And while I don’t want to bring back the blogosphere, I definitely want to bring back the blog.
Now that the white-hot fire of Twitter is burning itself out, and its various alternatives (Threads, Bluesky, Mastodon) are generating merely gentle (or sputtering) flames, and TikTok (which is not a social-media site in any meaningful sense but rather a media-consumption platform) is still going nova, this is the time for people to rediscover the pleasures of blogging – of writing at whatever length you want, and posting photos, and embedding videos, and linking to music playlists, all on your little corner of the internet.
Let’s bring back the blog. And leave all the bad things spawned by the blogosphere to social media, where they belong.
They already did that. It’s called Substack. That’s the big difference these days — most people who write at any length want to be paid for it. The “reply guys” on social media have never, and will never, have any interesting thoughts, let alone a desire to write about them. But seriously, what does this even mean, “bring back the blog”? What’s with this urge to proselytize? Just a few paragraphs earlier, he writes:
And while many of the old-school blogs are dead and gone, a surprising number of them remain active, and still have a multitude of commenters. It turns out that social media did not kill blogs, but just co-opted the discourse about blogs. Once journalists got addicted to Twitter, they stopped paying attention to what was happening elsewhere — but that didn’t stop it from happening.
Yes, exactly. Those gentlemen amateurs are still around, doing their thing. They just aren’t the object of media fascination anymore, and thank goodness. Why would anyone want that to return? At most, you’re just going to make blogs into another lo-fi status symbol, the vinyl records of online writing, and personally, I’d rather be ignored and overlooked. In a few years, when everyone has microchips implanted in their frontal lobes, there will probably be a new form of direct, wireless communication between brains, and the media will publish a thousand fawning pieces about how the kids are communicating by “brainwaving” these days, and the early adopters will hype how many problems will be solved by brainwaving, and maybe a decade or so later, the media will start obsessing about how brainwaving actually has a bunch of downsides that no one ever anticipated, and through it all, there will continue to be a small number of people who enjoy organizing their thoughts in the form of miniature essays, aphorisms, and epigrams, unconcerned by whatever shiny object the gens du monde are running after now, as it should be. Let sleeping blogs lie.