Over at What is Literature? Chris Schaberg blogs his account of two recent conferences. In explaining his lack of exotic photos as illustrations, he writes that the images are on his iPhone and have mostly been tweeted already. This leads to an observation that hits home:
Anyway, most of the good ones are already on twitter—it's so much easier, and I love to see the nearly immediate feedback from other people, often surprising. I am relatively disinterested in online education, and yet in a weird way I've also been embracing it on twitter, it occurs to me now. I feel obligated to keep this blog somewhat fresh, but increasingly it seems like a burden and a hassle. Yet it's still an archive of projects, connections, ideas, and other things. So I'll continue to ambivalently update this blog from time to time, even as it seems to creak sort of like the century-old wood beneath my feet.I've been thinking something similar over the past few months. On the one hand, I have a queue six or seven deep of posts I've been meaning to place here at ITM. On the other, I haven't done so, and some have been waiting for a very long time. My Twitter stream has been active. My Facebook account sees a post or two daily (yes, you may friend me there). The immediacy of these two modes makes them seem easy: it isn't really work to place something into circulation in the Twitterverse or FB-Land. The instant commentary is also gratifying. Blogs on the other hand have become a forum more often read than interacted with, as well as great magnets for trolls and spam. It also takes more labor to place a post on a blog. That's not a bad thing -- slower writing is typically better writing, and not everything should be an off the cuff observation. But it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a blog and (on the one hand) a journal and (on the other) an announcements board.
Here's my recent interaction with Chris and Brian Thill (on Twitter, so read up from the bottom):
So, yes, a blog seems like academic labor and Twitter and FB are more freeform, random, and, well, fun. That's a mode of thinking I want to break out of, though: a blog holds an accessibility and archivability that these other forms do not. A blog is also more public and more generous.
I will try harder.
Question to other bloggers: have you felt the same way or is it just me?