Can a small blog make it today?

Cheryl Rofer and Bernard Final are having a bit of a blogging existential crisis.

First Cheryl:

The blogosphere has changed greatly since some of us started, and some of the fun has gone out of it, as is always the case in a maturing enterprise. Part of that change is that the big guys, aka MSM, have landed in the middle, splashing stuff all over and trying to co-opt individual bloggers, confuse the consumer with something they call blogging but usually isn’t, and simply stealing material, all the time vilifying those partisan and probably evil computer scriveners.

And Bernard:

I work professionally in the same field that I often blog about.  Which would be fine if I were a congenital kiss-ass, but I’m not..Needless to say, this has not made me popular, and there is no doubt that I have severely harmed my future job prospects by pissing off a number of very powerful people in my field.

Which would be okay if it was either opening up other doors or making me rich, but it isn’t.  What it comes down to is that my readership is really, really low.  High-quality, but small.  I am not looking to make money on the blog, but I’d like to think I could be influencing the debate through my posts, but really that is not the case

Peter beat me to blogging about this (And not the first time either convincing me that he’s using some sort of mind reading machine and obviously forgetting the fact that New Zealand has rejected the idea of developing its own nuclear weapons while we’ve got plenty to spare and are just itchin’ to use ’em.) but they guy does make sense.  Allow me to quote him:

To succeed as a blogger you need to define success on your own terms, not those of others. If your measures of success are the size of your audience, the number of hits, and how often other bloggers, especially celebrity bloggers, link to you, you’ll wind up disappointed.

Everyone has got to do their thing but I hope these two eventually decide to stick it out.  The problems both of them mention are exactly why small bloggers are so important.  By bowing out you cede the field to the ‘big guys’ and those who fill their days tweeting about how many cookies they ate yesterday.  Just because you can’t win a gold medal in the Olympics isn’t a reason for you to never work out.

Besides, who knows.  When our civilization collapses and the next one takes its place perhaps only a fragment of our digital legacy will remain.  Perhaps, just perhaps, archeologists will only have your blog posts to recreate our civilization.  Monks will copy your blog over and over again and school children will recite it in order learn our dead language.  Then you’ll have the last laugh…from beyond the grave!

Ok, I got a bit carried away there.  Ultimately, blogging should be like any other hobby.  Enjoyable and (if possible) allowing for a bit of self actualization.  As long as you get that out of it you’re doing pretty good.  If you get anything else, that’s (as we -well, not me- say) gravy.


2 responses to “Can a small blog make it today?

  1. I’m havin’ difficulty dolin’ out intelligent posts, help needed here, my guru!

    • heh…don’t sweat it. The big thing is get in the habit of posting regularly. At first, I’d argue it doesn’t even matter what you’re writing about just write whatever you find interesting. Doesn’t matter if it was a really good lunch, a fun movie or a policy paper.

      After doing that for awhile you’ll get more comfortable and find your voice. Then things will take off. You can look at my original attempts at blogging using the wayback machine (*/*) to see what I mean but I’ll warn you it isn’t pretty.

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