Has Blogging Changed?

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My unschooling blog is almost 5 years old. Things have changed since I created it.

 

I no longer write about how 7-year-old Gemma-Rose is learning to read and to write and trying to conquer the times tables. No. My youngest daughter is now reading book after book, and she’s writing long novels. The times tables? We’re keeping quiet about those. Somewhere along the way we both lost interest. Instead, I’m writing about NaNoWriMo and Jane Austen. And because my other daughters have, of course, grown a lot too, I’m also writing about adult unschoolers, university and following dreams.

And there’s another change. I look back through my posts and I notice commenters have come and gone. New ones have taken their place. And then they’ve come and gone as well. Overall, comments are fewer than they used to be. This makes me wonder. Is this the result of me not commenting enough on other people’s blogs? Or has blogging changed?

Is blogging as popular as it once was? Or are readers looking for something else? Like podcasts. My podcasts are more popular than my blog posts. Much more popular. Some weeks I’m not motivated to write any blog posts. If any unschooling ideas occur to me, I jot them down, but instead of writing about them, I save them for my next podcast. Speaking is easier than writing. And when more people are listening, rather than reading, is it worth trying to find the perfect written words? I wonder. So each week, I just post my podcast and that’s it until next time.

So has my blog turned into a place to post podcasts? And is that okay?

But what about conversations? Blogs are great places for chatting. But so is Facebook. I have a lot of unschooling conversations on my timeline. I can add links and photos there too. It’s quick and convenient. And most people have a Facebook account. And as I said, not many people stop by my blog anymore.

But a few do. Perhaps these friends aren’t on Facebook. Not everyone is.

So maybe blogging isn’t dead. Maybe it’s just a case of blogging no longer being the whole story. These days, I can share in many different ways, and I do. As well as Facebook, there’s Youtube. And Pinterest and Instagram. Each has its place in telling the unschooling story.

But that’s a lot of places to keep up with. Which is least important? Let’s see. I can post my videos on Youtube, my resources on Pinterest, my photos on Instagram, and I can post everything on Facebook which is a good place to chat. Maybe I don’t need to blog anymore, especially as I now have a newsletter. Newsletter? Oh yes, I have one of those as well.

But what about those days when I just want to mull over a few thoughts? Share a quick story? Yes, I could do that on Facebook. But sometimes I miss writing proper posts. But what if I started to do that again. All my readers’ inboxes would fill with emails about the odd moments in my life, random thoughts, nothing important, perhaps not worth reading. And what would people do? Unsubscribe? Because maybe that’s not what people want anymore. Things might have changed.

What if readers opened their inboxes and found a totally useless post about how things change?

I wonder.
Do you ever wonder? Has blogging changed?

 

Blogging may or may not have changed, but Gemma-Rose certainly has! The top photo was taken last Sunday. The bottom one was taken five years ago when Gemma-Rose was seven.
Another thing has changed over the years: My photos are now much better!
Are you a blogger? Has your blogging changed? And if you’re a reader, do you look for different things compared to a few years ago? And how’s your photography? Has it improved like mine!?
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  1. Reply

    Hmmm…that's a good question. I think pet of it is that there are so many social media networks we've all become a little adhd in our consistency. I do know that when I find a blog with one post that I find helpful or interesting, I'll spend a lot of time camped out and visit often. either way, I enjoy camping here and scavenging through all your venues!

    1. Reply

      Sara,

      Yes, we all seem to rush through social media sites picking up bits of info from here and then, writing short comments and liking a million things in only a few minutes. Reading blogs takes time. Thank you so much for camping out here. I keep meaning to organise my posts better so things are easier to find. I'll get around to that one day!

  2. Reply

    I think blogging has changed immensely. Is it a sign of the times, people don't want to sit and read a lot of text, they want big, beautiful photos and quick information? I think of the days when my girls were young and I was exhausted and lonely, reading blogs was something I really looked forward to. Now I'm very selective and don't read many at all – I'd still like to, but just like you, I'm spreading myself over several platforms.
    I was surprised when I started my youtube channel at how quickly it took off without promotion. My blog never really took off even though I spent a lot of time trying. Insofar as learning goes, many people are visual learners and reading just doesn't suit them as well as watching a video.
    I'm a bit attached to my blog and that is the reason that I still post there occasionally. Has my photography improved? Oh yes, indeed! 😀

    1. Reply

      Kelly,

      I used to read more blogs too. These days, I want to listen to podcasts and watch videos as well. Information is presented in so many different ways.

