February 17, 2011

Blogging Is So 2009

Over the past six or nine months, I've noticed something interesting and vaguely disappointing - my site traffic is down. I've talked to other bloggers and visited other sites and come to the conclusion that it's not just me. Which is something of a relief. I don't want to discount the visits and comments from the awesome people who stop by all the time, without fail, or give the impression that my self-worth is somehow influenced by the amount of hits I receive. I'm not that shallow. Almost, but not quite. But I do put a substantial amount of time into writing each and every day.

Some days I draft and redraft and scrap entire sections or entire posts, while other days what I want to say comes naturally so I slap something very stream-of-consciousness together. Some days I get cocky and try to write something arty and serious. Other days I just pick a fight to see how many people are listening. And while I try by best not to half-ass my writing, I will totally admit that I've half-assed a lot of the interaction with the folks who are kind enough to stop by and comment every day. And I very rarely reciprocate with a visit.

As it turns out, not as many people are listening as there used to be. I'm curious as to why.

The blogoverse is much more compartmentalized than it was when I started eight years ago. You've got mommyblogs, daddyblogs, workout blogs, book blogs, sex blogs, vegan midget blogs...is the general here is my life blog dead? Or has the 140-character social media revolution made 2500-character blog posts obsolete? Or, finally, has life just gotten more complicated for us all?

I'll admit that I've thought of throwing in the towel. Writing everyday is tough and it takes a discipline I didn't know I had. And I don't necessarily subscribe to the typical blogger mantra of I'd write even if no one was reading. Quite honestly, I value the interaction and the feedback. That said, I look back over the eight years of stuff I've written and I have this narration - sometimes serious, often times insane - of my life that I'm very thankful for. And I've met a lot of astoundingly awesome people along the way.

Some of you are bloggers. All of you are blog readers. What do you think is happening to the blogosphere?

Posted by Chris at February 17, 2011 7:08 AM

Facebook. There's your problem. And Twitter. And dare I say it, e-readers. As soon as I figure out reading blogs on my Nook Color-----meeting of both worlds. I do find myself spending a free minute on Facebook rather than reading blogs.

I don't think you should quit writing. I do think that what you have to say is interesting! Please tell the O Man happy birthday for me. :)

Posted by: Christy at February 17, 2011 7:37 AM

I really hope you don't stop blogging. I would really miss reading you every weekday. You post more regularly than most bloggers which I appreciate.

Admittedly, you are the only "here's my life" blog I read anymore. The other blogs that I read are about knitting, crafting, and homemaking. While we don't have the same political views there are a lot of things you talk about I absolutely relate to and I really enjoy reading about your life. But if you throw in the towel I would totally understand. One thing I appreciate is that you did not make your blog your life's work like others have. You do it because you like it which really shows!

Posted by: goodsnake at February 17, 2011 7:44 AM

Yours is one of three blogs I look forward to reading in the morning. Even though I don't comment ususally, I do appreciate the effort you make and delight in reading what you have to say.

Posted by: Nancy at February 17, 2011 7:57 AM

Facebook and twitter are the culprits. And also, people have stopped commenting as well.

At blogher last year they announced "the comment is dead" and I think it is true.

Posted by: jodifur at February 17, 2011 7:58 AM

I know I've gotten a lot pickier about what blogs I keep in my Google Reader. (clearly, yours is still there!). It just seems that time is too short to be perusing blog after blog after blog.

Posted by: Robyn at February 17, 2011 8:17 AM

I blame Facebook.

Posted by: Alison at February 17, 2011 8:19 AM

Did you put in the "I'll admit that I've...." twice to see if we were all reading?
I read what comes up in my google reader every day - usually 3 times a day! but on alot I rarely comment but enjoy reading them.
I think Twitter has a lot to do with it as well as Facebook.
I enjoy the blogs I read.

Posted by: NancyJ at February 17, 2011 8:20 AM

I'm noticing the same sorts of things, and I too write a non-niche blog. When people ask what I blog about, I say that it's as if you were to run into me every morning at the coffeeshop and ask me, "What's up?" I might talk about a terrible movie I saw last night, or something funny one of my kids said, or a world event that upset me, or a recipe I tried that turned out great. It's just ME. In the last year or so, I've found it harder and harder to write every day, so (with my loyal readers' blessings) I've cut myself some slack, and I just do the best I can -- although I still feel guilty when I miss a few days in a row. I don't ever want it to become a chore, but it is indeed a challenge.

Posted by: Karen at February 17, 2011 8:29 AM

Damn, what he said above ^^^^ - I noticed too

You have a big problem, which is competition for the time of your readers. I'm a big blog fan, I have RSS on my Ipad, my phone, my husbands phone, my laptop etc. Just out of interest, I hit the google stats the other day since I use Google as my feeder and found that in the last 12 months, I have read or at least acknowledged around 34,000 articles on RSS. Now, normally, I just read headlines, but sometimes, I actually take the time to read what has been written. Even so, between a busy household, work and mundane shit like housework, I dont have allot of time to devote to it and so, if it doesnt interest me in the first 10 seconds, that's all she wrote folks, I move onto the next article. Generally, I dont go in for 'this is my life' blogs, and this is the only one I actually read as apposed to skim, so dont feel badly.

