So Long, The Modernity Ward

Jo is closing up The Modernity Ward. I used to be kind of sad when blogs I like shut down, but it really is a different world. People email me and ask “How do I get in touch with the bloggers?” and I’m now asking back “What bloggers are left?” Everyone’s been coopted or gone to Facebook or Twitter or just moved on.

And I don’t know. That seems right to me. There was a great moment when everyone was like “What the fuck? Let’s try a bunch of stuff and see what works!” and now we know what works, and by and large, it’s not for lone individuals to do this.

Which is also not to say that I think this isn’t awesome, because you know I do.

But I think it’s understandable that it shakes out this way. That seems to be the shape of the thing.

Still, it feels like it’s getting empty.

So, I hope the kids come up with something cool to occupy all our times.

Ha ha ha.

10 thoughts on “So Long, The Modernity Ward

  1. I definitely feel the change – there have been many times when I’ve been busy or tired of not getting comments or whatever that I’ve thought about closing my own place. The environment has changed, and it’s easier to do quick commentary/linking on Facebook.

    “it’s not for lone individuals to do this” – This, I don’t necessarily agree with. I think it depends on your goals. If you’re determined to be a big name in what’s left of the blogosphere, I do think the constant attention and posting demands might require a team. But as an individual blogger who is more oriented toward putting stuff out there so individual people might find it when they need it than high numbers of links/responses, I’m not so fussed about not having a team. With my own goals, having a team would make things even more work for me.

  2. I have a conventional blog, and I use Tumblr as sort of a link-log. Because the feedback is immediate, it’s easy to get sucked in, and I won’t lie, I’ve thought of abandoning my blog altogether for the simplicity of Tumblr. That’s it’s too easy is the problem.

    Tumblr is like a beefed-up Twitter, and while I rarely use the latter, I like having the option of just throwing up a couple links or photos and calling it a day. But having a “real” blog forces me to “really” write, even if no one is reading it.

  3. Rachel, but that’s still got to be in the category of “by and large, it’s not for lone individuals to do this.” Sure, some of us are still making a go of it, but we are a very small minority who want something out of the internet we can’t get from Facebook.

    I don’t think it’s a knock on us (or I certainly didn’t intend it to be) to say that it’s clear, in the shake-out, that by and large, this isn’t what most people wanted to do. Or to continue to do, anyway.

  4. I think we agree – if you’re in it for the quick hits and instant satisfaction, blogging individually is not really the place to be (unless you’re Dooce, I guess).

  5. Sure it’s changed, but I think Jo (who I love) is conflating “my blog has reached the end of its shelf life” with “blogging has been commodified to death.”

    Most individual blogs never had much, if any, readership; lots of them never made it past the first post. The internet is full of abandoned projects or hiatused (?) ones, and has been from the beginning.

    The mommyblogging thing, well, ok; some women have managed to make Blogging Pay, mostly by making themselves into mini-Martha Stewarts and/or Erma Bombecks, roles that are familiar and also easily generate books, columns, and marketable craft projects that can be demonstrated on morning shows.

    But that was never what I mostly read, myself. The stuff I read now is mostly artists and politics and a few writers–though I find many of my favorite writers suck at blog writing (not you!)–and some Tumblr blogs that collect ephemera (Fuck Yeah! Victorians is my favorite right now). Twitter has sucked up all the humor writers, because it’s a giant one-liner farm. Facebook has taken care of posting pictures of your kids/dogs/yard sale finds for your mom to see and that’s good too, because really most of the world doesn’t care about that stuff (and when they do, it can be creepy).

    But there are still lots of unique people that blogging gives a voice to. I think there are more group blogging setups now, because blogging every day gets pretty exhausting for one person, especially if you are an issues blogger and need to do things like research stuff and hold down a day job too.

  6. I’ve been contemplating restarting my own blog, mostly because I need to improve my writing and it seems like a good way to practice. Guess I waited too long.

    Rachel, if you ever shut down you’re required to add me to your Facebook so I can keep up. I don’t comment a lot on women’s health issues but I like to keep current with what’s going on.

  7. B, you wrote a post about me? That totally makes me regret closing up shop! :) Dang!

    emjaybee, I agree — I am conflating those things in that post, because for me they occurred sort of simultaneously. It’s not that blogging itself is Over or Irreconcilably Different — it’s that my brain no longer works in the context of how the internet works, at least as I was conducting my bloggy bidness. We’re a poor fit, is all. I can see doing a different kind of internet-ing someday though. You nailed it w/r/t how the different things — tumblrs, twitter, Facebook — now have taken over these different functions. Also this:

    “But there are still lots of unique people that blogging gives a voice to. I think there are more group blogging setups now, because blogging every day gets pretty exhausting for one person, especially if you are an issues blogger and need to do things like research stuff and hold down a day job too.”

    …is so true.

  8. I for one am quite glad that those who weren’t really into this medium (and I don’t refer to Jo, but to those who shook off a while ago) have taken up residence elsewhere.

    I like that blogs are more like magazine articles again. Toward the end of the Masses being part of the Blog Experiment there were an awful lot of “today I’m just posting a video from YouTube” entries.

    We don’t make money from this, usually, but I still think that the craft-honing is paying off for most blog authors in other arenas.

  9. W., you can still come back! I didn’t mean my post as some kind of final set of orders on it. Just how it feels from where I’m sitting. And, keep in mind, I feel like it’s changed and people have drifted away and I still do it and still find it useful.

  10. I have just started blogging over the last three months and while I put it off for a long time – I have enjoyed the outlet for writing. No one is reading except my Mom and my husband (um, because they have to…) but I am still loving it.

    I love the idea of thinking of my posts as mini-magazine articles…thanks for putting it that way @Katherine Coble.

    Let’s see if my excitement keeps up, or if I end up like all the other one-trick ponies out there who get bored and move on to easier solutions….

    But coming across Tiny Cat Pants sure does give me inspiration to keep on trucking….so thanks!

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