I miss the old ways. Even though I have become as guilty of neglect as anybody, I still lament the shrinking of the blogosphere. At its zenith, it was a lively place, populated with people who shared big ideas, obscure playlists and cat memes. Bloggers took the time to write measured arguments, vitriolic rants and wry observations, and they took the time to read those of others and to join in the ongoing conversation. Relationships built through the online word were taken offline and flourished in real life.
The blogosphere, though, has become diluted with niche communities, and obviously there is an appetite for that, especially those communities that can be tended instantaneously, while waiting for your grande no foam or riding the bus. It's hard to write a tome on your smart phone.
But, it's also hard to write in a vacuum. Much as we tell ourselves (okay, much as I tell myself) that we write out of the sheer need to write, or to document a moment, or to sort out some half-realized theories, when we release the words into the ether and they languish there, unanswered, it's hard not to get nostalgic for the days when real conversations happened.
I don't blog as much as I used to, nor do I visit as many blogs as I once did. I tell myself it's because I now spend so much of my day writing that I have little left to shout into the ether, but that's not strictly true. In reality, my blog roll is becoming depopulated. Former amazing bloggers, whose posts I always looked forward to reading, are abandoning those once flourishing sites in droves. I miss their words.