It looks like another local blog has bitten the post-election dust: this time it’s NZBC, which has been putting out some good stuff in recent months. [UPDATE: Chris from NZBC reports “Rumours of NZBC's demise are greatly exaggerated. Stephen may have decided to take a break from blogging, but the rest of us are just on a kind of extended, work- and baby-imposed sabbatical. Or something.” Yet another cost of babies: baby-imposed sabbaticals.]
So how come some bloggers fall by the wayside while others just keep right on writing on? To answer that, I’ll direct you to what long-time blogger Walter Olson as to say about it.
Olson, who has been writing his OverLawyered blog since July 1, 1999, [and you would imagine] knows a thing or two about longevity. His blog is widely considered to be the oldest legal blog and is also one of the most popular, regularly surpassing 9,000 unique daily visitors.
“People who force themselves to blog, it’s a sad spectacle,” he says. “You can tell reading it that it’s painful to them.” The key is to find a topic that will sustain you. “You have to think, ‘Boy, there’s so much to write about I can’t imagine getting tired of it anytime soon,’” he says.
That’s the key. If you don’t have a selfish reason for blogging, then you ain’t gonna sustain the time and effort required. It’s not primarily about having hundreds of readers –- although that’s great if you can pull that off -- it’s about having to say something and maintaining a forum in which to say it.
Here’s an old cartoon from the now-defunct Cox and Forkum blog that accurately describes the blogger’s cycle: