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by | May 4, 2021 | Uncategorized | 16 comments

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16 Comments

  1. M. Höhne

    We can still send 'zines during the next year or so that the Post Office remains operating.

    Reply
  2. Richard P

    At least there's that! The digital-skeptic underground can still function, more or less, on paper.

    Reply
  3. Bill M

    The change is noted. I've not read anything from Google for quite some time. As I get time I am moving to WP since the last Blogger changes are the worst ever. I think it was done to drive people from the platform. WP is nice but costs about $100/year for a site and ad-free service.

    Reply
  4. Erik Bruchez

    In case that's useful: I follow your blog using a notification that uses IFTTT (https://ifttt.com/), with a rule that says "send me an email when there is a new post on this blog". I didn't even know that Blogger had email notifications.

    I understand the worry that Google might give up entirely on Blogger. Blogger has been close to abandonware for 10 years if not longer. The "improvements" they are making to the blog platform are barely improvements at all. But I think that there are too many Blogger users for that to happen. You never know, of course, and everybody should make sure to regularly export/backup their posts and keep their options open.

    This said, I don't think we have to worry about blogging in general dying: there are many ways to host a blog besides Google and WordPress, including free options, and it is still a thriving way to express yourself – and the best there is online.

    I don't blog much (but I have the eternal hope to do so more) but this year I moved my personal blog to a completely different platform. It's a statically-generated site (via Jekyll) hosted on GitHub. I was able to import all my old Blogger posts using an importer that is part of Jekyll, and keep the comments via Disqus. It's a very refreshing setup compared to Blogger, and it's 100% free. If GitHub stops wanting to host such content, the exact same setup can be moved to any provider able to serve static content.

    Reply
  5. Ted

    urg ):
    I suppose it's not much of a surprise that depending on a free service for putting your content online was always an iffy proposition, but it's still unfortunate and scary that Google could wipe out 90% of the Typosphere in a single stroke on a whim. There is still plenty of places you can go to get a managed self-hosted WordPress setup for around $5/month, which is not beholden to the whims of Google and could be a good option for many. It's always best to be in total control of your content, I think, but it does require a little monetary outlay and some amount of learning curve.
    Still, may Google not force the issue is my wish. (:

    Reply
  6. Richard P

    $5 a month is better than fair. However, what guarantee is there, in the long run, that WordPress will outdo Google in care or longevity? The real longevity belongs to my typewritten slips of paper, stored in a series of small art portfolios, which are the source of all the typecasts on this blog. Of course, there is also lots of digital text here, as well as photos; I have not preserved any of that on paper.

    Reply
  7. Rob Bowker

    I've used Blogger to build mini sites for myself, various clients and friends purely because it is easy to use, and mostly not deploying the blogging function at all. So it might be personally embarrassing if it evaporates as well as a personal loss. But haven't we lamented its potential demise many times over the last decade? I struggle with WordPress and off-the-peg blogging platforms within all the non-coder platforms (SquareSpace, Go Daddy etc) seem to involve arcane practices compared to Blogger. The uncertainty of knowing how long a technology will last is reflected in our passion for typewriters. How durable, in the long term, is the international postal system in comparison? Cast alloys and pressed steel seem like forever materials and the typewriter's software as abundant and easy to come by as breathing.

    Your remark about depth of connection rings true. Members of the TW FB groups tend to be amazed that they might be considered the bastard offspring of an older technology, the Typosphere. I agree the blogosphere does facilitate deeper connections but there is still is a strong sense of community in the land of trolls, negging and filthy commerce.

    Thanks for the blogtrottr link, I duly signed-up. Wonder how long that service will last :-)

    Reply
  8. shordzi

    Thanks, Richard. Truly annoying. Google, do no evil, hah. I subscribed to you via blogtrottr, thanks for pointing it out. And yes, I also think that only printed matter will endure –> best to be stocked in university libraries.

    Reply
  9. Robin Heilschild ????

    Whoa! Your portable typewriter looks fancy!! <3

    The situation of Blogger is worsening as time goes forwards. It's as if Google wanted people to abandon blogs definitely. :(

    Or maybe it's because people has become too lazy to read long texts. I am not sure. :(

    Reply
  10. Robin Heilschild ????

    We could get copies of our own texts, and sending them via post mail to everyone, if blogging dies out definitely. It would be like a magazine subscription, but more private.

    Reply
  11. Robin Heilschild ????

    Blogging is dying because people dislikes reading long texts. There's even a sort of Internet's abbreviature:

    TL, DR: Too long, (I) didn't read. :(

    Reply
  12. Robin Heilschild ????

    Without mentioning how complicated adding a blog to the tracking/following list is… :(

    I have a WP, but I had never configured it…

    Reply
  13. Robin Heilschild ????

    What's a zine?

    I like visiting the post office from time to time. It's so empty ultimately… :(
    Well, my hometown has at least three of them. Its only activity consists on shippings nowadays…

    Reply
  14. Richard P

    Here's a little about zines, from my book:
    "Zines have roots in the fanzines that sprang up with pulp fiction, in the samizdat publications that defied Communist authorities during the Cold War, in the underground psychedelic publications of the sixties, and in the punk culture of the seventies and beyond. Creators of zines have complete control over their content, which may be whimsical, revolutionary, disjointed, or obsessive. Anything goes, including word processing and desktop publishing software, but the typical zine aesthetic breaks free from the slick layouts that computers hand us ready-made, embracing literal cut-and-paste techniques and filling the page freely with drawings, collages, handwriting—and, often enough, typewriting. The raw, amateur quality of most zines is part of their appeal.
    "The true zine is reproduced on paper; if it’s digitized, it becomes a different beast. Early zines were mimeographed, but authors typically turned to photocopiers when that technology spread. Some zine creators avoid all mechanical reproduction; they create one-of-a-kind pieces or laboriously create multiple copies by hand, in a distant echo of medieval manuscripts. Whatever the means used, a zine is rarely published in editions of more than a thousand, or even a hundred, copies. Profit, obviously, is not the point.
    "Zines reached a peak of popularity just before the explosion of the Internet, but they persist today as an alternative, nondigital movement, very appropriate to the typewriter revolution."

    Reply
  15. Erik Bruchez

    Social media platforms have taken a lot of the space for self expression over the last, say, 15 years. This said, I don't have numbers but I find "blogging is dying" too extreme a statement and I don't see evidence for it given the number of interesting blogs I follow.

    In addition, few things truly die online, and there is clearly a niche for people who crave longer-form content with more permanence than a Tweet or a Facebook post. This doesn't mean that articles must be too long-winded to be read, either. Often the TL;DR justly applies to articles that dilute their content to place more ads (or just because they are badly written).

    I also think that there can be social media fatigue, and that can translate to a return to other ways of expressing yourself and communicating, including blogs. It's not for everybody, but it's here, and nobody can take it away.

    Reply

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