed by a robot.txt file. In short, the people who would read this blog are people with whom I’m already networked.
(My personal sites are really for them, anyway.)
So yes, Facebook killed this blog. Or rather, injured it significantly. Things I could have posted here, ended up there.
I don’t really intend to shut this site down, but I can’t picture an avalanche of content coming soon either.