      I'm not surprised about the success of your Youtube channel. Your weaving tutorials are excellent. Video is the right medium for you. Saying that, I also enjoy reading your blog posts and looking at your photos. Oh yes, your photos are stunning!

      I'm attached to my blog too. It would be hard to let it go.

  3. Reply

    Yes spreading thing across social media platforms is an interesting comment. Blogging used to be the primary way of people connecting but now you have a whole host of other options. If I could ditch face book I would but it is a place where home school group info is dumped. I love Instagram but very rarely use Pinterest and Twitter would drive me mad!! I love podcasts as I can listen whilst doing other things. I also watch you tube. I have never had a big blog following but I have a dear friend who checks in daily and my mum in law also reads but doesn't comment :-).

    It is difficult I know because the world has suddenly become much smaller and we are connected on several different levels. No easy answers xx

    1. Reply

      San,

      I've almost ditched FB a number of times, but I think I've come to terms with it. I used to feel overwhelmed by all the comments and posts and likes and couldn't keep up. Now I try not to feel guilty if I neglect to read certain people's posts and forget to reply to comments. I just do my best. I'm sure it's the same for everyone else and most people would understand. I do find it a convenient place for a quick chat or to share a link or a photo.

      Twitter drives me mad too! I just haven't been able to work it out so rarely go over there.

      I remember when you almost stopped blogging and we wouldn't let you. Maybe a few faithful friends is enough. It's worth writing just for them!

  4. Reply

    Yes blogging has changed. People are more into the quick fix, not many of us dinosaurs left who enjoy reading long, winding blogs with a picture here and there. But I think that we're missing a dimension, a depth when only following on Instagram. There's not enough room for thoughts, for writing your way to what you really wanted to say. I also see fewer and fewer reading my blogpost (it was never a lot, but now I'm down to 15 readers) and even fewer commenting.
    I read some blogs every day, some of them I never return to again, but some I put on a list and return to until I've read all there is … and then, more often than not, I'm kept hanging there. No more blogposts upcoming. And then I wonder. Did the blogger fall ill, or even die, did they just loose interest in blogging? – a goodbye post would be so nice – or whatever did happen.
    I'm not going to stop blogging any time soon, and I hopt that like with real books we're a crew keepin on with "real" stories and blog posts. But blogging is also a diary. I am going to maintain my blog as much for myself and my family as for my readers.

    1. Reply

      Uglemor,

      Oh yes, I agree! We can write our way to what we really want to say. I miss the days when I started writing not really knowing where I'd end up. It was exciting and I always learnt something. Now, I write what I think I need to write. But that's about to change.

      After reading all these comments, I started thinking and then I had an idea. I have decided to have two unschooling blogs joined together. On one of them I will explore ideas and thoughts by writing and see where they lead. There won't be any rules. And I'm hoping to take some of those ideas I write about and make podcasts or videos or proper posts from them.

      This morning, I wrote my first two blog posts. I really enjoyed writing them. Will anyone read them? It doesn't matter if no one does, but I have put the links on my home page of this blog just in case anyone wants to share what I'm doing. The blog is called Stories of an Unschooling Family: The Raw Files. Or The Raw Files for short!

      I once wrote a post about abandoned blogs. Yes, I also wonder where people go.

      I'm glad you are planning to keep blogging for a long time yet. I always enjoy reading about your life and all the interesting things you're doing. I think you make an important point: Blogging is for us as much as for our readers. If it wasn't, we'd soon lose the motivation to keep posting. And the longer I blog, the more I realise that numbers don't matter. Can I really say that I'd be happy to write posts for thousands of readers but not just a few? Every reader is important.

      Anyway, perhaps you'd like to hop over to my new blog and take a look around!

  5. Reply

    First off, your daughter is beautiful. Second, I don't believe blogging is the 'in thing' anymore. I used to have several friends that would read my blog and comment, and now I don't think they read it at all anymore. And when I bring up my blog, they will say, 'Oh, I lost the link' or some other excuse. I mainly keep my blog as my own personal journey to look back on anyway. I love looking back on my life and see how my kids have changed and grown and see all the fun things we've done. I'm pretty sure that even though blogging is not so popular anymore, I will always keep writing for my own personal satisfaction.

