Blogging has changed, this blogger’s life and world have changed in the past five years since Fragments began. I miss the way it used to be those first years. I look forward to the way it will be next year and the next, as small voices join in the growing sea of self-expression, information and ideas that is the expanding world of internet self-publishing.
Yes, I feel cut off from an energy that once existed on both sides of this computer screen back in the early and uncertain days of exploration, experimentation and innovation. I remember the Ecotone–a collaborative group centered around writing about place, for which I was a founding member. I remember the first bloggers’ Carnival of the Vanities (first among the aggregating carnivals and father of subsequent themed postings on trees, birds, nature, cats…) where the first “issue” had maybe a dozen contributions of which mine was one. I remember the first meeting of another “live” blogger on my front porch, while that list has grown to more than a dozen now.
And while I feel “left behind” in many ways online (I haven’t caught on to Twitter or Facebook yet) I also sense the ways that the medium is changing for the better. I have three examples from just this week, and since they include me in some small way in their efforts and activities, I feel included in this evolution towards whatever it is that blogs and blogging will become.
First, I was happy this week to learn of Whorled Leaves–a site that is “an experiment in blogging book communities, web-based friendships, and more inspired by a common love for the natural world.” That group has chosen for this month’s selection to read my book. So our words do live on, and even when they have grown faded and distant to us, those reading them for the first time can make the moments, places and sensations they depict live again.
Blogs that become books (or “blooks”) is a phenomenon that of course didn’t exist in 2002 when FFF began. Now the list is long and growing, and you may have visited Lulu’s Blooker Prize site where over 100 entries from 15 countries competed for the $10000 prize. (Amazingly, I did not win!) Cheryl Hagdorn has created “Blooking Central: Examining published blooks to discover what makes for a blookable blog and how you can turn your blog into a blook.” She gave a mention this week of Slow Road Home in answer to someone asking “if you can read it on the blog, why have the book?” SRH, she said, is “the sort of thing you want to curl up with on your lap in front of a fire or sitting in your glider sipping lemonade. Hard to do that with your lap top and still smell the pine in the Blue Ridge mountains.”
And finally, from amidst the angst and ire of blog-pundritry and the babel of mundane and quotidian blather that composes no small portion of the blogmatter in the universe, Sheila Cason from Guam has created Beauty on the Web, a site “…all about beautiful things found on weblogs.” Here’s another example of how bloggers, blogs and creative energy can work together for good. She asked for and I sent a contribution. You may have something to share as well. Sent it her way.
My writing life no longer is limited to my weblog. But I won’t abandon it, even in its diluted and enfeebled state, because there is still energy to tap into, to add to, to learn from. I don’t think, even as long-lived as I am among bloggers (and among my fellow seniors, for that matter) I don’t think I’ve seen it all yet. There is more to come in my life as writer and photographer, and this blog will somehow be a part of that growth.
How does your blog fit into your life, past, present and future? Do you think of it as obligation or opportunity? As an inspiration or a drain on your creative energies? Is it time for a change in your voice, your brand, your direction that might enliven your time in the edit-box of your blog platform? Now’s a good time to be considering where to go from here. The New Blogging Year is approaching fast!