Why I still love blogs

I was reading someone’s blog a few weeks ago and she said that although she uses and enjoys all the socials…Instagram, Twitter and Facebook…a lot, she will never ever stop reading and following blogs. This statement really resonated with me and I’ve been mulling it over.

Inspiration and pretty pictures are great on Instagram. I get a lot of that from IG, as well as exchanging quick, sometimes funny, messages with peeps. But blogging is different; to me it’s 3-D rather than 2-D. I think because the longer that you read, the more you get a sense of someone and what they’re about. You can feel you really have a relationship with them, sometimes it’s completely one sided. Often it’s mutual and becomes a source of warm friendly messages from the other side of the world, the other side of the country, or just a few miles away! There are a few bloggers who I’ve ended up meeting, a few have become very good friends.

Seeing what they’re making take shape from the first few stitches chained or cast on, to progress pics as time goes on and then the finished item is like watching a wonderful slow tv programme.

I haven’t even really mentioned all the tutorials, the patterns, useful tips and the sharing of links! A helpful blog will tell you the yarn they’ve used, link to the pattern or their Ravelry account etc where you can find out even more.

It’s not all craft – I tend to follow blogs which also post lifestyle content. I like to know what they’re cooking, what they’re reading, maybe see pictures of their garden or walks they’ve been on recently. A few pictures of their city, town or village maybe too and I’m hooked! 

Later I read someone else saying about blog comments. She said she really values and appreciates the time and the effort it takes people to leave them. She was glad that they were still generous in writing to her. I had a feeling that there was a little bit more behind it, that she’d noticed the mega amounts of comments she used to receive had significantly gone down in the last few years. We exchanged messages about it. I suspect it’s mostly a time and immediacy thing. A quick double tap to ‘like’ a post on Instagram gives instant feedback. Perhaps people maybe don’t want to put long messages out there on public record. I know I’ve often privately messaged in response to heartfelt blog posts, or with a silly but friendly response.

Incidentally I sometimes find reading one blog post at a time as they’re published a bit lacking; I really want to read a whole batch of posts and settle down with a mug of tea and have a good read. Do you do this too?

Then I began to wonder why it was that I wasn’t advertising the blogs that I read on my own? A few years ago I remember taking the widget of links off when I reorganised things, and I’m not quite sure why I didn’t reinstate it. If I’m serious about loving blogs still, I wondered if I should be advertising the ones I follow? Then others might do the same and refresh their lists, so current blogs are still getting attention and a bit of publicity. After all, there’s no point having loads of links to non-existent or inactive sites. I needed to put a refreshed list up, so that’s what I’ve been working on.

I dip in and out of many more blogs than those I’ve linked to so far, but I wanted to share my must-reads. Even if it takes me six weeks or months to catch up, they are the ones that I read and have followed for years. It’s quality, not quantity for me.

I came across an old crochet blog the other day, I think I was following a link to a pattern on Pinterest, and it had not been updated for years. The blog list was amazing! It included all the people I followed in 2009/10 when I discovered craft blogs and blogging. I felt like I’d discovered a precious time capsule. Is it daft to feel kind of nostalgic for those days of sitting in front of a slow lap top, its noisy fan whirring as I caught up with what people were making, at the end of a busy day? Now (well, pre-March 2020) I’ll jump at speed from page to page while on a bus or train, waiting for an appointment to come up or when I’m on a break. Things have really changed now and nostalgia aside, I’m happy to have a fast little computer in my handbag or pocket, whenever I want it. Magical really isn’t it?!

It was sobering to realise, looking through my previous list of links, how many of my favourite blogs aren’t active anymore. Some still post once or twice a year (better than nothing) some have deleted their blogs completely, with handfuls of untethered pictures still floating around the Internet, others attempted to start new blogs to reflect where they were now (then) but if you search for them, they are just a blank page with a title. One domain has been taken over by a Korean handbag seller. The new blogs just never took off. The initial enthusiasm of blogging leached away over the years. They felt like they’d said the same things over and over again. The rhythms and routines of the seasons and years became a drag, not a comfort. They were bored with their own words and pictures. I get it. People move on, hobbies change, lifestyles change, relationships end and priorities shift. Work can leave little time for planning, photographing and writing something and sending it off into the ether. It takes time and energy. If blogging begins to feel like a task and work, it is far from fun. (I don’t feel like this. If I did, I’d be gone!)

