Friday, June 22, 2007
CHANGES IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
For some time I've noticed that the number of comments on the most popular blogs are slipping. While Mark Shea easily gets the most comments, even over there some of the threads generate few.
Amy Welborn gets far fewer than she did in the past.
Rod Dreher appears to have eliminated comments altogether from his blog.
My own, for the most part, are usually down to one or two on most threads, if any at all, but I haven't ever gotten a lot of comments here.
There are other changes...
Dom has taken a job within the Archdiocese of Boston, which might mean that he will have to steer his blog into more personal territory so as not to annoy the guys up above.
Amy has a couple of book commitments which she says will reduce her blogging time this month. She sometimes lumps a lot of different subjects into one long blog recently, and that affects the number of comments as well.
David Alexander is proposing a new direction for his 5-year running blog "man with black hat".
Tom Herron seems to have abandoned his blog entirely. The last post is dated November 29, 2006.
And, of course, I nearly quit blogging entirely not long ago.
So...are blogs becoming passe? Has the Catholic blogsphere lost interest now that the scandal is fading into old news? And was it that scandal that made Catholic blogging such a trendy activity to begin with?
Or is it Benedict? He's not as much a newsmaker as John Paul II. Benedict brings to mind dusty libraries and deliberation, at least to me. That doesn't make for good blog headers. Since Benedict doesn't provide excuses for a racing pulse, perhaps the Catholic blogsphere is suffering from lack of subject matter. Maybe that's a good thing.
David Alexander offers his thoughts on changes in direction toward specialty blogs, and lists the titles of some as examples.
Five years ago, the Catholic bloggers which got the most attention were written by those whose reputations had already been established in the print or broadcast media. This should not have been unexpected. The first stars of television, to give an example, were those who had already been successful in radio and Hollywood. If the winners of the last Catholic Blog Awards are any indication, however, the trend is slowly starting to change. Not as much as it should, if you ask me. But one thing that is happening is the emergence of "niche blogs," like "The New Liturgical Movement" and "Musings of a Pertinacious Papist" and most recently, collective efforts like "Catholic Restorationists." These sites don't pretend to be for everybody. They don't have to. But aficionados of liturgical studies, of philosophy, or of "the culture wars," find a home in these places. They have built up quite a following in their own right.My blog, too, is a specialty blog of sorts, though pinning it down to exactly what the specialty is might give linguists nightmares.