In the two years I have been in the blogosphere, I have seen some dramatic changes.
There was a lot of hype in 2010 and 2011 about niche blogging. Thousands of blogs are created each day, and thousands are abandoned. With so much noise and rattle and hum, and a landscape of millions of voices whispering, arguing and sometimes screaming for an audience, it made sense that writers began gravitating toward other writers covering the same material. Blogging communities around certain subjects have existed since the early 2000s, like the Adoption/Loss/Infertility community, but hives have also formed around parenting, gaming and food among many other topics. There was (and still is) a belief that a newbie would never be able to break through as a general diarist because too many established bloggers were already (Dooce, Ruthlace, CJane) there.
About eight months ago, I personally noticed that blogging was becoming increasingly VISUAL. Pinterest was aiding and abetting this movement, but so too was StumbleUpon and the general movement towards shorter attention spans: mobile phones, iPads, Facebook and Twitter are making information bits as short and punchy as ever.
Suddenly, lifestyle bloggers and fashion bloggers stormed the gates. Atlantic Pacific became as powerful in some ways as Anna Wintour, selling out clothing lines within minutes by featuring them on her site. Cupcakes and Cashmere just got 25,000 comments on ONE POST. Twenty five THOUSAND. That is not a typo.
We are in a tough economic situation, and what is Pinterest but the perfect escape from that? When I am stressed, I go on Pinterest. It’s the equivalent of eating a piece of cake/taking a valium/drinking a glass of wine/watching a romantic comedy. I ENJOY looking at pictures of normal (but pretty) people having fun wearing beautiful clothes, or adorable large families in matching Hunter boots, or Justine’s beautiful cakes. These images make me happy.
But trends come and trends go. There are diarists I have followed for two years. I’m not including my favorite ALI writers in here because then the list would be too long! These bloggers write about a variety of subjects (from parenting to life in general) and I can’t imagine not reading them.
I think these writers have one thing in common: a VOICE. Their voice is a consistent, but fresh, unique, sometimes humorous take on life.
Ultimately, I think what we write about may not define us, but HOW we write and what our voice says will. Perhaps better role models should be columnists, like Dave Berry or Herb Caen, who wrote about many things but in the same voice?
What say you? Because I KNOW you will have many interesting and fascinating thoughts, as always!
PS: Thanks for all of your goodwill, thoughts and prayers. My daughter is a bit better today. Hooray!