Ever since the whole web3 conversation gained momentum it feels like a renaissance of blogs is coming. I don’t know whether it is the explanation of web3 within the context of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, or the discussion of decentralization away from the big platforms, or something else. In his State of the Word, Matt mentioned that one of the most web3 things one can do is registering their own domain. He also recently asked people to write more. Others like former Blogger product manager Rick Klau picked up his blog again and Hunter Walk seems to be blogging more frequently these days. And OGs like rands, MG Siegler, Gruber and Kottke continue to blog like it has never gone out of style. It is just a gut feel, but like Vinyl picking up again, it feels like there is an underlying current of people rediscovering their love of blogs.
Make no mistake, I don’t think that blogs (and its many derivatives like Tumblr) will challenge current or future social media. At the same time, the number of internet users is one or two orders of magnitude bigger than ten or 15 years ago. And a small portion of a large number tends to be a large number. And that is awesome. Maybe we are even in for better tools for reading and commenting on blogs – RSS for blogs seems to be in stasis ever since Google Reader shut down.
I’m fascinated by looking at personal blogs from way back when. Florian, a friend of mine, started writing a blog back in 2005 when he moved to Ireland. He still posts a few times a year. That doesn’t seem much, but over the course of 17 years it adds up. Isaac started his blog in 2002, but unfortunately stopped writing in 2015. It is still wonderful to browse through his archive as moments in time. I even resurrected and went through my own old blog archive – I even found an old Blogger blog going way back to 2004. Nothing deep and earth shattering, but that’s not the point. Blogs document moments in time. Nothing more, nothing less.
My point is: Blogging might get another moment, it might not. Both are fine. There is intrinsic value of blogging in terms of sharpening one’s thinking, sharing ideas and documenting moments for my future self. None of that requires an audience, engagement or virality. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? If I blog and no one reads it, does it matter? Who cares! By the time I hit publish, I’ve already gotten a positive return on investment. And as long as I use open source software that runs on my own domain, that’s a pretty future proof investment.