There was a great story in today’s New York Times about blogs and our fantasies for them. The dream of bloggers everywhere is that we will become well-known, if not famous, thanks to the effortless publication that is the blog. That we will be discovered, be invited to produce books for mass markets, make a living if not a fortune from these postings.
Turns out that most of us blog in obscurity, read mostly by family and friends, our efforts blooming unseen in the vasty darkness of the ‘net. And once we discover this fact, we give up. According to the Time, “In a 2008 study, Technorati estimated that since 2002, 133 million blogs were started. Of those, only 7.4 million have been updated in the last 120 days. The rest are essentially abandoned.”
I think people stop blogging because no one writes back. No one cares. It’s too sad.
But having written for newspaper and magazines, I’m sort of used to that deafening silence. Sure, I hoped that more people would post comments if only because it’s so easy to do. No paper. No postage.
But the experience of print is instructive. If I received a single letter to a column published in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine (in the days when it was read by millions rather than tens of dozens of New Englanders)I was thrilled. If one person was moved to pick up a pen, that meant there were others who thought about doing the same. After all, I am just as guilty as the next browser of not taking the 60 seconds to thank a favorite author, applaud a great singer, or say hey to fellow bloggers, whose words I follow. (Yes,that’s you, Dr. Paley.)