I think the answer to ‘Can we all bring back blogging, together?’ probably has to be No.
I mean, for one thing, blogging never went away (see e.g. the site you’re looking at right now), it merely suffered diminishment. At a certain point a dozen or so years ago the world’s digitally-connected started to see blogging as something without much of a future of its own. And — for a second thing, then — this now more or less universally shared perception is unlikely to change by a great deal, ever, I would say, judging by how things stand at the start of 2023. (For a third thing, though: blogging really sort of made its comeback already a few short years ago, under the name of newslettering, with no want of fanfare.)
None of which is to say that I’m down on this little project from two designer-creators, Ash Huang and Ryan Putnam, to give blogging a boost while ‘social media’ appears to be on the ropes. Quite the contrary! I’ve signed up (just this morning, so a little late according to project setup bounds, I guess) to participate, in fact. I suppose this post itself qualifies as participatory.
4 thoughts on “1 jan 2023: Ash Huang & Ryan Putnam’s bringback.blog”
Yeah – newsletters. I used to bang the drum for them but I’ve really cooled on newsletters lately. I love the long form, but there’s no way to interact with the newsletter. Just look at what the newsletter writers are missing!
BTW Ash Huang and Ryan Putnam are da bomb! (That’s what we say in the blogosphere.)
Would like to hear / talk more about what you’ve encountered with the newsletter phenomenon since it took off. Lot of newsletters out there are inviting interaction — just a matter of opting not to disable commenting, I think — and aim at cultivating perception among subscribers that there’s community being built around the creator(s) and their content. In effect, we really are just talking about blogs — blogs hosted on platforms (Substack the big player here of course) that make email distribution of your stuff more central to the setup than the blogs of 20 years ago did.
It looks like my site hasn’t made Huang and Putnam’s cut. I have kind of a weird arrangement, with RSS for the site as a whole merging posts of more than one kind, so that it’s not conventionally a blog in plainest terms. No offense taken, however! I’m with you, it’s a delightful thing they’re doing. I hope they’ll find ways to push it further after this month’s experiment.
Correction: This site has made Huang and Putnam’s cut, actually. I appear on the list now. Must’ve been added sometime yesterday. I’m one of 388 signees currently. Wonder if they’ll keep growing the list as we get further into the month?