Tuesday, February 06, 2018

MindBlog's 12th anniversary. Blogs as relics or rebirths?

Today marks the 12th anniversary of MindBlog's start.  In yesterday's MindBlog post I passed on Andrew Sullivan's comments on the demise of blogs, noting several, such as the Awl, Hairpin, and Gawker, which have appeared and disappeared since the Feb. 2006 beginning of MindBlog.  They were not economically viable...editors have to eat.  (I haven’t had that problem, living on a retired professor's annuity, and so being able to decline weekly offers to help me better 'monetize' this site.) Here is a clip from the Polentino article mentioned by Sullivan:
Blogging, that much-maligned pastime, is gradually but surely disappearing from the Internet, and so, consequently, is a lot of online freedom and fun.
Blogs are necessarily idiosyncratic, entirely about sensibility: they can only be run by workhorses who are creative enough to amuse themselves and distinct enough to hook an audience, and they tend to publish like-minded writers, who work more on the principle of personal obsession than pay. The result is editorial latitude to be obscure and silly and particular, but the finances are increasingly hard to sustain; media consumption is controlled these days by centralized tech platforms—Facebook, Twitter—whose algorithms favor what is viral, newsy, reactionary, easily decontextualized, and of general appeal. 
I'm a bit incredulous that MindBlog has persisted for 12 years... When I click on "Stats" in the Google Blogger platform that hosts this blog, I see (as I'm writing this post on 1/30/18) :
Pageviews today 4,052 
Pageviews yesterday 1,163 
Pageviews last month 32,880 
Pageviews all time history 4,513,922
Deric's MindBlog is a quirky and idiosyncratic effort, reflecting my particular interests. It passes on selected material that I would be reading about in any case. It makes it easier for me to recall and look up stuff that I have read and found interesting. A reliable readership has evolved that seems to share these interests. Occasional positive comments from readers have reinforced my motivation to continue slugging away, rescuing me from even thinking about starting to watch daytime television! 


  1. Hey wanted to mention I enjoy your blog. i try to check it 4-5 times per week :) only commented here once in the 6 months, but definitely enjoy it.

    Only comment / question, is do you have 4-5 other blogs with similar content to recommend? I know you have a blogroll, but most of those were (when i checked a while ago) bigger sites / generic ones, nothing curated the way I have felt yours is. if you have any to recommend certainly would appreciate.

    and glad you share your insights here and serve as a good filtering mechanism for me

  2. Your comment motivated me to click through the blogroll in the right column, which I haven't done is several years. I've deleted three. You are right, some of the sites (like BrainBlogger and PsyBlog) are aggregators, taking input from different authors and sources. John Hawks Weblog and The Neurocritic are examples of blogs having single authors, like this one. Because I spend time mostly on dealing with my blog, I don't look around much for blogs with similar content curated by single authors. I'll keep my eyes open.