Blog abandonment

All across the blogosphere, you find them:

Abandoned blogs, cluttering the Internet landscape.

Maybe they were a once-favorite source of insight on your blogroll or in your RSS feed. You decide one day to have a peek to see what that old blogger is up to these days. Only to find that the last post was in 2011. Or worse, 2010.

In my mind’s eye, I see piles and piles of abandoned blogs along the shoulders of the information highway, heaped like rusting jalopies in a junkyard.

Might this blog soon join those ranks?

I don’t know. All I know is that I’m feeling like I don’t have much time for this pursuit anymore.

It isn’t that I don’t enjoy blogging, or find it valuable. It’s just that other commitments, primarily work and family, have taken up more of my time and energy. Which isn’t that unusual. According to the latest State of the Blogosphere report, 61 percent of the bloggers who report blogging less than in the past say work and family commitments are the main reason.

The key driver of decreased blogging is an increase in work and family commitments, according to the latest 'State of the Blogosphere' report.
The key driver of decreased blogging is an increase in work and family commitments, according to the latest 'State of the Blogosphere' report.

I know I’m not alone. Many terrific individuals in the higher ed community — intelligent, articulate communicators — blog infrequently. Some contribute so infrequently to their creations that they might as well put their blogs out of their misery. Search my blogroll and you’ll find many that haven’t been updated in months. And many of them are very good blogs, written by articulate, intelligent people who had great insights to share.

What I find rather depressing about all of this is that most of us who blog or advise people about social media frequently advise others to feed their creations — to provide and update content.

What causes them to abandon their blogs? Do they feel that they’re just too busy to give their creations any attention? Have they spread themselves too thin, trying to balance their hectic social media lives and personae across too many platforms? Are we trying to ride the wave on too many surfboards, of varying shapes and sizes?

Maybe it’s a matter of prioritizing our social media usage. Maybe we’ve decided Facebook is at the top of our list, followed by Twitter, then Pinterest, etc., and our blogs have fallen farther down the list of priorities. Maybe so far down that it is no longer a priority at all.

If blogging isn’t a part of your job, or isn’t a source of income (either directly, through ads and such, or indirectly, as a tool to promote your services), then what motivates you to blog?

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

10 thoughts on “Blog abandonment”

  1. I blog mainly to share things that I’ve found online with friends who aren’t nearby. I used to maintain a full blog, but I didn’t have time to compose an entry every time I wanted to share a link or photo or interesting quote. So now I use Tumblr.

  2. Andy I’ve definitely been struggling with this lately. .eduGuru is such a big beast to keep going but it’s also become important enough to me (and hopefully the community) that I feel a responsibility to keep it going. Besides it I’m also trying to do more blogging on the nuCloud company blog AND I still have that personally blog of mine that I throw random things on when I find a few minutes.

    To answer your question, what motivates me to blog is because I know how important it is in it’s deepest form! I don’t know how to explain it but at some point all this crazy social media stuff will go away but blogging will still remain. Quality writing will always have a purpose. I also know that I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had over the past few years without blogging in the first place.

  3. Heidi and Kyle – Thanks for sharing your perspectives on this subject.

    Heidi – I’ve thought about Tumblr as an alternative to blogging. I think it’s a great tool and has its place — mainly to share interesting images and quotes, ideas, etc., as you point out. But since I’m not quite ready to abandon blogging altogether, and I don’t want to add another platform to my social media plate, I’m probably not going to pursue that path at this point.

    Kyle – .eduGuru IS an important resource for the higher ed community, and I’m glad you continue to keep it going in the midst of your other pursuits. Having a group of bloggers who contribute is both a blessing and a curse, I’m sure, but you’ve managed to keep that project going with the comings and goings of .eduGuru personnel. Keep up the great work – and THANKS for sharing an encouraging word.

  4. I feel your pain. Many of us who blog see ourselves as curators (at least I do). We feel we have a responsibility to help people by providing answers to their problems via content. One thing I found: when social media was new and shiny, there was so much exciting info rebounding around, there was a thrill of sorts in being involved. Now, social media is widely acceptable and I start to hear myself saying “meh” when I glance through my RSS every morning. The info pipeline is slowing down and it sounds like the same old, same old making the rounds daily. When I left higher ed last year and went out on my own, my blog took on a little different tone–it’s my main source of marketing. So now, the motivation to write is a little different. Remember that scene in “Singing in the Rain” where Gene Kelly does a long number about a young hoofer coming to Broadway called, “Gotta Dance”? Well, I guess I “Gotta Write.” But I know it is slowing down.

  5. I think it’s such a cyclical thing. For years, I wrote and read less. Now I tend to read a ton more and write less. Or at least, as it relates to my professional blog anyway. Another problem for me is finding a niche where my insights are actually insightful and not redundant.

    But it’s good to see someone else talking about this. One of my personal goals for this year is to be more prolific again, but I think that with the plethora of content out there it gets harder for people to keep up and thus…it’s easier to do other things with the time that we used to reserve for blogging.

  6. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and coming back later on. I have a few “abandoned” blogs myself, though I like to think of them more as projects that are temporarily on hold…

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