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What do You Miss about the ‘Good old Days of Blogging’?

Posted By Darren Rowse 10th of December 2007 Reader Questions 57


A recent survey here at ProBlogger showed that 9.4% of you have been blogging for more than 4 years and that almost 25% of you have been blogging for more than 2 years.

So there are some experienced bloggers in our midst who can remember ‘the good old days of blogging’.

Here’s my question to those bloggers.

What do you miss about the ‘good old days of blogging’?

What do you miss about the way the medium was back then? What do you miss about the way you used to blog? What’s changed for the better and worse?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Though I love problogging, I do sometimes miss doing it purely for the joy of writing, rather than having to do it to make a living.

    I miss the days when comment spam was virtually non-existent.

    I miss having the time to catch up on blogs and sites that aren’t in my niche and won’t necessarily net me a lead or a story.

    I miss having lots of time to leave insightful comments on lots of blogs.

    I miss not feeling guilty for playing online games!

    I miss the whole “innocence” that blogging seemed to have a few years ago.

  2. It is today easier to write down what I think and not to think half hour about the right sentence at this part. But routine has some not that nice aspekts too. The first year it was just great to blog. Every referer was interesting, every comment did my day. tody you know the most blogs, comments repeat and you know mostly before what people will comment to your articles.

  3. I can remember when a good friend of mine asked me if I started a Blog and looking at him funny since I had never heard the word before. That was a few years ago and I only started my first blog a couple weeks ago.

  4. I don’t miss a thing! Everything has only gotten better and easier. And I am no less enthusiastic about blogging then I was when I started seven years ago. It still amazes me how many people just have no idea what a blog is or why they should care. I have a lot of work to do. :)

  5. I don’t miss old blogging techniques.. it was too time consuming. Now I can blog easily and quickly! And I love the RSS feeds!! It’s the best way to keep up with everyone else’s blog! :)

  6. Nada! Zilch! Nothing!

    Thats because i’m new since july.

  7. I miss connecting with friends with more casual bloggers. Back then, we don’t have myspace, facebook, or friendster. If you want to connect with your friend, you’ll most likely get something like a livejournal or xanga. Nowadays, the people that like blogging more are still blogging, but many people that’s ambivalent about blogging have already turned to updating profiles. A lot of times I still prefer to read about their days and thoughts than look at updated profiles.

  8. I miss the niche I was in being small – now it has grown so large blogs have come and gone before I have even noticed them!

  9. In some strange way I miss Movable Type. It’s a WordPress world now. Sorry Mena.

  10. While the growth in blogging has brought about more advertising dollars which has been great for me I miss the community that was different when I started back in the late 90’s and early 00’s.

    The writing of posts and responding to the many comments was great. People were much more loyal to a person and not just looking to make a buck.

  11. I’ve been maintaining a blog of one sort of another for five years now and I don’t miss anything about the old days.

    I’ve always written about stuff important to me (my career, mostly) and that hasn’t changed at all. What’s gotten better is the software, ease of publishing and I’ve learned over the years what I’m doing so I worry less about every word I type online.

  12. Trackback spam. I am so tired of clearing out my Akisment cache of trackback spam.

  13. I’m the opposite to soeren onez – I think there’s more concern about writing well and writing high impact articles and making every article count otherwise you will lose subscribers etc.

    I used to just write for the joy or writing and sharing. I still love it; looking back, my grammar and spelling were awful – the whole thing just has a different vibe.

    I do love how designs and semantic web have improved (down with MySpace’s crazy tables and hundred style sheets!).

  14. I miss blogging for just me. While I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing now and have had fun building a meager but quality audience at, I was a personal blogger for about eight years, publishing my own prose, short stories, narrative fiction and such. There was no expectation of making money or driving scads of traffic, though both were certainly secondary goals … it was just me and my thoughts and a handful of folks who thought they were worth reading.

  15. I miss the time when the leaders in the field didn’t have much competition, even one year ago I had WAYYY less competition in my market. It’s almost getting over saturated.

  16. I miss the fact that people wouldn’t demand anything.
    I remember a few years ago was pretty easy to make new blogger friends, now it’s all about competition, knowing more and being the best.

    But I still am a personal friend of the person that introduced me to the world of blogging.

  17. I can’t say I really miss anything. Well, maybe I miss having more time to read my favorite bloggers. Blogging has become more routine and a regular part of my business activity. I would miss it if it disappeared. Blogging has been directly responsible for my business success in the last 3 years and writing has become easier. My blog antennae are always on. I love the evolution and acceptance of blogging as a tool for businesses to create better relationships with their clients/customers.

  18. I miss not having to worry about the comment and trackback spam attacks.

  19. That’s easy: the $7.00 page eCPM

  20. I miss being about to say whatever and not worry that a client will google my name and read about my personal life. Of course, that’s not really a change in the blogging world, but a change in me, going from a high school kid running a xanga to a college-grad running a professional writing business.

  21. What I miss is the friendships and conversations that were easily developed in the early days that have slowly slipped away – because we’re all busy doing our things.

