Time to wind down?

Filed under: Life and Leisure by Hari
Posted at 22:34 IST (last updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2009 @ 22:40 IST)
I've been wondering - and it's been on my mind more often of late - is it time to close my blog and take out my content? There was a time when I felt that at least a few regular readers were responding and there was some motivation to write and express creativity.

In recent times, however, I've not exactly had a lot of encouragement to continue blogging. This encouragement hasn't died down all of a sudden. In the last 6 months, there has been a definite and marked decline in readership which has reflected in the number of articles I've written during that period (or vice versa - it's had a spiral effect). Even without user stats availability, I can gauge that interest in blogging in general is at an all time low since (say) 2005.

I am guessing that only one or two regular readers definitely read this blog now. Or if more people read, I've not had any indication of it. It's been like communicating in a vacuum of late; at least going by responses to my articles in the last few months.

I do not like writing in vacuum. I have no interest in 'personal blogging'. I've had enough trying to get people to respond. I'm weary of the Internet's 'social' ways which has proved only to be a marketing terminology for the big corporates and nothing to do with real human contact.

That's one reason I hate social networking sites. They've killed spontaneity in communication and the human touch by generating tons and tons of spam for a grain of genuine content. E-mail is no longer a one-on-one communication channel but the playground of spammers and a tool for notifications. Bloggers no longer seem to comment out of interest, but more as a way to get a back link.

The time has long gone since I had the enthusiasm to draw in new readers. I no longer have that enthusiasm, particularly when even bloggers I know and communicate with on their blogs do not respond in like manner. It's boring to write a thoughtful comment and get no responses. It's like people have lost all their courtesy and respect for fellow bloggers who actually take time out to read their content. Leave that aside, it should at least be common courtesy to acknowledge the presence of a human being, even if it's only an online presence.

In short, I'm feeling slightly embittered.

Is this the last blog entry then? Most likely not. But I'm sensing that it's very near the end. I've about had it with writing when nobody (or very few people) responds.

To be quite frank, I don't even know how many people will read this and how many will care. However I do thank my regular readers though for the support given to me all these years.

13 comment(s)

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  1. That's a bit of a bugger. I hit that phase a couple of years ago when I noticed that I had no comments on a number of posts. And then they came back. Often you write something I have no comment on - and saying that is a poor response and smacks of responding for the sake of it.

    I find the blog useful for dumping the bits of cruft that gather in my brain. Maybe return to reviewing books for a while until you feel like blogging again? And surely cricket will be on again soon... ;-)

    Comment by ray (visitor) on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 @ 00:21 IST #
  2. I have appreciated every word or picture that you've ever posted, hari. Perhaps I am one of the few readers that hangs on. Sometimes, I am not compelled to comment on a post, mostly because its not something that I can contribute to. Your posts on coding, for example, are over my head and I read them like someone who is looking in a room from through the outside window.

    I hope to continue to see your writing. If you choose against continuing, I will accept that as well. I have had similar thoughts go through my head from time to time.

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 @ 02:40 IST #
  3. Well, I hope you continue to keep writing.

    I do read all your posts but didn't comment as I had nothing specific to comment or felt lazy.

    For example when you said "I came back from Germany" I could have commented "welcome back" or "waiting for details". felt lazy to do that.

    In general there's a general decline in user response all over blogosphere..

    Also, I entered the code wrong and had to retype my entire comment-can't you retain the text while telling users to enter correct code?

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 @ 05:14 IST #
  4. I appreciate your blog posts, Hari. I know that I have been ignoring the blogging world a little due to business. Maybe I'll get back into it. I'm sorry I haven't responded to all your comments on my articles.

    Some articles here I just don't have the expertise to comment on, even though I find the articles interesting.

    Comment by titanium (visitor) on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 @ 07:27 IST #
  5. Thanks all. I know that I have a few readers around. My post was written as a way to bring out my own feelings on the blogging world as I see it now.

    I think most likely this is a symptom that the blogging craze has died down. I think I will continue writing, but I am always drawing inspiration from the readership.

    And please don't think that I am pointing fingers at any specific person here. If I gave that impression, I didn't mean it in that sense and I realized that what I wrote might sound like an accusation.

    It's just that my level of inspiration to write has been receding slowly but surely. I hope I can get back on track.

