It's worth pausing to indulge in a spot of speculation as to the reasons why. Drawing on personal experience, I have to admit that writing a blog can become a grind. That can lead you to pause, then the pause becomes a long hiatus, then a silence, and then it’s extremely tough to get back in the saddle.
And as for that feeling of the blog becoming a grind, one major issue is the feeling that you’re writing into a vacuum, especially if few comments are posted to the blog. And therein, of course, lies another growing issue. Let’s take Rogue Strands, for example. There’s no doubt that the number of comments has dropped.
However, in my case at least, the number of visits continues to grow. I’d argue that this is because of a developing relationship between social media and blogs, as I’ve come to understand that blog posts can form a useful point of departure or anchor for rapid-fire discussions on the likes of Facebook and Twitter rather than using the comments sections on blogs.
Of course, the counterpoint to my argument is that many users of social media simply post their thoughts elsewhere without the need for a blog at all, though that very speed can also be a drawback, as conversations and debates get cut off by the incredible velocity at which such platforms shift their readers’ attention.
I love poetry blogging because it provides the writer and reader with a unique combination of immediacy and longevity that lies far beyond the reach of social media. For instance, if I were to take a top ten of popular posts from Rogue Strands last month, two or three would be over five years old. That’s down to the power of search engines, which continue to attract new readers to old posts, often making surprising, new connections.
In other words, I very much continue to see a strong future for poetry blogs, though they have to adapt and evolve to the changing world around them. I still waste several hours a week browsing them, and I recommend you do so too! Despite this year’s relative decline, they still offer a special blend of news, views and thought-provoking perspectives on contemporary verse. Enjoy…
And that’s the end of the 2019 list!
One caveat; as mentioned in previous years, I do know that grim feeling of reading through a list, coming to the end and realising you’re not there, so I can only apologise if I’ve missed you out. As one individual reader, I can’t keep up with everyone, and I’d be very grateful for any additional blogs that readers might like to add in the comments that follow this post…