Not with a bang but with a whimper?

Mark Evans reflects on Jason Calacanis’ announcement that he’s done with blogging and asks the question, "Do blogs/bloggers have a ‘best until’ date? "

I think that sooner or later, 99% of bloggers will retire from blogging or at least their current blogs. There comes a time when anyone has said all they have to say and all that keeps them going is ego. If they can come to grips with the ego question, they’ll move on to something else.

That something else may be a different blog on a different subject matter and a fresh perspective. Or it may be to leave blogging altogether.

For some people, that will come with a dramatic declaration that "I’m outahere." For most, however, I think it will come about with less and less frequent until things simply peter out.

Not with a bang but a whimper .

What do you think? How long will you keep blogging before you shut down your current blog or walk away altogether?

  • I’ve been contemplating the idea of stopping for a while now. Maybe it’s because the sun and beach seem more appealing right now. 😉

    I think that the reason for blogging and stopping really depends on your audience. If you have indeed said everything that you need to say and you know all of your readers, then perhaps stopping is a good idea, but chances are you don’t know who reads your blog and that audience may be changing. Some reader may have just started a few weeks ago while others have read all of your archived material.

    Working in the web world, where I set up blogs on a weekly basis, I find myself explaining the concept of blogging to at least one person a week. I think that bloggers need to keep in mind that there is a huge untapped audience out there who don’t even know that blog exists. And that’s the reason I don’t think I’ll stop anytime soon. I won’t be blogging every day, not even every week, but when I have something to write about, I will and perhaps a newbie reader will discover it.

  • I think when the apparent value is less than the time spent engaging and quality and readership decline, motivation for maintaining a blog wanes.

    On the other hand, blogs tied to someone’s job may cease when he or she moves on to a different opportunity, but blogging can always continue elsewhere in a new capacity. Earlier in the month, Frances Bula, journalist and blogger with the Vancouver Sun left the paper and retired her City States blog. Here’s her final post: http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/citystates/archive/2008/07/02/a-short-goodbye.aspx

  • David Tallan

    I think if the purpose of the blog is to “bring the truth down from the mountaintop” or make the big statement, then certainly the time will come when the blogger “has said all they have to say”.

    On the other hand, people can go though their entire life continuing to learn and think. If the blog is reporting on that, then the source material doesn’t have to peter out.

  • I’d like to think that as long as I’m learning something in my job, I’ll have something I want to say on my site. If I’m not learning something, it’s time to move on.

    For me, I think the challenge will be a matter of work/life choice. There are only so many hours in the day and there are way too many things to do in them. My running site has suffered badly, ironically from my increased running, as the amount of time I put into training has increased.

    Right now, though, I get antsy if I haven’t written something on my main site for a few days. To me, that means my blog isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

  • I think a certain level of ego is necessary to keep a blog running– it cannot be the only thing keeping it running, though. After a few no comment posts, the ego blogger would be verging upon self-sadism.

    No, What keeps me blogging is the creative space. The blog is an SEO person’s experiment, a writer’s escape and a PR professionals running advertisement. I am all three, and the benefit of maintaning a blog is reflective of this.

  • I think one of the problem with most frequent bloggers is that they talk too much, but say too little. It’s like what you just said about ego keeping them going, except that it takes a degree of ego just to get started because you have to think that your opinions are important enough (in the first place) to START conversations rather than just ADD to them.

    My blogging has petered out for two reasons, and they both have to do with me being a video blogger: (1) I got tired of producing boring run-of-the-mill Loren-Feldmanesque talking-head crap, so (2) now that I take the time to actually put a quality vlog together, I end up thinking about what I’m going to say, and more often than not, I realize that it’s nothing all that special.

    My recent vlog on Crowdsourcing was three days in the think tank.

    It seems to me that most of the blogging “insight” out there is actually very timely, is nothing more than a clever take or speculation on something that hasn’t really developed as a story yet. Consequently, if you don’t scramble to say it right away, you end up not really having much to say.

    Suffice it to say I’ve chosen the quality route over the quantity one, and it might make my vlog look more like a hobby, but that’s really what it is. It just so happens that one of my hobbies is personal branding.

  • I agree with David: most people have only 2 or 3 important ideas to share with the rest of the world in their lifetime, the rest is just making conversation. But blogging is about making connections, churning info to shed light on particular aspects, increase awareness… approached like this, as a student rather than a teacher, that is a complement to the rest of one’s life, not a project.

    This (http://finalspin.wordpress.com/) is my second blog – the first one lasted about two years.

  • Good points about blogging being about listening, learning and discussing, not pontificating. And it’s a thoughtful comment stream like these above that underline for me the continuing power of blogging. You don’t get this on Facebook. 😉

  • It’s an interesting question. (Why did you pick 99%?) My belief is that the people who have ceased or who will stop blogging will be those who get tired of seeing “0 Comments” after every one of their posts. While I don’t think that’s 99% it’s easily the majority of bloggers.

    Those who are read and who spark constructive dialog without the soapbox posturing and through well-informed, clear, original content will be more inclined to keep blogging.