Posted by: AnonymousDeveloper at February 17, 2011 8:40 AM

well...you treated me pretty badly once so I swore I would never come back but here I am reading your freaking blog again. You are just interesting even if you are a moron most of the time.

Posted by: Linda at February 17, 2011 8:50 AM

Facebook. I refuse to participate. I appreciate your daily posts. Your blog is filed under Morning Coffee.

Posted by: Mary W at February 17, 2011 8:50 AM

Not being a blogger, just a reader, I don't know what's happening. I just hope you stay the course as I look forward to reading every morning!

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 17, 2011 8:52 AM

My blog traffic peaked at about 500 daily visitors back in the day. These days it hovers around 50, and I could probably name 40 of them. I think it's mostly Facebook. I know many people that have completely abandoned their blogs because they get more comments and interaction on stuff they post on Facebook.

I almost went that route, but I like knowing I have a space to speak my mind anytime I want, and it's a space that is completely controlled by me. My blog posts that get pulled into FB get more comments on FB than on the blog. But when FB eventually implodes (and I believe that day will come) I'll still have ODonnellWeb. The people that depended on FB will be SOL.

Posted by: COD at February 17, 2011 8:53 AM

I would say to main factors: time and a million other places you can speak your mind in a few words.

Okay and attention span. I mean a lot of people can only handle 140 characters these days!

I like blogging because it is like Karen said above - blogging is like stopping at the coffee shop every day and having a conversation with someone.

I admit in some cases I like photos and not a lot of words.

I also admit I have very little time to comment on all of the blogs I read. If something moves me or interests me I will comment but probably about 90% of the time I read and never comment.

Posted by: Christina at February 17, 2011 9:06 AM

I wonder how much readers are a culprit. Google Analytics, for instance, only tracks traffic if people click in their reader to come to your site which means that unless I comment, you would never know that I'm here, reading you with my morning coffee, just like I have for the past 5+ years.

Holy cheese balls, that's a long time.

Posted by: Emily at February 17, 2011 9:08 AM

I've been reading your blog for years, but have been using Google Reader for quite a few years now. I think I'll only show up as a hit when, like today, I actually click over to your site so I can comment.

I do agree that everyone seems to have migrated to Facebook. I could be in the minority, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I like having everyone in one place - makes it easier to stay in touch.

I do also blog, something I've only started doing again recently. It's my place to chat about things that are important to me right now as I continue my weight-loss journey.

Posted by: Traci at February 17, 2011 9:12 AM

Please don't quit! Your blog is one of the first I started reading, years ago, and I read it daily even if I don't always comment. I don't know exactly what's going on in the blogosphere, but the other comments seem to be on the right track.

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 17, 2011 9:14 AM

I agree - Facebook. Blogging was only done by people who liked to write. Facebook is used by every illiterate out there. (oops, did that slip out?)

I blogged for three years. I never had the following like you have. But, I felt it came along at a time that I "needed" it and then I was finished. Yours is the ONLY blog that I follow. It helps that I get my email link to it. But, I have always enjoyed your sense of humor. I guess thats the other component. You have to have people who LIKE to read and most people don't. Facebook and Twitter are killing our country!!! AAAHHHHH!!

Posted by: Debbie at February 17, 2011 9:15 AM

I'm of the opinion that it's one of many symptoms of a sort of adult-onset A.D.D. People see a paragraph and run screaming. I really do think that unless it's bite-sized and easy, most don't go in for it anymore. Used to be that reading a book was a good thing because you had to put in an effort, and for your effort, you got a lot out, but that takes time. Then TV usurped reading. Or rather perhaps reading books went to articles, articles went to blogs, blogs have gone to 'updates'. Anything longer is too much effort. That's the main thing. The other reason that I have stopped reading many blogs is because it's the same thing over and over--they have nothing new to offer me. Your site doesn't suffer as much from that, as you're not a guru trying to teach something about cooking or minimalism or finance or what have you. You just give a candid slice of life. It's often fun just to hang out.

Posted by: Martin at February 17, 2011 9:40 AM

Stop me if this sounds crazy, but along with the Twitter/facebook culprits, is it just the current climate in general? Reality shows sparking reality celebrities have kind of raised the bar for what you have to do to get attention around here (I can't believe I sound like such a prude!).

Now that I'm done reading wedding blogs I've whittled my list down to people I read because I enjoy their writing; they're entertaining or engaging. You're one, but there aren't many! I think it's a talent in itself to be personal without being too personal and you totally nail it (even if I know all about your kids' vomiting skills). And seriously, the actual replies in my inbox to your comments? Very nice touch, no matter how half-assed. :)

Posted by: mjp at February 17, 2011 9:43 AM

I've had to evaluate this myself as I've stopped blogging. I got burned online and I'm gunshy now, but more than that, I think I just grew out of it. The connections I made online, the interaction of comments and great discussions, it was all very intoxicating. However, my job got a bit more responsible and my kids were no less demanding, so it was easy to leave behind.

I'm still keeping a family blog to record special events and whatnot, but I think the world of blogging as it was a few years ago has passed for me.

That being said, I still read a lot of online stuff and your site is my first hit of the day. So... I still love reading and commenting.

Posted by: Brad at February 17, 2011 9:45 AM

Most definitely Facebook. I know a lot of people who love to write and were avid bloggers, and as soon as they got into Facebook, the blogging became sort of unnecessary. I'm always grateful that you're still here because I like to read blogs, and you are so reliable! (And it's fun to follow your family story.)