    1. Reply

      luksky,

      Thank you for your kind words about Gemma-Rose. She is very comfortable in front of the camera so it's easy to get a good photo of her. I always look so stiff, but Gemma-Rose manages to relax and look good!

      It is so sad when friends and family are no longer interested in our blogs. It feels like they are no longer interested in us and what's happening in our lives. I guess other things could be happening in their lives which don't leave them time to read blogs, but then again, maybe not. It's hard to know.

      I also love looking back through my blog and living the past few years all over again through my stories and photos. I'm glad I'm a blogger and have put together this record of our family. Yes, there's a lot of personal satisfaction in that. And maybe that's much more important than having lots of readers interested in what we are writing about. It sounds like we're both going to keep on blogging!

  6. Reply

    I think blogging has changed, but I'm not so sure that I like the changes. I really enjoy reading blogs. I have just found your blog in the past few months and have loved going through all of your archives. I really appreciate all of the time that you put into your blog ministering to and encouraging others about unschooling. I have watched all of your youtube and am listening to your podcasts now while walking in the mornings but I would really miss the blog if it were gone.

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      I'm glad you enjoyed reading your way through my archives. I need to label my posts a bit better so I hope you found everything without too much trouble. Maybe I will do some relabelling and reorganising soon.

      I really appreciate your kind feedback. It does encourage me to keep on blogging and sharing unschooling in other ways. I'm hoping that my new unschooling blog will put a spark back into my writing and that I'll end up writing many more posts.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. Well, that's an interesting question – and I really don't know the answer. I started blogging like a year ago and I started to read other blogs basically at the same time and in this time span there hasn't be much change.
    But it's sure interesting to read about your experiences.

    I think it's wonderful that you use so many different places to share your thoughts and experiences. I really enjoy it!

    1. Reply

      living a Catholic fairytale,

      When I first started blogging I felt like I was part of a big community. I'd publish a post and almost immediately someone would comment. We had some great conversations. Now I don't even check for blog comments. Yes, I get a few, and I love reading them and responding, but I no longer expect them.

      Not so many people seem to follow or subscribe to blogs like they did years ago. Most readers of this blog, I think, follow my links from Facebook or other social media. And that's where people comment. So people are still talking about unschooling, but in different places than before.

      I'm so glad you enjoy following me wherever I am. I really appreciate your comments and always love replying to them. Thanks for commenting today!

  8. Reply

    Funny, I had this same conversation on my own blog just the other day – inspired by a conversation held on a friend's blog! The question seems to circle around the community every few years or so.

    I have to say, I never listen to podcasts, not only do I not have the time, but I'm not really an auditory thinker. But they do seem to be popular.

    1. Reply

      Sara,

      You've been discussing this issue too? That's interesting. I meant to hop over to your blog and read your post, but the last few days have been busy due to a birthday. I'll do that later!

      Maybe the situation changes over time as new ways of communicating, like podcasting, come along and become popular. We stop and dscuss how this affects blogging and then we all move on again. Blogging seems to be surviving even though it's changing. I'm wondering about Periscope. Are people less inclined to make proper videos now that they can talk live and then save their recording to Youtube? Maybe lots of people are choosing the quick option. Perhaps viewers like the immediate and personal feel.

      I guess different things suit different people and there will always be an audience for the written word which is good because it seems we both love writing!

      Lovely to chat with you!

    2. Reply

      Sarah,

      I'm sorry I misspelt your name. I realised just as I hit publish, and then it was too late to change it.

  9. Reply

    There seems to be fewer people blogging, now, Sue, but I wonder if that just means that those who are left are more serious bloggers and the blogs are of higher quality. My blog was one that naturally dwindled away and I was drawn towards pictures and pen and paper journaling (which I've noticed is very popular, at the moment). I used to read blogs as a way of connecting with people but I turn to blogs more to find specific information, now, and the blogs I visit are usually well-organised with useful articles (like yours!). If people have been inspired by blogs to be more active themselves, then it could explain why they have less time to read lots of words. Looking online, it seems to me that there is still a lot of creativity and intellectual activity around which makes me think that, while Instagram can be a bit too easy, it hasn't destroyed the written word, just yet!

