Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Summer Dolrums

It seems that the frequency of posts on a number of the blogs I follow are fast approaching zero as an asymptote. This leads me to all sorts of questions. The questions can be broken into the following categories:
  1. Are people posting less just because it's summer?
  2. Are people posting less because they have entered the dormant phase of blogging?
  3. Are people that I read posting less just because of my selection criteria?
  4. Are people leaving for more mindless social networking activities?

#1 - I have some grounds for suspecting that some authors are posting less because they are spending more time with family activities during the summer. Things like T-ball and baseball and swimming and vacation can add up to take a toll on the time available on the blog. Especially for the vast majority of us that are non-commercial bloggers, the blog can come in last in the demand for time. Especially when the yard and the garden keep crying and making piteous noises begging to see us more. At least a couple of authors that I follow have begged off for the summer fr reasons like the above. The true test will be to see if they return to posting regularly come the fall.

#2 - A lot of the blogs that I follow seem to be entering that dreadful second year period of dormancy. People start blogging and keep it up for a period of time before they lose the motivation to keep it up. Since by my reader selection criteria, it is a pretty good bet that I haven't started reading too many brand new bloggers, I've avoided the early burnouts that blog for a month or two and fade quietly into the night. On the other hand, it seems an awful lot of bloggers get tired of blogging sometime around that one year aniversary. It is always interesting when someone has blogged that long and then decides to hang it up. They often feel a need to post a swan song letting their readers know thay are heading into the sunset. Since I have seen more than a few swan songs this summer, I suspect that there are a percentage of authors no longer posting that came from this group.

#3 - Yet another possibility is that I have, by my selection of what I choose to read, biased the sample of blogs to select people who are prone to quitting blogging. Given that I follow only a few of the so called "big bloggers" and only a few full bore "mommy bloggers", my reading list tends to have authors with smaller and more eclectic followings. That is part of what made them attractive to me in the first place, but I suspect that it also makes them susceptable to dropping out of the blogosphere for a myriad of minor reasons.

#4 - That leaves the possibility that people are leaving for the relative mindlessness of places like facebook and twitter, etc. I suspect that this is a very small part of the lack of writing. Facebook and twitter are generally not satisfactory as an outlet for the sort of author who writes a blog that I might follow. Most of the authors I follow that have an interest in facebook or twitter are already present in those media and continue to be active in blogging. The two activities seem to satisfy different parts of the writer's soul, so I suspect this has little to do with the lack of writing.

So my question to you is two-fold. First, do you see the same decline in the number of posts on the blogs that you follow? Second, do you have any better ideas for the causes of the summer posting doldrums?


  1. We must follow the same people! I was perusing my google reader today and there were 2 posts in a similar vein, swansongs as you called them. For me, I know I spend too much time online and I also know that this time is better spent elsewhere in my life. I think some bloggers are able to maintain a good balance, they are able to sit down at the computer for 1/2 an hour, bang out a post and catch up on their reading. This is not the case for me however. I spend way too many hours just wandering around blog land before I even write a post for my own blog. Perhaps this is a coming of age period for many people that have been blogging for similar lengths of time. Too much time spent writing about life and not enough spent living it?

  2. I'd agree with #1. It's hotter and the sun stays out later so my little one doesn't go to bed as early anymore. And because of this, I have less time to sit and blog. Instead we are playing or reading or going out to concerts in the park or to swim. My computer time is cute short due to the longer days.


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