I have a blog that I've kept up for about 7 years and will be shutting down soon. I will miss it, but I too have gotten into FB and do most of my sharing there. The sad thing is that FB also reduces the amount of e-mailing that I do, and I miss having the one-on-one interactions -- FB gives you a false sense of connection that doesn't really fit our needs. :-/

Posted by: Sandy at February 17, 2011 9:56 AM

Time, other distractions and yes, I agree Facebook. Some days, I can't even bother to read the few updates on Facebook. In my spare time, I play Scrabble on my computer all the time. Time to sit and read blogs isn't on the radar for some reason.

I've been following for years and yours is the only blog that I faithfully follow anymore.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at February 17, 2011 9:59 AM

Don't quit. Please?

That's it.

Posted by: Julie at February 17, 2011 10:05 AM

I think it is partly that our lives have all gotten more complex. When I first started reading blogs and writing my own, it feels like I had more free time. Now I just zip through my feed reader and rarely stop to comment. I'm still out here reading, though. I hope you don't quit writing!

As for my own blog, I find I struggle with what to write these days -- it feels like I'm covering the same ground over and over -- and more often than not end up saying nothing.

Posted by: Hillary at February 17, 2011 10:11 AM

I blame Google Reader... I rarely actually click through and comment on anyone's site anymore, even though I still read.

As far as the reason my own blogging is dwindling down? That I'm not so sure about. I just am not all that into it anymore, although I really wish I was. I kind of miss it, but I think after all these years, I've run out of things to say. I also have just a "here is my life blog," so feel like I don't fit into any particular community anymore.

Posted by: stephanie at February 17, 2011 10:12 AM

I read every day, but through google...so same as the person above, I rarely go to a site...

Posted by: Jean at February 17, 2011 10:14 AM

Yours is one of the few blogs I read every day. Sometimes it's time constraints; mostly it's because of the gazillions of blogs out there, I have to constantly winnow the list down to what is interesting to me.

I am on Facebook but I think it's way too generic; I'll keep my account because that's the way I can see pictures of friends' families, as they have all stopped emailing. I miss emails.

I hope you keep it up--you're number one on My hit parade!

Posted by: bacioni at February 17, 2011 10:39 AM

I'm thinking it's how popular blogging has become. There are *so many* blogs out there now, and there's not time to read all of them. So, one has to pick and choose.

That said, my stats have slightly gone up in the last year, because my mom and grandma recently discovered blogs and read mine religiously (it's always good to have a fan, even if it's your mom). I think that the stereotypical blog reader doesn't exist anymore, and that more people are reading blogs.

BUT, there are exponentially more blogs out there every day.

That's my 2 cents.

Posted by: Kelly at February 17, 2011 10:42 AM

I only scanned through the other comments, but noticed I saw a lot of Facebook answers as well as the reader answers. I also use Google Reader, I have some 135 blogs on my reader, most of whom do not update daily and I just don't have the time to click on them all to see who's posting. Hence the reader.

Personally, I've noticed a lot more commercialism in today's blogging and that really turns me off. I can accept the occasional sponsored post, but it seems that's all some people are doing anymore. I'm reading someone because I enjoy hearing about their life, or whatever it is that they blog about. I read you specifically because I love hearing about your kids and how you interact with them. We share the same love of books and similar music tastes. I disagree with some of your politics, but hey, that just makes it interesting.

So, my vote is that visit numbers are down for a combination of reasons. And I really hope that you continue to blog. I'd miss you if you weren't around.

Posted by: sherri at February 17, 2011 10:43 AM

I have to admit I rarely click over from Google reader to comment on most of my blogs these days. I agree with other people about FB, in my case anyway. I don't see the appeal of twitter personally, but I spend way too much time on FB. Plus there's the whole new step-parenting thing which means I have a few more responsibilities, but honestly, I still spend way too much time on FB.

Posted by: Jess at February 17, 2011 10:47 AM

When I first started blogging, I had no followers. Then, I got some friends I knew aboard and then their readers joined, etc. Then I went through a slump and I pretty much figured that the writing about your life blog was indeed dying. I didn't want to JUST talk about my kids or JUST talk about working out. Recently, as lame as I used to think them, I have been doing the daily memes. Like Thursday 13 and Random Tuesday; things I found through other bloggers' sites. It has increased my traffic and people are sticking around for the posts just about my life. It's all cyclical and people get busy and then not busy and come back. I think were all still here on your site if we're commenting. ;)

Posted by: Claire at February 17, 2011 10:55 AM

I'm a lurker and rarely comment on anyone's blog, but wanted to tell you that I look forward to reading what you have to say every day. Especially Monday haikus. So thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to write.

Posted by: Angela at February 17, 2011 10:58 AM

I don't comment much because I'm reading through Google Reader. It seems safer at work to visit one site than hundreds each day. I actually meant to comment yesterday - Forbes declared Madison WI the best place for an active retirement. It gave me hope after your comment!

