I am a Millennial, a person born between the years 1981 and 1996, although I fall in the forepart of that time span. I can remember life before the internet and cell phones, and (God forbid) Netflix and Crunchyroll. I used to take quarters to school in case I needed to use the payphone. And I watched Sailor Moon for the first time on USA.
When I went to college, I had a flip phone—an LG from Verizon—and I didn’t get a smart phone until much, much later. Still, I grew up on a healthy dose of AOL and Windows 98. I was making websites and fanpages covered in GIFs and MIDIs when I was thirteen. I kept a LiveJournal, and at the time of its conception, I embraced Facebook. (For better or worse. My contemporaries invented it after all.)
And now they say, “Blogging is dead”—they as in the collective they, whoever they are—and it’s true to some extent. I’ve had many blogs over the years, given my Millennial status, but I haven’t had one for a long time now. After everyone migrated from LiveJournal to blogs in 2010, I had a travel blog, a brief attempt at a fashion blog, a “personal” blog (whatever that means), and some Tumblrs, but I’ve long since deleted them, and in 2015, I moved to writing for websites like WWAC and Girls in Capes. I also tried Medium once (twice), but it never caught on for me.
Google Reader’s demise in 2013 was the nail in the coffin for me and blogs. I began reading less and less, eventually using Twitter mainly for my news. Then it seemed that around 2015, lots of people migrated again, this time from blogs to email newsletters, and I tried this too. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get tired of newsletters, and I’m finding myself craving blogs again.
And that’s why I’m here, dear readers. Reader, I am ready to bring blogs back. So many websites I loved and cherished and that started off as humble blogs have since gone into monetization and commercialization, or have simply disappeared. I’m craving those early, “genuine” blogs again, written for the sake of writing alone.
Of course, I understand the importance of monetization for certain media. It keeps the taps flowing. (For instance, you can donate to Girls in Capes where I write frequently. Please donate to Girls in Capes at the bottom of this link!). But that’s not what I’m hoping to do here, in this space. I’m just hoping to write about the things I love—specifically about writing fiction, Buddhist studies and art, food, travel, and whatever else I can’t write about elsewhere.
So, welcome to my blog!
*Is “Blogging is dead” an aphorism? An aphorism is “a terse saying embodying a general truth or astute observation.” I suppose it is a terse saying, often overused by the media. What do you think, reader?
After writing this opening post for my new blog, I ended up talking to my partner about the evolution of the internet over the last 20 years. We’ve both actively used the internet since 1998—albeit in different ways—and it’s been a fascinating journey, watching it change and evolve over time.
We talked generally about where the internet’s been and where it’s going. My partner tried to explain blockchains to me, which he believes is (are?) the next big thing. I argued that the turning point for the internet was when Oprah joined Twitter in January 2009. Since then, the internet has shifted its focus from free and open information to commercialization.
Places like Twitter and Facebook, which used to be about community, have become money-generating spaces and apparatuses of misinformation. But I feel a change in the air. Facebook and Twitter are finally coming under fire for their unethical and, frankly, incompetent practices. And we found our conversation returning to the question: what really is the next big thing? Could blogs make a comeback? Vlogs? Podcasts? Or something entirely new?
This inquiry lead my partner to ask me: what qualities do I look for in a good blog or source of information? I came up with four qualities, and here they are, if you’re interested:
- Frequency – The blogger needs to post with some frequency, at least once a month, if not twice. If the blog hasn’t been updated in over a year, I find myself not returning to it very frequently myself. I want stuff. I want meat. Give me meat!
- Uniqueness – One thing that turns me off from a blog/vlog lately is when, for instance, a group of BookTubers I follow all receive the same book from a publisher, and then give said book a hyped up, overly positive review just because they received it from the publisher. I want unique content, not regurgitated content, and I want truthfulness, which leads me to my next quality…
- Authenticity/Honesty – Authenticity is not my favorite word; it’s become a buzzword, a marketing ploy. But for the purposes of this list, it works, going hand-in-hand with honesty and truthfulness. I want to know if you truly liked something; I don’t want to hear you praise something you don’t like simply because you were paid to do so.
- Community – Last but not least, I want community. I want something like LiveJournal or early Twitter. I want to talk to like-minded people about the things I love.
So now you might ask me, reader, what blogs (not vlogs, Instagramers, or Twitterers) do I consume? Here is a short list of the blogs currently on my agenda. I also read a number of author blogs, but there are so many, I won’t include them here. Please enjoy, and share your own in the comments below.
- les anti-modernes* by les anti-modernes*
- auxiliary beauty by Auxiliary Beauty
- Erin Bartram
- Bois de Jasmin by Victoria Frolova
- Daisybutter by Michelle
- fossils & fauna by Hazel (my little sister)
- Dr. Jen Gunter
- HELLO SANDWICH by Ebony Bizys
- Lab Muffin Beauty Science by Michelle
- A Little Blog of Books by Clare
- Love Life Eat by Felicia Sullivan (on hiatus; now blogging here)
- A Measure of Strangeness by Meghan Elizabeth Harker
- Now Smell This
- Otaku Journalist by Lauren Orsini
- out of the bag by Lin
- le project d’amour by Hila Shachar (on hiatus)
- rose ailleurs by Rosamund
- SCENTS OF SELF by Arielle Weinberg
- This Young Wino by Joy
- the toilet papers by Nana
- Thoughts Stained With Ink by Nicole Evans