Things about stuff.Ask
I finally got around to cleaning up my RSS subscriptions the other day, most of which were added to Google Reader years ago and at some point in the last five years had silently sputtered out without anyone really noticing.
Which got me thinking. I follow something in the order of 300 blog feeds of varying description, however once that myriad of blogs get viewed through a single reader, a few things get lost. For a start, I feel that rather than ‘visit’ blogs, I now have them essentially sent to me, it’s as if the web 1.0 terminology ‘surfing the web’ has been replaced by an activity more akin to ‘sitting in the shallows while the waves wash over you’.
The adage ‘content is king’ gets bandied around a lot, and given that RSS readers have essentially stripped blogs down to just their content, that saying certainly has some weight, yet despite this, various blogging platforms still offer a variety of themes, when in reality most people will see that carefully chosen theme once before hitting ‘follow’ or ‘add’.
Thing is, there’s a lot of blogs that look utterly fantastic at their own URL, but then lose something once their content is processed, stripped down, and shoe-horned into a readers own layout. A blog like I’m Google, a gradually changing stream of images relating back to each other, is a good example of something that doesn’t work through a reader, while image blogs like convoy seem to work better with multiple images side by side on the screen at once, rather that with a single vertical column. That visual saturation is the entire point of blogs like that and is probably the reason the fastidiously curated images on Convoy are crammed into a single post, 120 or so at a time, rather than an unconnected stream of 120 separate posts.
The other downside of all that information being visually laundered on its way to my neat little reader feed is that I barely notice when one or two go missing, or stop showing up. It was only after ‘cleaning up’ my feed that I realised a lot of friends blogs have ground to a halt sometime over the last year.
One theory for this is that ‘Instagram killed the blogger’, Interestingly, ‘Instagram’ just overtook ‘blog’ on google trends. Mind you, according to that chart, ‘blog’ has been in decline since June 2009, which to be fair probably just suggests that by 2009 most people didn’t need to Google it any more. Meanwhile, ‘Pizza’ doesn’t look like it’s falling out of favour anytime soon, if you were wondering.
This blog is no different. I think I’ve managed 4 or 5 posts over the last year, when by comparison, I’ve clocked up something like 300 instagram posts. So I think I’m going to try and give it a bit more attention, but I’m not promising anything.