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Winding Down

As long as I've been blogging—fifteen years, off and on—it's been mostly a personal exercise, an attempt to work out my thoughts on a number of subjects by writing them down. When I started my first blog in July of 2005 I had no trouble finding topics to write about, and was constrained only by the time available to write. As time went on, I began to realize I had said what I wanted to say about most of the things I wanted to talk about. When Google changed the terms of service of its Blogger platform in April of 2010, it was a good excuse to step away from blogging for awhile.

I intended the break to be a few months, but in the end the break lasted as long as the blog had. But by January of 2015 I was ready to start again.

It was not a good time to start a new blog. Within days after I launched Squish Like Grape, pundits began lamenting the death of blogging. The nature of the Internet was changing. What made blogs successful in 2005 was the community—the readers who left comments that inspired followup blog posts, and especially the other bloggers who blogged their own responses. The community of bloggers drove traffic to each others' sites and provided validation for—or challenges to—each others' ideas. Even in our most heated disagreements, we could agree that these were subjects worth talking about.

In 2015 it was different. Social media and meme culture had replaced long-form blogging as the preferred means of online expression and interaction. And while you could share links on Facebook and Twitter to your latest blog post, your feedback might be a few "likes" and, if you're lucky, one or two "shares". It was much harder to get thoughtful responses and dialogue than it was a decade earlier.

Still, I had things I needed to write down, and I soldiered on for nearly six years. But in 2020 I'm about the same place as I was in 2010, and I've known for most of this year that it's time for a break. My goal is to blog until January 29, the anniversary of the day I launched Squish Like Grape. I've got a few posts partly written that I'll try to finish and publish, and I might have some thoughts about current events between now and January. And then it will be time to try something different. I'm not sure what it will be.

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