Michael Heilemann recently had an idea for a comment system based on Twitter @replies. Not a new idea, to be sure, as there are several rather well-documented solutions for this floating around out there. But that isn’t the bit I’m interested in with his post. I’m interested in the bit where he says he misses the old days of blogging.
“Twitter killed a lot of blogs, and Iâ€™m beginning to think that itâ€™s killed even more comments. I love Twitter, but I do miss the old days of the blogosphere, back when blogs where as common as opinions (I was traversing my archives earlier; it was like visiting a graveyard, with URLs for headstones). Back when even a half-assed entry would garner comments from near and far, and people would link to each other and the sense of community was in-between people and their writing, rather than in-between 140-character quips.
Those days are gone, and a new batch have arrived, where if I write that Iâ€™m eating a strawberry pie on Facebook, itâ€™ll get more replies than if I dig up a super-rare interview with George Lucas and write about it on my blogâ€¦ Whatâ€™s a man to do?”
Michael and I share these feelings. I really do miss the old days of blogging. I do like Twitter and Facebook, but it doesn’t distract me from reading and participating on blogs. Although it seems to do just that to the majority of ‘the blogosphere’.
A few examples of this in action, if I may.
The other day I wrote a link about Gmail labels and asked a question at the end of the post about how people currently use labels. That question got zero replies. Back when I was one of the authors of the now defunct TheUberGeeks.net that question could have garnered 10-20 replies before the sun set. Even here on my personal blog I’d get a few replies to a question like that – back in the old days. After a day or so of not getting any replies I Twittered a link to the post. That managed to get three replies. As irony would have it, Michael was the very first person to respond.
Here is another example. And one that fits in well with Michael’s comment about strawberries and Facebook. Yesterday I was eating a banana. So I Twittered nothing other than the word banana. I got at least 8 replies on Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, and other services. Wow. Fruit is still popular.
Well Michael, my friend, the old days of blogging are long gone. They will more than likely never return. As you say you may be able to adapt and overcome – but I like to think that we’ll just have to live with it like old men that wish for ‘the old days’ again.