May 12, 2007

Are Leading Bloggers Getting Blog Fatigue?

It's no secret that keeping a blog frequently updated and interesting is no easy task. For as many blogs are started each day, it's believed half as many are abandoned, according to Technorati. Of late, I've seen signs of fatigue from a number of high-profile bloggers who are taking blog vacations, begging for guest bloggers to take their normal place, or in some cases, the bloggers are choosing to keep us updated in other ways - preferring Twitter or other venues.

Three quick examples: Jason Calacanis, Robert Scoble and Bonnie Wren.

Jason first wrote earlier this week that he was to take a month off from blogging, and that he would provide updates on his Twitter page. A follow-on note said he was going to in fact take two full months off, to return in mid-July.

While not moving away from blogging altogether, Robert Scoble has seen recent signs of fatigue as well. When the blogosphere reacted in horror to death threats to Kathy Sierra in late March, Scoble shut his blog down for the better part of the week in solidarity. Since the hiatus, Scoble's gotten back to blogging, but made noise about how he thinks his time is better served linking to other good writers, more than himself. He says, "I’m really having a lot more fun reading other people’s blogs lately than writing my own."

While he may enjoy his own surfing of blogs and calling out favorites, that's not what made us read him in the first place - instead his own observations on the industry, specifically, Microsoft, were why he became a must read RSS feed and authority. His link blog is great, but if too much emphasis is put here, he'll be in the category of Matt Drudge, who relies on links to others instead of original reporting.

Outside of the tech sphere, it's also clear real life can also get in the way of great blogging. Bonnie Wren, a fantastic writer who loves her kids and her bulldog, similarly claimed fatigue by the end of April, saying "I’m having a hard time taking care of all my obligations lately and need to take a break for a bit."

In the meantime, Bonnie has posted old material to fill the dead air.

As more and more people start blogs, and set a pace, whether that be 3 posts a week, or 3 posts a day, we should be thinking about the endgame. There's no question that some day we'll be done. Blogs will change to something else. I don't think it's Twitter, but it's something. At some point, blogs will close down from their current format. People, even the geekiest of us, at times will have lives and will choose to live in the real world instead of the virtual world. But I find it especially interesting that those leading the curve on blogging are themselves finding trouble or frustration in keeping it going. I hope the fatigue doesn't gain further momentum.