Friday, 16 September 2016

Have blogs had their day?

Or has this blog had its day, more to the point? Visitor numbers have been showing a slow but steady decline over the last year or so. I've not been great at updating it in recent months, and when I have I haven't always been able to write the occasional longer pieces that I'd like to, so I suspect that it's not really doing anything that Facebook and even Twitter couldn't do just as well.

I'd be interested, then, to know if there's anything that people would like to see more of on here. Not that I can guarantee that I can do anything about it, of course! But still, I'll try.


The Editors said...

Hi Matt,

I hope you're not planning on winding up Polyolbion, as I've enjoyed it a great deal over the years. I have to say, though, I had similar thoughts about blogging a couple of years back, which is one of the reasons that George and I let Gists and Piths lapse. The fact that we've come back, if not with a vengeance, then at least with the renewed vigour of Tom Waits' recent albums (cranky but forthright), suggests I've come to different conclusions.

Twitter and Facebook certainly have their place, but I think they're primarily useful for pointing people in the direction of an article or an issue that's on the Facebooker's / Tweeter's radar, and they're both indispensable when it comes to fostering the kind of particularised communities that poetry thrives on / in. They're less useful for the kind of sustained pieces that blogging allows for.

So, yes, I agree up to a point: the blog as combined digital diary and newsfeed might have had its day, but that's not to say that the blog can't mutate into something more akin to a magazine, or a series of extended essays. Facebook and Twitter can then be employed for those things that the blog no longer has need to do, but the blog carves out its own niche in the gaps that Facebook and Twitter leave in their wake. As in politics, so in blogs: a mixed economy is usually best. It's also worth noting that the best readership we've had, according to blogger's stat engine, has been via Facebook, so there's a definite symbiosis between formats.

Best wishes,

Simon @ Gists and Piths

Matthew Stewart said...

I'd miss Polyolbion greatly if you gave it up, Matt, but I do understand you've got a huge number of commitments these days...

Matt Merritt said...

Yes, I think you're right, Simon, and I think I'll make more of an effort to post regular reviews and longer pieces (God knows I've got a few to catch up on). Thanks for the kind words about Polyolbion, and I can only echo them as regards G&P - I was delighted to see it re-emerge a few weeks back with some really strong material.

Thank you, too, Matthew. To be honest, I think it's more that I've not been organising my time well lately - I think getting into a habit of writing regular longer posts would probably help me get back into a writing routine more generally.