    1. Reply

      Vicky,

      Your comment made me wonder if writing a blog fulfils a need for some people for a particular phase of their life. Then other things become more important and they blog less and less until they abandon their blogs altogether. It can be hard facing the fact that a blog has come to an end. We get attached to our blogs and maybe we still do like the idea of adding more entries to keep the story going, but it's no longer a big priority. I suppose as some people are giving up blogging, others are taking their places, so blogging doesn't die as a way of communicating.

      The other thing I've been thinking about is that blogs can serve a purpose for a while, but insted of giving up blogging, a blogger moves onto a new blog with a fresh idea and fresh enthusiasm. I've done this a few times! Perhaps some blogs have a limited life.

      I like how Instagram is easy but yes, we need more. We need blogs as well!

  10. Reply

    I for one appreciate blogging as I am a visual person. I've never gotten used to podcasts because I can't pay attention to audio speaking. Read aloud time for me would have been horrible that's why I understand one daughters need to read alone while I read to my audio learner. Please keep the blogging up as well. Thanks from your one of your "readers".

    1. Reply

      Alissa,

      Oh yes, you are so right. We need lots of different ways of communicating because we're all different. I will keep up the blogging. Thank you so much for your feedback. It's good to know someone's out there who wants to read my words! Perhaps you'd like to keep up with my new raw files blog. I haven't written anything on it for a few days due to other commitments, but I'm looking forward to going over there later today and sharing a few thoughts. Thank you for your comment!

  11. Reply

    I do think blogging has changed. I started in 2007, partly to document my homeschool, partly to connect my kids to far away family. I read lots of blogs then, but fewer now.

    I think my focus is the same, but I've gotten a lot better at all of it, especially the photography! The blog has been shaped a lot by how useful I've found it, and by the joy my kids find in reading the archives!

    I haven't tried to grow my blog or used it much as a point of connection, although it's so fun when I do connect! I think making that the focus wouldn't leave me time to do the blog I need to do. That's why I've avoided Facebook and Twitter: I can see myself getting absorbed, maybe addicted to the likes and followers and pouring my energy into that instead of the blog.

    I may feel differently as my kids get older, and I have fewer balls in the air, of course!

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      You have been blogging for a long time!

      Oh yes, blogs are wonderful to look back on. We can relive all the fun moments and enjoy the photos. I know you make a book from your blog each year. A real treasure!

      It's hard not to get too focused on the success of a blog, looking for lots of followers etc. And if we don't get the feedback we'd like, we might be tempted to give up. I've been thorough all that and it took me a long time before I stopped looking at page views and worrying about such things. I have compared my blog to my podcasts because I wonder if I should focus my effort on one rather than the other. I can't always keep up with everything.

      Talking of followers, I wonder if the way people follow blogs has changed over the years. It's not often I get a new follower even though people read my blog. I know a lot of people follow links from social media. Perhaps sites such as FB have become an important way of attracting readers.

      Photography… Blogs do help when we're trying to develop our photography skills. It's lovely to have somewhere to post our photos and they make our blogs look good. They also help capture the memories. It sounds like you enjoy taking photos for your blog too!

  12. Reply

    I can't answer the question about whether blogging has changed, but I CAN say that, as a new unschooler (and old homeschooler) I delight in all of your blog posts! I'm back in your 2012 posts, slowly moving to 2016….and I can't tell you how much your writing inspires me and also makes me laugh thanks to your terrific sense of humor and writing style. I'm not a podcast girl, myself. I love to READ! Thank you for doing both! -Sue in AZ

    1. Reply

      Sue,

      Your comment gave me a lot of joy. Thank you for your kind words! I can't imagine anyone wanting to read ALL my posts, but it's wonderful to know that's exactly what you're doing as you work your way through the years. (I wonder what I wrote about in 2012. I shall have to go back and look!). I hope you don't end up with an Elvis overdose from all your reading!

      You must have a similar sense of humour to me. Sometimes when I think my posts are funny and I'm sitting here smiling to myself, other people don't react the way I expect. Obviously my humour went over their heads. I am delighted to find out you laugh and enjoy my stories. I wonder if it's just a case of you being as weird as me!!

