Etchings on the Digital Cave Walls: The Evolving Nature of Blogs

Well hello there. It’s been over 4 months since the last update, and I only posted 9 times in 2013.

these hands Etchings on the Digital Cave Walls: The Evolving Nature of BlogsIf anyone who happens to read this follows my other creative outlets, you can see that I’ve been anything but dormant – posting regularly to 500px, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Despite the silence, I actually traveled quite a lot in 2013: China, around a large swath of the U.S. for 7 weeks, Indonesia, Singapore and destinations throughout the Philippines, most recently the island of Siquijor.

So why the lack of blog posts? Honestly it comes down to sake of ease. When you’re busy, it’s far easier to post a Twitter update or Facebook post than to log into WordPress, deal with formatting or embedding images, etc. I certainly am not the only feeling the effects of this paradigm shift. Check out Kottke’s recent post, “R.I.P. The Blog, 1997-2013″ where he said:

Sometime in the past few years, the blog died. In 2014, people will finally notice. Sure, blogs still exist, many of them are excellent, and they will go on existing and being excellent for many years to come. But the function of the blog, the nebulous informational task we all agreed the blog was fulfilling for the past decade, is increasingly being handled by a growing number of disparate media forms that are blog-like but also decidedly not blogs.

Instead of blogging, people are posting to Tumblr, tweeting, pinning things to their board, posting to Reddit, Snapchatting, updating Facebook statuses, Instagramming, and publishing on Medium. In 1997, wired teens created online diaries, and in 2004 the blog was king. Today, teens are about as likely to start a blog (over Instagramming or Snapchatting) as they are to buy a music CD. Blogs are for 40-somethings with kids.

As he clearly states, this was a deliberately provocative statement, and yet rings true on many levels. When I started blogging in 2002, there was essentially no other medium available for posting regular content to the web.

This site began as a method for reaching family and friends who wished to keep up with my (often ridiculous) stories of travel and adventure as a bright-eyed naïve 24 year old new to expatriate life in Indonesia. I suppose it then evolved into a small, interesting community of regular commenters – many of whom I had never met (but many I’ve since met) and yet enjoyed hearing from.

From there it morphed into a place to post my love of photography, but with much less of an introspective spin (probably for the best). And finally, since moving to the Philippines, I’ve had less and less time to maintain my interests outside of work. In just 4  1/2 intensely busy years in Manila, I completed an international teacher’s certification, finished a master’s degree in 2 years, have been teaching master’s courses online and most recently started a new company (all outside of working full time).

So where does this leave this blog? Will I abandon it completely? Would that be preferable to these random, infrequent posts spaced months apart allowing the blog to slowly fade into insignificance and decay?

No.

There may no one left to even read these words beyond the robots that troll for cataloguing every word I type into a permanent archive to shape my future self’s online shopping preferences. And yet, I’m driven to forge on, documenting whatever comes to mind, posting photos from my various travels, (I’m up to about 85,000 untouched photos at the moment).

If nothing else, once I’m at the end of my time on this earth, it’ll be interesting to look back upon these various stages of life with fondness and an appreciation for the years that rolled past, glancing over thoughts authored throughout decades, etched on the digital cave walls reflecting this tiny blip on the radar of existence.

Bali for 5 weeks

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth – I’ve just been much less disconnected in Bali for the past 5 weeks. I’ll update more appropriately soon. This poor blog turns 10 years old in a couple of months – need to breathe some life back into it!

Site has been down due to Dreamhost problems

Just a quick note – this blog has been down 4 times in the past three weeks due to my webhost, Dreamhost, encountering problems.

This past downtime has been over 48 hours – which is quite alarming.

I’ll be investigating other webhosts as coincidentally my renewal with Dreamhost is up in two weeks. I’ve been using their services since 2006 with mostly positive support but this is simply not acceptable. If you have recommendations for other hosts, please drop me a line so I can consider them.

5GB Free Dropbox Space For Helping to Beta Test Camera Upload Feature

dropbox logo 5GB Free Dropbox Space For Helping to Beta Test Camera Upload Feature

Dropbox is currently offering 5GB of free space for beta testers to test their new camera upload feature.

I tried it this morning at home and am letting it run all day and
confirm that it’s working properly. For every 500mb of pics / videos
uploaded, you’ll get 500mb free up to 5GB. Not a bad deal if you’re a Dropbox user.

Here’s the link – not sure how long it’ll be available.

 

Social media vs blogging (Google+, 500px, Twitter, Facebook, etc)

I’ve been slacking on the blogging front, mostly due to my workload and recent travels to Indonesia and Puerto Galera, but also due to the fact that I’ve been posting in various other places (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, 500px, etc). I realize many bloggers have jumped ship for an easier, micro-blogging style of presenting a lifestream, but I have no desire to abandon this blog no matter how busy I get.

Here are some of the other ways to keep track of my photography and travels (the links are directed to my various profiles):

Google+

Screen Shot 2011 12 19 at 9.03.39 PM 540x165 Social media vs blogging (Google+, 500px, Twitter, Facebook, etc)

I find Google+ to be a great place to discover new photographers. I’ve been seeking a viable alternative to Flickr for quite sometime. I think Google needs to figure out where this is going, but it seems to have far more more traction than Buzz. It’s also grown much more quickly than I had expected. In only two months of being active, I’ve developed over 5,600 followers. I’ve been using Twitter for nearly 5 years and have only about 1,400 followers. Not that the number of followers necessary reflects any significance.

500px

Screen Shot 2011 12 19 at 9.03.56 PM 540x549 Social media vs blogging (Google+, 500px, Twitter, Facebook, etc)

500px is an interesting development. I receive far far less “views” on photos there and have almost no social contact or feedback – and that’s ok – cause the minimalistic design and clean portfolio options trump the cluttered feeling one gets when viewing Flickr. I’ll be uploading less work here but more of my culled photos.

Twitter

Even after nearly 5 years, Twitter still has a purpose. I’ve gone through many phases with its use, but it’s still unbeatable in terms of reaching certain groups, colleagues, resources and perspectives.

 

What are your preferred social media tools? Do you still see a place for blogs?

Christmas in Manila

We’ve decided to hang out in Manila for at least part of the 24 day break I’m currently enjoying. We debated heading to the island of Palawan but considering we were just in Jakarta and Bali last month, sticking around home sounds appealing. We may head down to the island south of Luzon, to Puerto Galera, but I was also just there two weeks ago so not sure if that’s a go. In all of Asia, I’d wager that the Philippines is the most active in terms of Christmas celebrations. There’s a definite energy and excitement flowing throughout the city. Sure I’d love to be chilling on an exotic beach, but it’s not so bad hanging around home for once.

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