Posted by: Michele at February 17, 2011 11:11 AM

I am just a blog reader, and I think the reason is because there are soooo many blogs to choose from. I have about 15 blogs on my "favorites" and how much time do I have during my work day to look at them....not that much. And at home I'm on the computer even less, until the weekend. Unfortunately, you probably have less readers because they are now following 20 blogs instead of 3, and just have less time. JMO

Posted by: Susan at February 17, 2011 11:15 AM

I don't remember how I first came across your blog - probably linked through a blog linked through a blog that I read. Your is at the top of my Daily Read bookmark folder and I miss you on weekends and when you are on vacation. I click over to Beth's site now and then as I also enjoy her postings.

I used to regularly read several other blogs, primarily photographer moms and a couple of foodie ones from my home town. But while well written and with beautiful photos (my hobby), they became rather monotonous day after day. I now just check them out a couple of times a month.

When I click on The Cactus, I never know what I'll get: cute kid stories, anatomy drawings, musings on current events, a book recommendation. It IS like bumping into a friend at the coffee shop. Even though you rarely hear from me, I'm here, lurking.

Posted by: Debbie P at February 17, 2011 11:35 AM

It's not just you.
It's all over the place.
Facebook, twitter...etc. has killed blogging for people, I think. I find that I spend more time clicking over to blogs from twitter links than from my reader.

Posted by: alimartell at February 17, 2011 11:40 AM

I went overboard when I first bought a computer (maybe a year before Mia was born) and I discovered blogs. She was a tiny baby when I discovered you. I started writing one, and then two blogs and I my blog list must have grown to about 200. I couldn't keep up, I didn't want to get rid of anybody, and then my own writing slowed to a trickle and then stopped. I'd run out of things to write about in my personal life. My two very senior friends with whom I shared the political blog had their own problems and eventually "Is America Burning" died as well.

Then FB (Twitter not so much) came along. For me, it works better.

So why am I here? (A) Because I enjoy reading your blog so much. (B) The link comes into my email next morning and (C) You reply to most comments. If you went over to FB I'd follow you but I think your writing would lose something. FB isn't better of worse than blogging but it's different. There should be room for both and I hope you don't give up. As for Twitter, have you ever known me to say anything in 140 characters or less?

Posted by: Ann Elizabeth Adams at February 17, 2011 11:41 AM

1) Facebook
2) Twitter
3) Politics cooling down for liberals (Bush is no longer in office)
4) Owen

No, seriously. 2009 - two years ago. Now you have two people who are small and adore you and want to spend time with you individually. And then there's Beth. And your job. But with Owen, you do have less time to read other blogs, etc. And if you're spending less time reading the smaller blogs, those people are likely to stop writing.

Think about it - you have a strong readership. I didn't. I also had other reasons to stop, but figuring out that you're not reading put a nail in the coffin of a lot of blogs. And once people stop blogging, they don't read a lot of blogs anymore.

Yours is indeed the only one I do read regularly. But I blame Owen for that. ;)

Posted by: alektra at February 17, 2011 11:45 AM

I'm with Emily who commented way up above. I read blogs through a feed reader. Do you get stats on that if we don't click through? Maybe you have more readers than you think you do...

Posted by: Tara at February 17, 2011 11:47 AM

On your stats, do they account for people who are joining you via readers? I view you through Google reader so I admit I rarely visit your site anymore, even though I read every day.

I notice I post less now that I Twitter and Facebook. But I still read 100+ blogs a day!

Posted by: Laura at February 17, 2011 11:58 AM

Don't quit!

I started a blog to keep family and friends updated on Leda's growing - it was easier than doing an email to everyone...I never had the following that others have - my followers were my family and friends with a few other fellow bloggers (you included). I very rarely comment on other blogs, except for the 3 or 4 I am a regular reader of...Facebook/Twitter is partially the reason I stopped blogging...my family is now on Facebook, so easy to keep them up to date on Leda there. Then, I realized my blogs were really just lists of things I had done since the last time I blogged. I found myself bored with myself! And, I just haven't had the time in the past year - very busy with work, which is a double edged sword.

All I really know, is I don't want you to quit...I like reading your thoughts. So, don't quit! ;-) Please!

Posted by: Cyndy at February 17, 2011 12:23 PM

Like someone said above - I'm a reader not a blogger so I can't speak to what is happening "out there"... I just know that your site is a daily read for me - even if I don't comment every day... your posts always give me something to think or smile about, frequently both!

Posted by: Sue R at February 17, 2011 1:06 PM

Please, please, don't throw in the towel. I so very much enjoy taking a daily peek into your life. I don't often comment here (ya, I am a bit of a lurker) but I do check in every day and thoroughly enjoy your dedication to us, the readers!

Posted by: Tricia at February 17, 2011 1:07 PM

there are a lot so you have to pick and choose which ones you have time to read. Also, the new "vlogging" on YouTube seems to be a hit now and I think a lot of people are transferring over to that.

Posted by: Darren at February 17, 2011 1:15 PM

I agree with what a lot of commenters have said already:
Facebook and Twitter are probably mostly to blame!

I've read your blog (not every day, but most days) for as long as... um... it's just been ages! Quite some time before Mia was born, anyway. I've noticed that nowadays blogs don't seem to be as popular, and I think it's largely due to social networking sites. The list of blogs I read these days is much shorter than it was years ago - 5 to be exact (and that includes both yours and Beth's!)

