Jeremy Cherfas recently wrote about writing every day where he was reminded of a blogging challenge from a decade ago "when blogging was still new and exciting". The premise of the challenge was to write fifty posts of exactly 100 words for 50 consecutive days. For some people this would have been incredibly easy. For others it would have truly been a challenge as there was still a preconceived notion back in 2008 that blog posts had to have an audience. This idea has gone by the wayside, but the various challenges themselves are still very much part of the charm of being involved with a group of bloggers.
When I started blogging "for the long run" in 20061, I quickly discovered a group of writers who were full of optimism. People like Ms. Danielle, Nick Ramsay, Rob Neville, and dozens of others from all over the globe. We'd engage in various challenges and memes. We'd promote each other's posts. We'd fill each other's comments sections. We'd help out with projects whenever it was feasible. By 2008 Twitter's Fail Whales were appearing less often and the service's meteoric rise in popularity resulted in a lot of blogs being abandoned as people preferred the more immediate medium offered by the microblogging service ... which is exemplified by two of the links I posted to earlier going to Archive.org, and the other being for a site that hasn't seen an update in almost four years. People were writing a lot more than ever before, but in shorter bursts and often with a different set of goals in mind.
As with everything, the pendulum of popularity is swinging back from microblogging services and people who enjoy the challenge of conveying ideas in textual mediums are returning to longer forms of writing. While blogging will likely not reach the same level of hype as was experienced a decade ago, I'm quite happy to see sites that were once dormant for months at a time become more active. It's doubtful that people will consistently write every day for any length of time, even with an artificial word-count constraint to encourage creativity and motivation. However, with a little practice, the people who truly enjoy writing might just rediscover some of the joys that can come from publishing more complete thoughts online and interacting with readers in a more insulated environment.
In my case, while I would genuinely love to have something to publish every day, making the time to hammer out something cohesive and understandable is quite challenging. This doesn't stop me from trying, though.
- The posts from before October 2006 will not be making an appearance online anytime soon ↩