      I shall keep writing. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  13. Reply

    Sue, I was very excited to see you'd written a blog post! (And what an interesting one, too.) I love your podcasts and videos, but blog posts are a special kind of art. I do like the way they have a beginning, middle and an end.

    I'm so pleased your podcast is so successful. Your reassuring, positive words have helped me every step of the way along our unschooling journey and I'm sure they will help me and many more people in the future.

    I like FaceBook too but since the PowerWood group has grown so much (a wonderful thing) I find all my spare FB time is spent looking after that. Oh for a few more hours in each day!

    1. Reply

      Lucinda,

      Occasionally I seem to find a topic that everyone likes to talk about! I guess we've all been thinking about blogging.

      In one of my earlier replies, I was pondering blog life: Do some blogs come to a natural end because what we want to achieve changes. I wonder if you thought about this when you began your new blog. Perhaps your new focus is more important to you than the old one, and maybe like me, you need new challenges. We also want to invest our time and effort into something worthwhile. I really do love your new direction. You are writing about something that is very much needed. There are not as many bloggers in your niche as there are in mainstream homeschooling and parenting. Your writing is no doubt helping a lot of people who are looking for information about parenting intense and sensitive children. Yes, both your association with the PowerWood group and your blog are wonderful!

      I like beginnings, middles and ends too! Podcasts don't seem to have them. I shall have to keep writing!

  14. Reply

    Sue, the number of comments here (more than I've personally run into on any blog recently) should tell you there are lots of us who love your blog!!! As for what I've seen in my 4 and a half years of blogging, I think some blogs have changed and others, not so much. I still blog as much as ever – actually more – and if anything, I love blogging more and am more committed to it than ever. My "social" blog (BB Letters) has changed a lot, however, and I rarely "write" there anymore. Now that has graphics almost all of the time, and I wonder if my doing those is, for me, like you going more to podcasts? We're still around, but what we do has changed a bit. I LOVE doing graphics, so I'm going with it… at least there. Meanwhile you are moving forward in what seems to me to be a natural progression, a kind of fresh new life in a "seasoned" and hardy, beautiful plant!

    I always thought my BBletters blog would be a place where I could hang out and chat (since my other blog has a definite framework), but the "chatting" direction only worked for a time for me. But I do miss something in particular, and in her comment above Uglemor nailed that very well when she spoke of "writing your way to what you really wanted to say." Bingo! Maybe I just need to write an old fashioned rambly post. Oh, but wait……

    I just did. Right here, right now, taking up MUCH TOO MUCH OF YOUR COMMENT SCREEN. Please forgive me, and please continue sharing your thoughts with us for a LONG TIME, Sue – in whatever way you feel drawn to do!

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      This is like the old days, isn't it? Lots of people have stopped by and we're having a very interesting conversation on a blog!

      Oh yes, we're still blogging but our blogs have changed a bit. I like your thought about fresh new life. I love how blogging has resulted in us learning new skills. We both have a message we're sharing on our blogs. It's good to find new ways of telling the story, both for us and our readers. btw, I do like your graphics! You have a skill for putting them together. And they are good to share on FB too.

      Maybe FB fulfils the need to hang out and chat. But, like you, I do miss "writing your way to what you really wanted to say." I did a bit of that the other day on my new blog and I enjoyed it immensely! I also miss your writing blog, the one you haven't written a post on for a LONG time! There is something special about sharing writing with another writer.

      I'm so glad you wrote an old fashioned rambly post in my comments section. I smiled when I saw it. Your comment is a real treat. Of course, no apologies are needed. I just need to thank YOU for taking the time to stop by. Thank you!!

  15. Reply

    I am definitely a reader. So please keep writing your blog. As for comments, I think there is only so much one can say. It's mostly things like "thank you" and "I agree" but that feels repetitive after a while. Maybe people like me are quietly grateful. Your blog is very helpful and gives a unique perspective. Thanks again for it!

    1. Reply

      Momof4,

      It's so good to hear you read my blog. Thank you for your kind feedback. I don't really need thanks for writing, but occasionally it's nice to hear there are people out there who are still interested in my blog. It encourages me to keep blogging. And that's what I'm going to do! Thank you so much for leaving a comment!

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