    Ray,

    Yes. I've been thinking of getting back to book reviews for a while. It's been a year since I posted my last book review. I have neglected that over a period.

    Shrinidhi,

    I think I could do that - I'll have to look at the code and then make a few changes to it.

    Comment by Hari (blog owner) on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 @ 08:40 IST #
  6. For someone that once wrote "Don't leave farewell messages while leaving an online community", this post is highly unwanted.

    You should continue blogging. You don't have to do it regularly, do it whenever you feel like it. Taking things offline is plain stupid. Leave it here, there is tons of good reading, although I don't have time to read it, even skimming through them is good.

    Of course ultimately the choice is yours, like what I did with my cartoon site, but IMO (and no it's not IMHO in this case, not with you :P) I want you to keep this blog up.

    Comment by Teknomancer (visitor) on Sat, Apr 25, 2009 @ 17:17 IST #
  7. I don't want to leave this blog open to spammers if I abandon the website. That's why if I discontinue, I will take out the content.

    Also, my other idea is that, if I take out the blog, I'll reorganize the important articles like humour and comics into different sections of this website.

    The reason I'm not getting enough readers is because there is no focus on this blog and also many people who used to read it regularly one year ago are no longer reading it.

    Also I'm not leaving an online community, because this is only a blog :p

    Comment by Hari (blog owner) on Sat, Apr 25, 2009 @ 17:23 IST #
  8. Does your code allow for disabling comments? If you are going to be away for a length of time, that would be the happy medium - the content would still be visible, but the spammers would have nothing to do.

    Comment by ray (visitor) on Sun, Apr 26, 2009 @ 16:46 IST #
  9. Perhaps hari is talking about sploggers.

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 @ 01:20 IST #
  10. Hi Hari,
    Like others mentioned, I too will also not comment on articles about coding for example. I really do not understand it :biggrin:
    I disagree that there is an overall trend for less communication. Some of the blogs I drop by have so many comments that it is almost tiresome to read them all before leaving one's own.
    If you personally aren't getting what you need from your site, you definitely should change up the scenario, by either taking a break or shutting it down.
    You will be missed if you go.

    Comment by Tim (visitor) on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 @ 08:18 IST #
  11. Ray, yes, I can shut down comments on a per-article basis. I can also globally enable comment moderation.

    MrCorey, I was not talking about sploggers but real bloggers. That's why it hurts when some people don't want to reply or be courteous.

    Tim, I definitely think that some bloggers get a big audience because of the topics they discuss. But overall I've seen a decline of reader participation in general blogs.

    Comment by Hari (blog owner) on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 @ 08:59 IST #
  12. I saw a huge drop in commenters as soon as I put nofollow back in comment author links, as I expected. I would prefer 2 or 3 comments of value than 100 of internet marketing spam pretense.

    Lacking focus and direction is your primary culprit, Hari, so you're right on that assumption. Any kind of social interaction on your part isn't going to help in keeping repeat readers.

    Blogging for the sake of blogging belongs at places like Facebook, where the people seem to have nothing better to do. If you want real interaction, write to draw in the search visitors. Believe it or not, many of my repeat visitors started out as search visitors.

    I subscribe to feeds by email because it's the easiest way for me to manage my time in that regard. You may want to consider it - I sometimes don't visit any sites at all for days unless it's part of my research.

    Nevertheless, I usually go through and read several of your posts at a time when I do make it over here. I rarely comment and won't comment for the sake of commenting. I don't like it on my blog and I'm sure you'd get tired of it real quick if a lot of peoople started doing that.

    Comment by RT Cunningham (visitor) on Fri, May 1, 2009 @ 10:43 IST #
  13. RT, good comment there.

    I usually don't write for SEO traffic, but I do write on a variety of topics which draws in search traffic, especially my Linux and tech related articles as I analyzed from my web stats. However, most of search visitors don't comment or interact, moving on to the next search result.

    However, the real issue here is that it's not about commenting or not commenting, but feedback over a period of time to know whether my regular readers are there or not.

    I always appreciate your comments and agree that commenting for the sake of commenting is not a good practice, though occasionally it helps to know that somebody is still following my blog. :-D

    What frustrates me is not the total amount of readership, but not knowing which of my readers left and why. I couldn't get a grip on the problem.

    Comment by Hari (blog owner) on Fri, May 1, 2009 @ 12:10 IST #

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