Lately, I’ve not had as much time as I’d have liked to read other blogs out there: seeing kinky friends in real life has rather taken priority over my online explorations. I’ve just about kept up-to-date with my “Spanking – Friends” category in Google Reader (that is, blogs written by people we’ve actually met, or know so well online that they class as friends even though we’ve yet to met in person).
But when I glanced at my “Spanking – General” feeds the other evening, I found a ridiculously high number of unread posts. At the same time, I noticed that a surprisingly large proportion of the blogs to which I subscribe weren’t showing any new posts at all. So I started pruning: if a blog on the list didn’t show any new activity – and had thus been dormant for the eight weeks or so since my last catch-up – then I deleted by subscription. Of course, I may have been a tad premature with some – we’re unusual in posting every day, and some may be happy posting every few months when they have something of particular interest to say. But it’s a fair guess that two months of no activity suggests the site in question isn’t exactly that active!
And guess what proportion of the 201 spanking blogs on my lists appeared to be defunct? No fewer than 97 – very nearly half – including many that had previously been pretty active.
Why is this, I wondered? Boredom or a lack of time on the writer’s behalf – or simply running out of things to say: a sense that they’d come online to explore the ideas that had been percolating in their minds for so long, had explored them, and found nothing left to share? Perhaps their blogs have achieved their objectives (introduce myself, meet a partner, disappear happily back into the shadows)? Perhaps they just didn’t enjoy writing in this format as much as they’d thought they would.
Or maybe it’s resulted from ennui amongst their readers, leading to too few site visits or comments for writing to be worthwhile? Or (I pray not) a mass migration to Twitter? Or even a defection from blogging to the boards of the kinky social networking sites – such as Fetlife or SpankoLife (my personal favourite); I’m listed as ‘Abel’ on each, if you ever fancy saying hi!
It does make me wonder about trends in the spankosphere. I’m guessing that, a few years down the line, we’ll still see a still-smaller number of blogs – the best and most popular of those here today complemented by some new arrivals (as new folks discover the scene, pluck up the courage to post, or reach the age at which they’re legally or practically able to set up a site). The percentage of blogs with purely commercial content (as a means to attract customers for paid sites) might increase in comparison to those of us who simply have a passion for writing about kink.
And technology will inevitably evolve: I’d love it if that involved an easy and elegant way to consolidate our blog with our stories with our tweets with our podcasts (watch this space: ‘spankingcasts’ on the way soon!) – and to collaborate more on writing, ideas and conversations with others who share our enthusiasms.
Nearly four years in, we’re still buzzing with ideas, for sure. But I’m really interested to learn what others think…