I like your style and I really hope you don't stop writing! Who cares if there are less people reading blogs? Judging by the amount of comments you get you still have a good following! (I'm guessing most people who read probably don't comment that often)

Keep up the good work! :-)

Posted by: Emily at February 17, 2011 1:26 PM

I agree about Facebook and Twitter etc... but I make a point of checking in with your blog because for one you are consistent in your posting, great content- you have something between the ears, and I think commenting is down in general because alot of other blogs are incredibly whiny and boring. People have things going on, the world has things going on and frankly some of these other blogs should throw in the towel.
I would like to go on record saying I think the mommyblog concept has jumped the shark. How does Dooce parlay her mommyblog into a spot on HGTV. I don't see the correlation.
Please keep it up,


Posted by: greenie at February 17, 2011 1:32 PM

I read you every day via Google Reader. I only click through to make a comment, which I don't do much. But I read every word! Yours is the only "this is my life" that I read because it's well written, honest and always interesting.

Posted by: James Proffitt at February 17, 2011 1:32 PM

I've got no idea why traffic would be down. I am reading more blogs than last year. And I even joined the blogosphere world like 2 days ago to document my way through a workout program.

So I'm guessing I have a workout blog that I might post other stuff on.

Posted by: Rex at February 17, 2011 1:33 PM

I'd miss you if you quit :P Also, I think part of it is that people have so many blogs to choose from and it is only possible to keep up with so many. I "follow" way too many in my Google Reader and it's definitely not the best use of my time :-/ But ... you're one of the people who is most "real" to me, probably partly because Beth blogs too, and that rounds it out somehow?
I have a blog myself, but I haven't written in a while and I don't seem to have the mental energy to keep it up.

Posted by: Heather at February 17, 2011 1:35 PM

Don't forget Twitter. It a lot easier for people to share a thought in 140 characters.

Posted by: Darren at February 17, 2011 1:42 PM

Well, I haven't read all the comments (50+... not bad... THAT NEVER HAPPENS TO ME), but I think there's an oversaturation of blogs out there. I rarely read blogs - I read my closest friends, I read yours, and then if something sounds interesting, I read it.

In addition to regular blogging - there's Twitter and FB, and I have even taken to writing on Tumblr - which is kind of fun because even when people don't comment, you get the immediate gratification of getting a "heart" when someone digs what you wrote. I heard a statistic that only 1% of people who go to read a blog actually comment - if you like the feedback and stuff -- it's kind of a downer to not get it.

I dunno.

I write more than I read. But you're one I read so if you stop writing, I'll be bummed.

Posted by: sarah at February 17, 2011 2:06 PM

There are simply more blogs out there every month that passes, and only so many readers.

Competition from Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I think it would help if you could get connected to an umbrella site that publishes many blogs of like-minded individuals.

Posted by: Anonymouse at February 17, 2011 2:08 PM

It's interesting. I do think the life blog is going through a rough time, but I don't know if that will last. For years I split my time between an anonymous mommyblog and a public housebuilding blog, but this fall I decided compartmentalizing everything was too hard. Waiting until I had something appropriate for each space meant that I wasn't writing at all. So now I've got a life blog. I can't help but wonder if others will start to do the same. I see people dividing their time between four or five different themed blogs, and it just doesn't seem sustainable.

In short, the Life Blog: It's Not Dead Yet.

Posted by: Cherie Beyond at February 17, 2011 2:11 PM

I look forward to your blog; I hope you don't stop writing. However, I don't blog for various reasons, so I could totally understand if you did.

I real Rude Cactus in Reeder via Google Reader, so I don't know if you're getting a hit from me, even though I read you every time a post pops up in Reeder. I don't know how readers affect hits; maybe that is part of the problem.

Posted by: Brooke at February 17, 2011 2:34 PM

Yes, I think Facebook has cut into the comments people leave. I know my numbers are down too. And I am guilty to the extent that I do my Facebook reading before my Reader reading. But Cactus/Fish Blogs are in my "Must Reads" on my Reader!

Posted by: Maribeth at February 17, 2011 2:42 PM

Please don't quit writing.....love, love, love reading your blog. I "lurk" everyday and always appreciate your insights. You're talented, funny, and a bright spot in my, ahem, "work" day!

Amy (in Dallas, TX)

Posted by: Amy at February 17, 2011 2:42 PM

I read every post you write, like others have said. But I do all of my blog reading via Google Reader. Do your traffic stats include posts read via RSS feeds? You might have more readers than you think you do, we've just migrated to feeds.

I only click through when I feel my comment would be quite relevant. And sometimes not even then, because I know that someone else would have already said it. :)

Posted by: Carmen at February 17, 2011 2:49 PM

I still read a few blogs (using Google reader), but I rarely comment anymore. That happened about the same time I stopped writing my own blog after five years. Along with Facebook and Twitter being other attractions (although not Twitter so much for me personally), I was really turned off by how commercial so many blogs were becoming. Every other blogger was trying to make a buck and hold him or herself out as a expert; it left me completely disinterested in being a part of it. You've never done that--which is one of the reasons that you're still in my reader.

Posted by: Darren at February 17, 2011 2:49 PM

I've been reading here the last four years or so and would be so sad if you decided to drop it - I'd miss the mirror your posts hold up to my life! I use Google reader too, if those don't show up in the stats that could explain a lot. I don't comment much, which sucks of me I know, but my kids are the same age as yours PLUS a 9-month-old so I know you understand. :) Please keep writing, you're one of my links to sanity and brain-engagement while DH is at work during the day!

Posted by: Karen at February 17, 2011 3:12 PM

Yes I have to agree it has to be Facebook and Twitter. But for goodness sake don't stop blogging. I have read you for years and would miss you so much. You are like family to me by now and I can't imagine a day without you and your family in it. Mark it up to my being a lonely old woman I guess. But I do think you should seriously consider writing a book. I, for one, would definately buy one. I think you are talented.
Hugs to you, Beth and the kids

Posted by: Trish V at February 17, 2011 3:30 PM

I'm also a Google Reader reader of your blog. Yours is the first blog I read every day.
So there.

Posted by: Pirate T at February 17, 2011 4:18 PM

Facebook and being able to share things on Google Reader have slowed my blogging down. Also just growing up and changing, I've been blogging for 7 years and I've changed a lot. Also my job means I can't blog anything political or controversial. I don't really feel I have the time to blog much these days but I aim for once a week.

Posted by: Katherine at February 17, 2011 4:57 PM

Don't really know, I'm quite late on the blogging bandwagon, after spending years hemming and hawing about it. Now my brand new blog is one in a sea of millions. I try not to think too hard about the probability of someone finding and then actually commenting on my blog (well, someone other than my real life friends and family), because if I thought about it too hard, I'd probably give up. My favorite blogs are the personal ones, but I'm clearly in the minority. I actually took a blog class (I know!) and the instructor insisted you need a theme, that no one reads personal blogs.

Posted by: Tracy at February 17, 2011 5:02 PM

I hope that you continue to write, Chris, as I genuinely love reading about you and your little family in your little corner of this earth.

Others have said it, and I echo it, Facebook.

I continue to blog. My readership is VERY small (which happens when you lock it down to only invited guests, and then reduce the guest list), and for me, my blog has become, through the years, an online journal shared with a few very trusted friends. While I once was ok with the publicity of it - I am not anymore. My Facebook account is also locked up tight.

And I read less blogs. Less time. I expected as my boys aged, I would have more time. I was wrong. And how many mommy blogs do I really need to read? Especially moms of younger kids? Been there, done that, could have written the same blog. I read yours specifically for your viewpoint as a married father in a relationship - at least the parts you share of it - that is rock solid and hot and romantic. The fact that you identify as liberal, are an avid book reader, and have similar taste in music really helps too.

Posted by: Mindy at February 17, 2011 5:11 PM

It's because I'm not here that your site traffic is down. New job which I actually have to work at and no home laptop? I am going into internet withdrawl.

Posted by: k8 at February 17, 2011 5:14 PM

I had a blog for a while, but dropped it because the "this is my life" blog got supplanted by Facebook newsfeed. I started a new one a while back because I like to write essay-type stuff, so I tackle topics other than my life now. But it's certainly not as often as before. As far as reading, I do go in phases, but I do always seem to make it back to my favorites time and time again.

Posted by: Heather at February 17, 2011 5:56 PM

Facebook and Twitter for those of us from eight years ago, which is much more "age-appropriate" now than MySpace was back then for us. And the youth who start out with those two/three media (which have just exploded over the last few years) and never passed through blogs at all. "Blogs are sooo 2000s," I can hear the kids saying, like we said "leg warmers are sooo 1980s!"

Posted by: RzDrms at February 17, 2011 8:46 PM

Also, without a doubt, the enormous increase of Websense (webpage blocking) at offices around the country (world?), and RSS feeds that only show a couple of lines of texts of blogs that ARE blocked, thereby making the reader just remove them altogether. Lastly, the poor quality of viewing from smartphones (unless they have a mobile site).

Posted by: RzDrms at February 17, 2011 8:50 PM

I blogged for a few years and then gave it up because of the amount of time required. Plus, my blog which started as a means to keep family up to date lacked widespread appeal in a place suddenly flooded with "my cute family" blogs. I didn't want to rebrand (I was never in blogging for a career move), so I just stopped posting.

Now I read a handful of blogs daily on my reader, yours being one of them. I like and appreciate your writing style, especially pieces that are more issue focused rather than specific posts on your kids. I don't say that as a criticism in any way, just that I have now read so many thousands of posts on (essentially) strangers' kids, that I don't really need to read more.

If I had to say one thing about the bloggy world, I think it's jumped the shark. This might go towards explaining why overall readership is down. For blogs to continue to have readers, even if those numbers are diminishing, they rely on a) a longstanding readership/history that started before the blog "boom" of 2006/07 b) a unique perspective or voice that is hard to find in other blogs.

I'm predicting blogs will soon all drift into the ether and something else will replace them. Facebook? Maybe, but that's reaching an annoying threshold too as more and more business and advertisers seek to invade it for gain.

Sorry for the essay in your comments. Interesting times ahead for sure.

Posted by: Mandy at February 17, 2011 9:35 PM

I'm arriving way too late to add anything new to the conversation, so I'll echo some of what's already been said. I'm primarily a book blogger, and my niche is exploding...but it's a niche. The general "I just talk about my life" bloggers seem to be doing more of that talking on Facebook.

My blog's never gotten a lot of visits, but I have a decent number of RSS feed subscribers, and I just hope at least some of them are reading at least some of my posts that way. That's how I'm reading theirs. I read yours that way, and I'd really miss them if you stopped. Besides, then who would be in charge of Delurking Day?

