One of the rules I’ve had for keeping this blog going is that I wouldn’t write unless something motivated me. That was easy for the first, oh, five years or so, when I could tell everyone about everything…but then what? Well, there’s always music, and for a while there was my now-expired obsession with the show, and I can always write about journalism in general.
But I’m closing in on a decade of doing this, and most people who tried it stopped long ago and moved on to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or started miniblogging on Tumblr. Yet here I still am, occasionally churning out stuff on an actual WordPress installation that I actually host myself on my actual webspace. (Hosting your own webspace and installing programs on it is basically the digital equivalent of a backyard mechanic restoring old cars, unless you actually write code for a living.)
I’ve been thinking about this because Ryan Sholin, who’s the director of product management at Gannett, tweeted out recently that he had written something in his blog, which was the first time he had done that in, oh, a little more than two years. I’m sure there are plenty of similarly zombified blogs out there in the era of Snapchat, but Sholin also notes that the lessons of blogging pretty much led to digital news as we know it today.
Just for fun, I wrote a blog post today. Like, not on Medium. Or Tumblr. But, um, on my domain? Like we used to do? http://t.co/yKxX7TkgTR
— Ryan Sholin (@ryansholin) August 4, 2015
“Every now and then someone tells that joke. The one that goes ‘Remember blogs?’ Ha. Ha ha,” he writes in the blog post. “It’s funny, because the blogs won, and most of the websites/apps/screenthings we use on a daily basis either *are* blogs or they look like blogs.”
He’s right. An awful lot of the compelling news content you see out there is blog-like in structure, and news bloggers remain really valuable years after that became a Real Job.
I’ve never quit blogging since I launched Hokum in 2006, but there certainly have been some dry spells, including an awful lot of 2015. But as long as there are stories to be told, there will be opportunities for blogging, and I feel like I still have a lot of stories in me.