Off the top of my head, these are some blogs that I used to love:

Pink Milk, Greedy for Colour, Cozy Made Things, Crochet with Raymond, Le Monde de Sucrette, According to Matt, Foxs Lane, Dottie Angel, Little Tin Bird and Rachelle Blondel’s that I think was named after her grandparents i.e. Ethel and Ernest or Olive and Stanley. I can’t remember their names! So many more, who will probably come to me as soon as I press publish.

I never sit down at my laptop to read blogs anymore. I never post mine from my laptop anymore. I usually dictate my posts because it saves my hands nowadays. I publish my posts mostly on my iPhone, and read others’ blogs on my iPad. Sitting back down at my laptop today reminded me of years ago when I started this blog; it felt old fashioned to type actual blog names into a search bar. I enjoyed seeing a full sized screen of pretty pictures, there are also the sidebars that you don’t really get to see on a mobile view. (My new blog links are at the bottom on the mobile site, by the way.) The lap top reminded me that dodgy ill lit photos you can get away with on an enhanced all singing all dancing iPhone or iPad, do not necessarily look so well on a laptop!

So what about you: Why do you still read blogs? Do you also think they offer something more than other social media? Have I missed something obvious? Which are your favourites, are your blog links up-to-date? Do you have any you want to recommend? I’m up for a bit of a blog tour, if you want to lead the way.

* Yes, I got a bit carried away in my own photo archive by the end. I forget what I’ve made!

23 thoughts on “Why I still love blogs

  1. I haven’t blogged in a while as I tend to post more on Instagram. I think I blogged more when I used my laptop regularly as it was there and on. Now it’s not the same using the blogging app on my phone. I’ll try and post soon , especially as I’ve just finished knitting a jumper.

  2. When I started to blog I was inspired by a niece who blogged her travels i thought, “I can do that”. But when I took the train from San Francisco to Chicago I never found the time to write. Now I Post whatever subject takes my fancy.
    Why do I read yours? I enjoy hearing about your life, your crochet and looking at your photos.

  3. I’ve loved reading this post!
    I’m so guilty of mindless scrolling in front of the TV on a night, which makes IG or Twitter easy to “engage” in, whilst the blogsphere takes concentration!
    I’ve loved this little trip down memory lane tonight though – and its made me want to spend time engaging with blogs more – and you never know, maybe I’ll dust off mine (again!) xx

    • Awww thanks Stacy.
      Yes, that’s a good point too. It’s so easy to scroll and get lost in rabbit holes on IG and Twitter. I can spend ages pinging to Pinterest and Ravelry saving things to make, with nowhere near the time or lifespan to compete a fraction of them!
      Good plan – dust off the blog and blow the cobwebs away. Let me know when you’re up and running again. xx

  4. I love this. And after much chit chat with you on IG I think I’ll start a blog. How very retro 😉. I love the slower pace and taking things in. Seeing a bit more than that flat lay…. however I think they can live in harmony to a point. I saw your story on IG and immediately went to have a look. And (for once!) left a comment. Yay you.

  5. I still adore reading blogs but you are right about the list you made of ones that are gone, I read all of those too. but there are still many fantastic blogs to read and I have never stopped. I have dozens saved on Bloglovin so I can get a fix anytime I need one LOL LOVE your Blog and was so impressed with you being left handed I told my sister as she is. I am right handed. She has done a marvelous job teaching herself and out crochets me all the time!!! take care and Be SAFE and thank you !

