Jacques Rene Zammit’s blog is seven years old. A milestone that Jacques decided to celebrate by inviting a handful of Maltese bloggers, who had set up a blog at around the same time, to share their own thoughts on the state of the blogosfera. Many of them do not blog any more, for a variety of reasons – from boredom and a poor return on the time invested in the lonely practice of blogging to the allure of social networks.
I read each of the submissions. Not just because of my research, but because I know most of the bloggers – some are close friends. Their tales of memory tinged with the faintest whiff of nostalgia inevitably made me think of this semi-dormant blog of mine:
The blog is your Church. It is at the hub of what you really want to say. Where you reflect, where you develop your essay-type ideas. Where you talk to your (real or imaginary) congregation. The congregation is assembled elsewhere (Facebook, for the time being). It will occasionally visit your Church if, like a lapsed Catholic, it is reminded of your daily service should you choose to broadcast some snippets from the pulpit of your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr…
The blog stopped being a community years ago. The community does not find entertainment in the Church any more. But it knows that now and again, it needs something more than entertainment if it wishes to reflect beyond the immediate reflexive cycles of the social network.
The blog is not dead. It’s just increasingly one-way media broadcast. Still the channel of choice for the political, the mavericks and trouble-makers. Increasingly devoured by the old, battered media. By those looking for chinks in their fortresses and signs of resistance to their hegemony in civil society.
The reflections of Jacques’s bloggers in arms are well worth reading: