As I wrote earlier, now it's 2016, and "nobody blogs anymore." I was interested in exploring why this happened, and why it's so hard to get this world of personal blogs back on the internet. So I (via email) asked four friends who made up the core of my blogging group in the mid-2000s to share their thoughts with me on the topic: What happened to personal blogging as we knew it, and why did it happen?
Tom's thoughts are here, and Matt Yglesias's are here. Now up, my dear friend Susan, who I would not have met without the blogs of 2004. You really should dig through her archives. She's such a talented writer.
Now you've made me go back and think about why I started blogging in the first place. I had a boring job sitting in a dark corner of a law firm where it made no difference if I worked 2 hours or 10. I was reading Elizabeth Spiers' pre-gawker blog Begging to Differ and discovering this hilarious register of communication called snark. I had just moved to DC and had no friends and Kriston was still in Texas. I was bored. And nobody was listening. So why not. I could try on a persona, hear what I sounded like, amuse myself and one or two others, risk free. Very soon it became about the community of bloggers and the space we met online and offline - a primitive scratching of the itch that other forms of social media have now optimized and monetized. Same basic formula as today: voice and community. Looking back dispassionately: it was a (relatively) time-consuming way to express ourselves on the internet and connect to other humans. You had to work out your page design. You had to choose a comment-management service. You had to curate and update blog rolls. You had to learn basic html! No platform would ask that of its casual users today!
To answer your question about the return of blogging. Do not forget that in 30 years we will return to our prior state. We will have time. We won't give a shit what anyone thinks. We will think we know it all. We are going to have some awesome group geezer blogs, y'all.