  6. I love blogs :) even though over the years I’ve been dipping out of blogging myself I’ve set myself an own “goal” of blogging more actively. It’s how I connected to the community 8 years ago and as you I start to feel since more and more is happening on Instagram this community spirit is somewhat lost. Might be due to an algorithm deciding what you want to see rather than you personally deciding what you want to see. So even though I’ve got less time now (2 mini humans :)) blogs will always be a part of my life :) and I would love and updated list on who is still blogging :)

    • Nice to hear from you San, I’ve dipped in and out of your blog over the years.

      I started 9 years ago, we both go back a long time and hasn’t it whizzed?!

      I love Instagram for quick hits of creativity and a buzz of inspiration, but like you say there is much you miss from favourites, due to the pesky algorithms. Sometimes it can feel like relentless advertising where everyone wants to sell you something. I enjoy the homespun posts – showing crochet or a knit which you know has literally just been put down next to a mug of coffee, snapped and posted. No time-consuming flat lays, perfect lighting or dozens of photos to get the ‘the one.’ Perfection is over-rated!

      My blog links are all active, there are a few who are blogging sporadically, but sometimes is better than never!

      Looking forward to catching up with yours more regularly.

  7. I don’t have a blog, and am unlikely ever to have one, I think I have missed the boat slightly on that one. I don’t do Instagram or Facebook, but really enjoy reading blogs. A few of the ones you mentioned were ones I used to read. I have had a lot of inspiration from blogs and would very much miss them if people stopped blogging.

    • I don’t know about that Jacqueline – I don’t think you’ve missed the boat. I’m sure new blogs are beginning all the time. I just don’t get to hear about them like I did.

      I do miss old favourites, you find yourself thinking about them and wondering if they’re still making and what they’re up to in life. I’m grateful for the inspiration and tips I gathered from them when I was new to crochet and started knitting again.

  8. What an interesting post. I’d never heard of any of those early blogs- too busy with family and fulltime work. As you know I started in 2012, with a lot of help from you, as a way of boosting my confidence after leaving a job through bullying. I have never stopped- I’m not on anything else apart from Facebook , not enough hours in the day.I think a list of blogs one follows is a nice idea, not that I have done this. As I have a free blog, my media library fills up all the time and I have to keep deleting old posts to make room for the new. I read mostly in the morning on my tablet, like now, but upload pictures to my laptop, and from there to the blog, and I will write on either that or this. I have noticed that the colours vary a lot between the two. Anyway keep going with the blog..have a good day. x

    • Thank you Cathy.
      I do remember being quite firm and messaging you saying ‘Of course you can do x, y, z!’ It’s a long time ago and look at you now! Masses of readers and lovely supportive people who appreciate what you show and write.
      If you need any tips with adding the links for your favourite blogs, if you choose to add them, just shout.
      You too, thanks.

  9. Interesting that you are happy reading them on your phone. I read them on an 8inch tablet some of the time but with some posts actually wait till I am sitting at my desktop computer, so I can see the photographs more clearly. I do prefer them to Instagram though. Can’t get engaged with Instagram in the same way and I rarely comment even on on blogs till I am upstairs on my desktop as it is so much easier when I can touch type the response.
    I do have times when I spend less time reading blogs, like now, because I have so much else to do. But I chose to respond to yours!
    I have a list of blogs I follow but I like having the pictures and WordPress doesn’t let me choose, so I can only weed out the ones that rarely post by unfollowing. Do you know another way?

    • I use the Reader View on my iphone and so the text is clear and there’s no frame etc. It’s really adaptable In that you can change the size of the foot to suit and click on photos so they’re the sole thing on the screen. I’ve got an iPhone 11 which has a good size screen too.
      Thank you, and I really appreciate that you still read and comment.
      A way of weeding out the inactive blogs you mean, or showing the name and not the picture associated with a blog?

  10. I used to keep up with all my favourite blogs as and when they posted, but since the whole Covid thing I keep finding that over a week has gone by and I haven’t read any. I don’t like ploughing through someone’s blog and leaving them ten comments on one day, but that seems to be how my brain is working at the moment.

  11. Pingback: Taking Stock – November | The Little Room of Rachell

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