    I also miss the lost art of comments between bloggers at most blogs these days.

    I also miss the low competition in our niches back then – but a rise in competition was to be expected.

    And as Andy says in the first comment: I miss the “innocence” that blogging had back then – even with all those mini-blog wars … :-)

  22. I miss the techmeme free world of blogging. Too much emphasis on search engine rankings and showing up on techmeme, etc

  23. Rather than missing the innocence, I just miss the ignorance. My website turns 10 next year, and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to do everything with an eye towards SEO, monetization, and world domination. But it’s either move that direction or stay in the soul-killing day job, so.

  24. I take it more serious now than when I first started out nearly three years ago. I’m read more now than I was then. I can still enjoy doing it for fun but the readers are definitely coming. I just have to watch myself more now than I did when I first started. The bloggosphere is getting more and more crowded now!

  25. My blog is too young for me to remember the “good old days of blogging”. I guess these will be the good old days for me when I look back in 2 years time……

  26. There were GOOD days of blogging?! You mean before all the spam and ‘make money online’ blogs?!

  27. I miss real dialog. Real conversations in comment streams are rarer.

    I miss trackbacks. Spam has caused a vast # of bloggers to turn them off. They were the best way to carry on a conversation.

    I miss the days before nofollow. One of the reason comment discussions are rarer is there’s no Google juice in commenting any more. You can still get readers, but no juice.

    And I miss being new in a new field. One of the worst things I ever did was stop blogging between 02 and 05. When I cam back it was already crowded and hard to get read.

  28. I miss …

    * having a personal blog where I didn’t care how many readers I had, if any. I don’t personal blog at all any more because my current blog keeps me way too busy.

    * when all my friends and I were all on Blogger, and I knew enough to make things work well, and it was all great. Nowadays Blogger blogs are looked down upon, and since the upgrade a couple of years ago, it’s almost impossible to run a site without glitches.

    * the joy of getting to know one reader. Nowadays I freak out if my feed count drops below 675, or if I get less than a certain amount of hits on a weekday.

    * finding just plain old interesting personal journal blogs. Nowadays it seems like I’m sifting through a ton of splogs and “make money now” blogs and having a hard time simply finding interesting people who do personal blogs. I used to find people occasionally by the Blogger tool that let you skip to new posts, but after splogging took over the majority of new blogs at Blogger, that feature because useless.

  29. Like DB the main thing I miss are my personal blogs. All my blogs have my personality but they are not all me like my first and second blogs. By the time I get done blogging for all my paid / work blogs I feel like I have little left to say and not enough energy for the personal writing.

    Also, as noted above I miss the lack of spam. It’s out of control how much spam has grown.

  30. i miss actual blogs.

    or rather what i miss is actual blogging: original content that catalogs goings-on of interest of individuals in daily life. web-logging is hardly that these days. blogging has become a free web hosted wasteland where everyone who can type (and some who cannot) can now talk like an expert on everything. in the old days we used to call these “websites.” now they are called “blogs” for some reason. i’ve seen many sites that certainly were not blogs.

    another bad side effect is that bloggers who don’t write about social or political issues are no longer considered to be “real” bloggers and often find themselves shunned by the new generation blogging community. the number of sites where the articles are based on the author’s personal experience with social issues are extremely few. typically, the content is the usual regurgitated professional news media article with personal commentary. that is fine if the person is an actual expert. most are not. the truth is, if free blogging sites did not exist, the vast majority of those “social consciousness” sites would disappear overnight. “serious” sites are self-hosted.

    but the community itself is not very healthy. as time goes on we see less and less original content, as now, blogging is all about readership numbers. so backtracks, linking and virtually cut and paste re-publishing of the work of a limited few seems to be the easiest way to get something up on a blog that will generate numbers. people who ordinarily wouldn’t get involved in a pyramid scheme are doing just that by playing the numbers game.

    i’ve been blogging since 1996 when i had my first commercial website. i wrote the exact same kind of articles that i do now, more than 10 years later. that doesn’t make me better. it also doesn’t make me any less either.

    i miss the days when i could cruise blogs and read original content about what people do, and not have it be about the blog itself. i miss the time when blogging was just about having fun and not about changing the world.

  31. Mine is very recent, I miss the adsense older format, (after they changed the “clickable area” thing) when my earnings used to be much higher than what they are now!

  32. Like Andy, I miss the innocence of the early blogosphere.
    I miss the days when spammy comments were few and far between and I never received emails asking to buy links on my blogs.
    And I wish writing was still the most important element of blogging, not networking or advertising or stats or ads. I take notice of/do those things, but they aren’t the be all and end all.

    It’s a shame to see people commenting that they don’t have time for their personal blogs. In many ways, those blogs were the best to read. I still update mine, but not as frequently as I would like.

  33. As a five year blogger, two things I miss from the early days.

    Firstly the innocence. I blogged for four years without making a penny, but I loved it, readers became friends and you didn’t have to worry about SEO, marketing and the like, as if you were a good enough writer, you’d be known. That’s what it was all about.

