Yes, I’ve been slacking

This blog has fallen to the bottom of my priority list. While I used to enjoy writing regularly, other things in my life have come to take its place. Not sure how often, or if I will continue to update it.

Interestingly, I was contacted by a reporter from the Strib. He wrote an article on slacking bloggers. Because the Strib doesn’t archive articles, I’ve reposted it here.


Ennui and exhaustion are idling some online opiners. Next year may see a decline — or at least a leveling off –in the blogging boom.

By Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune

Last update: December 29, 2006 – 2:10 PM

Dan K***, the man behind the blog “And I am somebody,” still is (somebody), even though he’s been missing from his Minnesota blog since August.

“Bunny Edelman’s World,” another local blog, apparently stopped spinning in July. “Ghost Noise and Psychic Dream Butter” hasn’t rattled its chains since August. Even the confidently named “I Blog Therefore I Am” website posted only once between Dec. 4 and 17, an entry consisting simply of the word “yadda” repeated over and over.

“Yes, life has intervened,” K*** said recently. “I’d love to keep the blog going, but I’m fearful it may have gasped its last breath. It was great for awhile, but it became a chore.”

K*** isn’t alone in feeling all blogged out.

The technology firm Gartner Inc. has announced that 2007 may be the year the blog world loses steam. Perhaps hot air is a better term.

Said Gartner:

• There were more than 56 million active weblogs (“blogs”) in October 2006, according to Technorati, but the average life span is three months and declining.

• Given the trend in the average life span of blogs and the current growth rate of them, there are already more than 200 million ex-bloggers. So, the peak number of bloggers worldwide will be around 100 million at some point in the first half of 2007.

• MySpace and Facebook lost visitors in September, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, a Web-tracking service. The number of unique U.S. visitors at MySpace fell 4 percent to 47.2 million from 49.2 million in August, and the number of visitors to Facebook fell 12 percent to 7.8 million from 8.9 million.

• Today’s overexuberance will level off to a stasis of at least 30 million active bloggers and 30 million frequent community contributors worldwide.

That’s still a lot of yapping, but consider that Google recently estimated that the average blog is read by one person. In other words, for most bloggers, that means your mom’s not even reading you anymore.

The reason, according to Gartner, is that people have gotten bored with their blogs, or just found the responsibility — not to mention the strain — of saying something profound or even interesting every day just isn’t worth it.

“A lot of people have been in and out of this thing,” said Daryl Plummer, chief Gartner fellow. “Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they’re put onstage and asked to say it.”

A veteran’s counterpoint

Rex Sorgatz, who founded the local site MNSpeak and is now Innovations Director for in Seattle, doesn’t think Gartner’s data portends the end for blogs.

“I’m honestly no blog triumphalist, but when did 100 million people involved in contributory media become a disappointment?” he said.

Sorgatz thinks that the definition of “blog” is changing: “There’s something happening on MySpace that is blog-like, but not exactly blogging. The same goes with Twitter, where people are sort of insta-blogging. I can imagine a near future in which blogging completely disappears because it has been replaced with more effective forms of communication that we haven’t even seen yet. ”

Burned out, seeking balance

For now, many blogs –especially more personal ones — clearly have a shelf life.

Take the New York blogger who goes by the pen name Elvira Black. She announced a serious case of “blogger burnout” last February.

“I’ve literally let several seasons go by, hardly noticing, because I’ve spent so much time indoors blogging,” she blogged. “There was a time when this kind of homebound lifestyle would have horrified and depressed me, but this past year I blithely blogged the weeks and months away as spring became fall and fall winter. I’m not exercising, I’m not eating right, and I’m smoking so many cigarettes I have no idea how many packs I’m going through each day.”

Black is back but says her pace is often determined by her depression.

“During my initial blogging fervor, I became a self-professed ‘blog pimp’ and ‘comment whore,’ ” she said in a recent e-mail. “Although I’m again very involved in blogging, I am trying to balance it more with ‘real life,’ though I still find the internet to be hopelessly addictive.”

A Twin Cities blogger who decided to give it a rest is Kevin-M, at the Insomnia Report, who wrote this in October:

“Over the past couple of weeks I’ve grown less and less enthusiastic about keeping up this site. So I’ve decided to stop doing it for a little while. I don’t want what should be a fun hobby to become a burden, and I’m really looking forward to reacquainting myself with some of my less solitary hobbies. … So, this is goodbye for now. ”

Goodbye, Kevin, and perhaps even goodnight.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jon Tevlin • 612-673-1702 •