28 March 2007

Nothing Ever Happens: Why Blogs Die

There is a song by Del Amitri that goes "Nothing ever happens. Nothing happens at all. The needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along like before." And it's true. What you're doing right now is probably pretty much what you did yesterday and most likely what you'll be doing tomorrow.

The blogosphere is thinning. The bubble is bursting. Blogs are falling dormant in their thousands, HTML gravestones marking the points where people ran out of things to say.

But that isn't actually the problem. The problem is that people get bored of writing the same shit, day in, day out. It reminds them how repetitive their lives are, so they either stop blogging and a) do something about it, or b) ignore the problem.

Now, this blog has evolved over the eighteen or so months I've been doing it and the rate of new entries has plummeted. This is not because my life is repetitive (which of course it is) but because my suject matter is repetitive. My posts are generally rants about the same old things; intolerance, politics, society, evolution, communication, information. Name a -tion, there's a rant around here somewhere.

After a while, you find yourself, mid autorant, thinking that you've seen what you're typing somewhere else, and then you realise it was in the post you typed last week. At this point, your spam filter kicks in and for every five posts you start, one might get published. My list of posts is littered with entries where I've started ranting and then run out of steam.

No doubt some blogs die because the authors' spleens are fully vented. I have reached this point a number of times. I'm lucky, if you can call it that, to be a bit of a grumpy old man, so my spleen fills up faster than most. But still, there's not enough new unrighteousnesses in the world that I need to squash. The Palace is gathering dust, the Twin Swords of Truth and Beauty rusting in a corner.

And we get to what this blog is about; finding, through the medium of Rant, the answers to life's questions. In this case, why the papers and media are so full of conjecture, fabrication and meaningless drivel. The answer is that they are struggling to fill five pages with news, let alone fifty. So, just like sausages, out comes the cereal and the gristle to add a bit of bulk to the mix.

The ratio of signal to noise in the world is dropping. I will tweak my filters and try to tease some meaning from the good information that makes it through. There may be answers and there will be new questions. That's fine. What is Life without really good questions?

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