Thursday, June 12, 2014

Maybe Blogs are Dying After All? This Isn't Just Clickbait! :)

There are times when I begin to wonder if Andrew Bisharat was right after all. OK so that link doesn't work. Here's my response to it if you are interested. And maybe I was too harsh on it and got blocked by him, like everywhere. Which I may well have deserved but whatever. Water under the bridge, as they say.

Anyway, maybe climbing blogs are getting old. Having just turned 50 myself, it's logical enough to see a connection between one's one encroaching mortality and a decreasing lack of enthusiasm for writing about the latest trend/event/marketing campaign in the world of climbing. And said lack of enthusiasm has been abundantly manifest in my not updating this blog in close to two months. And something important surely has happened in the world of climbing (besides Everest getting shut down). OK so nothing really important has happened but maybe I just forgot about it. Middle age has its blessings.

But seriously, what has happened in the last two years to climbing blogs is not inspiring much confidence in their future existence as a corrective to what is being published out there in the climbing MSM. I may be oblivious but I have not read a good polemic on the internetz in a long time (except maybe Stevie Haston's) and even Jamie Emerson is apparently off doing something a lot more interesting than updating B3Bouldering these days. In fact in an ironic twist that only Hegel could appreciate. Bisharat's blog is by far the most productive, excepting the ever-industrious Climbing Narc. (OK he's linked on my blog but I might as well be consistent.) AB even gets real comments which makes me extremely jealous as all mine are spambot generated ones like "very inform blog. much informing and links. OK."

For now I will be thinking about what to do next and spending as much time here while I do. That's all for now. And if you actually want to know what I am up to, please follow me on Instagram.


Brady Robinson said...

Very informing blog with links. Big thank. All your angst are belong to us.

chuffer said...


Anonymous said...

Yes, one of the biggest changes I've noticed is a shift from blogs to FB, Twitter and, above all, Instagram. This "social" explosion is fascinating and seemingly unstoppable.
Nicholas Hobley

Scott said...

I think you pose a great question and it's one I've been curious about as well. I started my own climbing blog about a year ago (The Caffeinated Climber at if anyone is interested) and one of the things that I've found is that discoverability is pretty tough.

When I first started looking for other blogs and sources to watch and see what other folks were writing about, I found that the selection is pretty slim but the super active ones (like Evening Sends) are usually from younger writers who are or are trying to do it full time. For myself, the best stuff comes from my own experiences and that's tough to do when I have a full time job and family...but I love climbing and like to share about it with the few people (and I really only mean a few) that happen upon my site.

Regardless of the slim pickings out there, I enjoy your blog (even sporadically) and hope you keep it up my man. Thanks!

JB said...

When the Internet was in its mainstream infancy--say the last ten years--people were keen to create free content, and everybody got the idea that quality content was now free--no need to pay for a newspaper or magazine because everything is now free on the Internet. That novelty has worn off, however, and people are growing weary of creating free content, thus we see a shift back to ad-supported content and sometimes even subscription-based content. Bottom line is that quality, edited, vetted content has monetary value, and takes monetary resources to produce. We are just now seeing the start of this shift back toward no-longer-free content. Not that it will go away entirely, but I too have noticed that many blogs are languishing, regardless of the subject matter.

One question: Why are there no ads on your blog, other than the bouldering pad one? Does Blogger not give you the option to run Google ads or something so that you could make some money? I know some blog sites do not allow their bloggers to run Google ads (Wordpress?). Personally I think that the ad-less Internet publishing model is doomed.

Peter Beal said...

Great comment JB. I agree that free content's day may be waning but it seems that paid content is increasingly commercially sponsored. The kind of thing I write is very unlikely to be supported financially since I actively criticize the market-oriented media that dominates the scene today. So I don't worry about ads.

Peter Beal said...

Thanks Scott! Thought I posted a reply earlier but it didn't show up.

splitter choss said...

I've been thinking about this too, though I'll humbly submit that we've still been cranking things out on SplitterChoss (almost 9 years now, crazy!) AB's site IS killing it these days, for sure. Crux Crush is good. Jstar is consistent. And like you say, the Narc is maybe the glue that holds the climbing blog universe together!

I think with most blogs you see the usual excitement at the start, followed by the lull when the reality of keeping it going long term sets in. Maybe everyone is just out there recharging their batteries, or maybe, like you said, they've decided they've got better things to do.