Thursday, September 18, 2008

RSS Feeds Killed the Blogging Star

First, Let me make this clear. Calling myself a blogging star is a gross exaggeration but it was necessary to make the headline fit the song. Still, in all seriousness, RSS feeds have really contributed to my backslide as a blogger. It used to be I was a blogger first. I read media sources and opinion columns and commented from there.

Then I set up my RSS feed reader.

I began reading other blogs fanatically. At first, this barely made a dent in my blogging. Over time, though, I'd begin seeing posts that were similar to my thoughts on particular topics. I'd tweak my thoughts so they were a bit more unique. Then I started to get lazy. I'd start to Instapundit posts-you know, saying "heh" or "hmm" and then link to other things without any commentary. But that disgusted me, so I began to just let hundreds of topics go by without comment. After a short period of that, I realized that it was pointless for a blog of this size to blog like Glenn Reynolds, so I just withdrew from posting.

Of course, there have been other things that have contributed to my decline as a blogger. The more I devoted my brain to my profession, the harder I found it to switch gears to commentary. I also found that the more involved I got with my hobby of photography, the less creative capacity I had for writing. It has been difficult to shift the brain gears between the three very different mental tasks, but the RSS feeds remain the biggest challenge. RSS feeds have turned me from a blogger to a blog reader.

Given that, do I intend to give up blogging? Hardly. Just the same, I know that my place in the pecking order of blogs has significantly declined, and deservedly so.

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