I have been blogging since August of 2008, initially twice a week and more recently once a week. I have learned a lot of different things in that process. I know myself much better as person, as a writer and as a photographer. I know the blogosphere much better and I know blogging itself much, much better. Today’s blog will explore some of the things that I have learned over the last 45 months as a “blogger.”
As they say, I will cut to the chase and say I am going to be cutting back on my blogging in the future, from once a week to only posting whenever something inspires me. I am doing this because the internet is over run with people blathering on about photography and I have come to wonder what I can possibly contribute that hasn’t already been said. Keep in mind that over the last 45 months I wrote (and rewrote) 303 thousand words, made up of 1.5 million characters over 742 pages (with 12 point Century Gothic type.)
I also need to face how little impact my blog (and most other blogs) actually have. I suppose I could start blogging for another larger site but that doesn’t interest me. I will still be blogging occasionally, on The Wells Point, when something catches my attention or on other sites where I like to think my ramblings will in fact add something to the larger conversation.
One thing I have loved about blogging (and hope to do more of) is answer the kind of questions from readers that I turn into blog entries. The articles I have made over the last three years following that model have been some of the most enjoyable for me. The questions posed by readers (and friends) have forced me to think about issues in great depth. It has forced me to also take a position, articulate that position and more than occasionally, rethink that position. Plus, in the process of exploring and then answering a reader’s question, I know that I have some audience (and that I am helping at least one person with my answer.)
So, if you have an idea for a blog entry that you want me to write, send the idea my way. I may night be able to make a blog entry out of your suggestion, but know that I will read it very seriously. Please note that I will continue podcasting AND sending out my monthly newsletter. Both of those seem to be good uses of my time and doing them plays to my strengths.
One reason I am easing up on blogging is that my blog entries clearly don’t fit an obvious niche. I do not write about gear all that often and I certainly do not review new gear. I do not do enough of the kind of physically challenging assignments in exotic locations that seem to make great blog subjects. I have no complaints about my life as a photographer but it is hardly glamorous. I muddle through making a decent living as a stock/assignment photographer while putting time and energy into personal projects.
Please understand I am not complaining. I generally loved blogging, but producing new material each week was becoming a real challenge. Producing new material each day, as some bloggers do, is inconceivable. The master of that is David Schonauer, writing at http://www.ai-ap.com/prophotodaily/ I have to give him a great deal of credit, since he is always finding new and interesting material. In a small way, the arrival of his blog (which I actually look forward to each day) has forced me to reconsider mine, which pales by comparison.
As I was outlining this blog entry I kept hearing the song by the band R.E.M., “The end of the world as we know it” from their 1987 album “Document.” I finally looked up the words, and I was especially taken by one lyric towards the end that went like this: “Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.” That reminded me of one other thing I have learned over the last few years as a “blogger,” which is how too much of the blogosphere (especially the political) is people making noise for the sake of making noise. Those same people then decline to consider viable alternatives and solutions to the complaints they raise in their blogs.
The lyric that I hold onto the most from that song speaks to how I will be once I stop blogging on a fixed schedule “It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…fine…”