Posted by: Florinda at February 17, 2011 11:30 PM

Well, crap. So much for a comeback. No, really, though I've been MIA for nearly five years now, I've still popped in from time to time to read your ramblings and to prove to myself that it is possible for good things to happen to good people.

I'll chime in and sing the Facebook killed the blogging star song. But, you'll always have the die hard fans, the same romantics who love libraries and the feel and smell of a book in their hands over the Kindle, are the same who will keep blogging and weeding out the good stuff from the fluff.

I'm coming back to blogging because I like the journaling aspect and because, I, like you, have met some extraordinary people that I most definitely otherwise would not have with my ink and paper diary.

Keep on keepin on!

Posted by: at February 17, 2011 11:48 PM

It's the Reader that's killing the traffic. However because I too blog, I glean the headlines on the reader THEN I click on the link to go read the article at the actual blog. You know, like now. :)

Don't get discouraged! At least you're consistent. Me? Not so much. :)

Posted by: oakley at February 18, 2011 12:49 AM

Please, please don't stop writing! I haven't been commenting as much as I used to, but I read your blog every single day without fail. It is one of the first things I do before I settle into the day's work, no matter how busy I am. I find your blog interesting, sometimes thought-provoking, and I like your sense of humour and your openness / honesty about life and your opinions on things.

I can't really say what is happening in the blogosphere. I had / have a blog that I do posts for sometimes, though not often, but it's not for general readership because I don't think it's that interesting that people would want to read it! So I don't keep track of stats etc. But even if the stats are down, don't get discouraged. You have a great blog, and loyal followers and I think we'd all be sad to see you throw in the towel.

Posted by: Delia at February 18, 2011 2:11 AM

Facebook is killing a lot of things as it sucks up peoples time. It's killing my favorite online forums as well.

And then there are bloggers who admit they worry about their traffic stats. I don't know why but that's off putting. I prefer writers who have something to say whether nobody is listening, 10 people are listening, or 1,000.

Posted by: Sligo Creek at February 18, 2011 7:12 AM

I'm late to this party, but I have to agree with what everyone else said: Facebook (which I avoid like the plague - hate it), Twitter and RSS readers. Most of the blogs I read now are niche blogs - crafting, photography, cooking. In fact, I don't read as many journal-type blogs as I used to because they just don't exist anymore - I even gave up on my own last year. I still do appreciate a well written, paragraph filled post/journal entry that has some thought behind it. (Nudge nudge). So even if you decide not to post as often, know that many of us will still be reading when you do.

Posted by: Susan C. at February 18, 2011 8:39 AM

Just wanted to stop by to say I read this blog every single day :) and enjoy your writing

I do admit that I don't comment as often! That's coz I use the phone to read and Hvnt yet figured out the easy commenting way in that

Please do keep writing and churning out wonderful posts!!

Hv a nice day!

Posted by: Just Someone at February 18, 2011 9:27 AM

I admit, I totally dropped off the radar for quite a while - both reading and writing blogs. Life just seemed to get in the way and my blog no longer really felt relevant to my life. Now (as you can see) I've started again, but I'm totally in a very specific niche, although I'd like to think it'd be interesting to other people too.

I've always enjoyed reading your blog and it's been fun coming back to it and seeing how things have changed (and stayed the same). I like how blogs allow you to share a part of your life, although I admit to being slightly addicted to facebook and twitter. But facebook in particular I use to stay in touch with people I know IRL and I see blogging as a completely separate entity. I hope you continue to blog.

Posted by: Starrynite at February 18, 2011 12:12 PM

Hey Chris,

There are a lot of online distractions I would say. Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr to name a few. I love your blog but your are right blogging is a lot of work! I just mostly update my hikes and state parks I visit and even that can be time consuming when you are editing and such. I really love the weeklies!!! They are awesome! But I have noticed the shorter the blog sometimes the more I am attracted to it and yours aren't too long but if I don't have time from a quick glance I come back later and read it.

Bottom line it is hard to compete in a Twitterverse attention span :-)


Posted by: Julie Andel at February 18, 2011 3:36 PM

Late to the party and I have no answers. However? I still do what I want, like I did in 2006. I don't do contests. I don't get paid for posts. I don't get free crap. Maybe our type of blogging is a dying breed. But I still think there is a place for it.

Watch, it will be all retro in two more years and everyone will go back to it.

For me, my ability to comment is down. Just time and energy and honestly I have carpal tunnel in both hands. But I still read every day.

Posted by: Issa at February 18, 2011 6:09 PM

You know, it is funny that this is the post I see after months of not reading your (or any) blog. And it has been over a year since I did anything with my own.

I miss it, both the reading and the writing. For my part, there are simply not enough hours in the day. I just do not get on the computer outside of work.

But, I do think the social media, sound bite snippets of facebook and twitter give many the sense that they are in the loop with little commitment. Maybe also a correlate of declining aesthetic literacy/leisure reading in our country? Or am I just getting too deep? :)

Posted by: kate at February 18, 2011 7:18 PM

Do your site stats include RSS subscriptions? Because I read through an RSS feed every day (or, I read all your posts eventually) but rarely click over to comment or actually hit your site, so I'm totally part of the problem.

