Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Identity Crisis * Blogs: Endangered Species?

For the whatevereth time, I'm attempting to maintain a blog that both (1) supplies frequent material and (2) is worth reading. That balance hasn't been easy for me since I first began with the blog format nearly eight years ago. Part of the problem, at least for me, is that in my opinion blogs aren't timeless. I've gone back more than once over the years, read some of my older stuff, and thought "this just isn't relevant anymore." Not that the piece wasn't well-written and entertaining, just dated. Topics that inspire my entries often are "current events" within the world of storm chasing, and as everything in the world today, have a shelf life. Chase summaries aside, I see no reason to leave a blog up after so many years.

Originally, the reason I began to go back and delete older posts was because blogger.com has a data limit, which I somehow used up within a few years by merely posting text-only entries. That of course pissed me off, so I just stopped blogging. But eventually my creative juices began to flow again, and I wanted that voice back. I created the second incarnation of the Passion Twist blog, which was very active from late 2007 through all of 2008. After an extended break, during which the blog title and direction changed, I started again in late 2009. That version lasted until the beginning of this month, and its demise is where this one begins.

I'll admit it. I've spent way too much time worrying about my blog identity. I have two distinct sides, and they don't really work well together. I'm either the boring, nerdy statistician who posts mostly vanilla offerings that reflect my pure chasing results/projects (such as what the body of this new blog consists of thus far), or the abrasive, opinionated asshole which the former personality keeps in a darkened basement, feeding it only enough to sustain its life until its next burst through the padlock and out into the world again. The nerd is more akin to who I truly am, day to day, in the world (or at least what I allow the world to see). However the asshole is also very much alive each and every moment, but is kept much more at bay. I've been trying to make the two mesh successfully online forever, and it's still a work in progress. Or maybe the solution is, that is my identity, and I should stop thinking so damn much and just write.

It occurs to me just now that I've completely gone off into left field and forgotten the entire point of this post: are blogs dying? When I first embraced the blog format in 2005, it was the latest craze. A fresh new platform that was both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly, and something that lured many chasers into abandoning the traditional website for this new animal. Eventually, so many chasers jumped to the blog format that they started referring to their blogs as websites. To me, as a pure website enthusiast and user, this was crap. Abandon the website for the blog if you must, but you're not going to tell me one is now the other. It's a blog dude.

Not long ago, while searching out storm chasing blogs in an attempt to build a links page on this thing, I discovered that about 90% of all the blogs I clicked on were either gone or hadn't been updated in years. Not unlike it's always been, but with the advent of social media, it seems as if the pure blog platform may be suffering much the same way the pure website platform did at its hand nearly a decade ago. I guess what I keep wondering is, what's gonna kill social media? I don't think I want to know.

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