That said, the blogosphere is definitely a very, very different place than when we started. It's become much more niche-based, with communities springing up around sites that share very specific interests, be it running or food or photography or whatever. I don't think it's a bad thing, per se, but in a lot of ways it seems to be more about the content than about making a personal connection with the writer/reader.

When we started, blogging was just a way to hang out online, meet cool people and talk about whatever, sort of like the office water cooler or your favorite bar. Now it's a way to share information and common interests, more like meeting someone at a conference.

Like I said, it's not a bad thing, but it is different. I do still base my blog reading on whether or not I feel like I have some sort of connection (albeit largely one-sided) with the author, although I do tend to gravitate towards sites that write about something I'm interested in other than "life in general" (although there are certainly exceptions).

Did that make sense?

Posted by: Dawn at February 18, 2011 11:38 PM

I'm sure Facebook and Twitter are at least partially to blame but how much I don't know. I submit most of my blog posts to my twitter and to my stumble upon, and while views are up for me as a result, actual meaningful interaction has been down for a while. Then again, I'm pretty resigned to my blog being super boring because the only time I ever got a lot of comments in the 7+ years its been running was when I blogging a lot of sex. Once I quit that, I lost most of my interaction with readers.

Posted by: Debra at February 19, 2011 4:00 AM

Well, I can only tell you my own issue and what cactus blocked me for a few months. I lost my job. What does that mean for you? I wasn't siting in front of a computer all day anymore. Your blog was, for me, my ten a.m. break and now I don't get breaks anymore. As soon as I got my smart phone, I was back to reading you several times a week. But, I admit, instead of reading you in the office, I read you "in the office". Hope you don't mind

Posted by: Stephanie at February 19, 2011 12:42 PM

Seldom comment but have been a regular reader for about 4-5 years....regular being several times a month but I usually go through and read all the posts I have missed. I'm a big Mia and Owen fan. Your posts about them are by far my favorite.

Posted by: Leilani at February 19, 2011 12:46 PM

so i always try to click out of my google reader onto your blog specifically so that you know i've been there, even if i don't comment, which i don't seem to have as much time to do lately (or maybe i haven't been as compelled by the topics? i'm not sure, no offense)... and i'm subscribed to about a hundred blogs in my reader so i know it's not that i'm *not* reading blogs. but i'm definitely not clicking through to very many of them lately. and i usually won't even subscribe to a blog that makes me click through from my reader because i don't want to *have* to. i do it for beth and maybe one other blog. otherwise i find that annoying... sooo. i don't know if i have any interesting insight for you but there you go. pinterest has been a time suck lately, and facebook as usual. oh, and the two barnacles constantly climbing my body for attention. that may be my biggest hinderance :) :) :)

Posted by: kati at February 21, 2011 12:27 AM

Well, I can say for myself that my family situation during December 2010 and January 2011 took my focus away from my usual daily blog reading sessions so I might have contributed to that lag in blog-readerness (Is that a word?)


Posted by: Aurelia at February 21, 2011 10:29 AM

Hi! Confession time - I've been anonymously stalking..I mean...reading your blog for about a year now. I got my husband instantly hooked about six months ago. I have NO IDEA how I initially bumped into your blog, but it's an addicition I can't live without! I work at a corporate desk job in Plano, Texas...my cube-r-hood bores the hell out of me. Reading your blog a few times a week CRACKS ME UP. I can't get enough of it, seriously! I just wanted to let you know...I am sure I seem like a total creeper, but I felt compelled to tell you that after this post! I do not have Facebook, I do not have a blog, but I follow several on a regular basis. Running into yours accidentally has kept my faith in humanity...if I would have run into one more mommy blog, I may have gauged my own eyeballs out. (Note - I am a happy mother of one crazy two year old and a bun in the oven.) Your recent post about Disneyworld had me laughing so hard I am sure I had co-workers wondering just what the hell was going on over here in cube B3086. Keep on keepin' on...LOVE THE BLOG! Thank you!

Posted by: Ashley at February 21, 2011 12:42 PM

I like your blog. I started reading because of Beth (when she gave up and I wanted to find out what she was up to - important note, I am not a stalker) and then I found it interesting all by itself. I just noticed recently that my blog reading habits have completely changed. I used to read lots of parenting blogs. Now the only ones I read without fail are you, Dooce and Fluid Pudding. Others I dip in and out of. I read a lot more factual type stuff now, Kottke, the Sartorialist,that kind of stuff. I'm not sure why I've moved away from the personal blogs so much - did they stop (like Beth) or did I stop being interested?

Posted by: Anne at February 21, 2011 6:01 PM

I used to faithfully read blogs daily, this was 5-7 years ago and as the kids grow and demands for work increase I just find myself with less time. As it is I still have a few I peek in on at least weekly (yours has always been my favorite) but my blog reading has decreased. I will miss being able to peek in on you and your family, your daughter is just a little younger than mine and her name is Amelia and we call her the bean (miabean), always have and I thought that was funny when I read about your daughter being born and her nickname. I also think people are crazy into their social networking, facebook and whatever other network is around. I hope you do not throw in the towel quite yet:)

Posted by: Shannon at February 21, 2011 11:59 PM

Twitter and facebook and well, there are too many blogs to keep up with. Sadly, I think we have fallen out of fashion.

Not that it will stop me...

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