    The second reason is the fame. When blogging started out I was a big fish in a small pond at the time. I had newspaper articles, radio interviews about me, as I was just a guy talking about his life on the internet, and they thought as a hobby it was crazy. I remember when one of my earlier readers quoted me in an article in the Guardian (big UK newspaper), I was hugely ecstatic! Now, I’d be lucky to get an interview from another website.

  34. I first launched a personal blog in February 2005 so that’s nearly three years ago but at the time I thought that I was late on the bandwagon. I’ve since expanded to other blogs.

    I don’t really feel it was that different three years ago, though my personal site remains uncommercial. The main difference I’ve found is the rise of comment spam, which is incredibly annoying. So I guess I miss not having to deal with that.

  35. A few people say they miss personal blogs. I haven’t noticed any drop in personal blogs. I keep a personal blog and I subscribe to all my friends’ blogs and it’s lots of fun! I’ve linked to it in this comment. Usually I link to either my professional website or one of my professional blogs for SEO reasons, but my personal blog is still alive and well!

  36. More than four years. Great man. I hope I get to that place. I am a year old blogger but the big thing is I am still a student and I still have 6 months of my engineering studies left. So before I get into a job (accenture to be specific..I am already placed there) I will be building my blog very well and I am sure one day I would be eligible candidate for this kind of post in the future :)

  37. I have had many blogs over the past 8 years. Unfortunately I have trouble staying with one topic. What I miss about the ‘good old days’ is how simple blogging was. It’s still simple now, but there’s so many gadgets, gizmos and new technology that goes right over my head.

  38. Well, blogging about blogging is in the deadpool now — this site excepted.

    As an “old timer” who shapeshifted more than a year ago, I can’t say I miss all of that. Everything gets stale after a while and the world moves on. Let’s not cry into our drinks.

    Always look to the future. :-)

  39. I miss the days when writers wrote good quality content. I miss simple blog designs that were there only to carry the great articles. I miss writers being writers. Now-a-days, writers are called bloggers and too many bloggers only care about how fancy their theme is, how many ads they have displayed, what their page rank is and when their next story, no matter how good the content really is, makes it to the top of Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.

  40. I miss that a lot of people forgot “real” blogging can be hard. Everyone seems to think it’s quick and easy money now, which it isn’t. It still takes time and effort.

  41. I miss when we used to call them “web sites”. Sniff.

    Seriously though, I kinda miss the excitement of seeing new things. Not just with blogs, but just about everything on the web. That’s what I liked about blogs in the very early days – they were mostly just link dumps of new and interesting sites. Bloggers were indexing them faster than the search engines. It seemed like a pretty exciting time, but then again, this was a long time ago, pre-2000 bubble stuff.

  42. I miss the honesty. Now there are marketing machines hiding behind blogs with a particular spin message in mind. You just can’t trust what you read anymore.

    In particular this is the case with political blogging. I am see more blogs on political topics not run by pundits or even campaigns, but rather by marketeers trying to make a buck off of a name or topic that is hot.

  43. I started my first blog in 2001 as an online journal because the company I worked for sucked so much. It helped tremendously to blog about all the crazy stuff going on at the time. After I was done posting there, I didn’t post again until last fall when I started my current blog, at which I am actually trying to make money.

    I guess the thing I miss most is how innocent it was. I know that sounds odd, but it was all so new and fresh and people just putting their thoughts online. It wasn’t so calculated and competitive and all of that. Of course, there wasn’t much money involved.

    What I regret most, though, is not just sticking with it despite the revenue possibilities not being clear. If I had blogged all of my creative ideas and articles for the last 6 years instead of wishing I could get a book deal, I’d have a huge asset now.

    It’s okay, though–I’m working on it now, and that’s what’s important.

    ~Angela :-)

  44. I miss a smaller world. In “the good old days” it was easier to keep up with the best blogs. These days there are so many great ones and new ones popping up all the time that my RSS reader is overflowing with posts I want to read but never have time to keep up with. Thankfully we now HAVE RSS. It’s so much easier to keep up with my favorite blogs then when we had to load each blog from favorites to see if there were new posts.

    I miss the days when bloggers blogged for the sheer joy of getting their message/voice out there. These days there are a lot of shady business going on designed just to make cash with as little personal investment into topics as possible.

    I miss pre-pay-per-post. While I’ll withstand such entries ocassionally I always feel like I’m watching Free TV. You know, interruptions to perfectly good viewing to advertise this episode/series/channel sponsers. ICK! I don’t watch Free TV these days because of the ads. Too many infiltrating blogs and I’ll tune out of them too.

    I miss knowing everyone I read or who read me. These days it grows so fast that I lose track of even my regulars or don’t have the opportunity to get to know them as well as I used to. Growth and popularity is a double-edged sword.

    There are a few things to miss but ultimately I think there are also a great many positives. Blogging has become easier, more instantaneous and the reach of blogs and the blogging phenominon is enormous. More people are reading or writing blogs and the wealth of information available thanks to all this individual experts and amateurs is amazing. With RSS readers and comment subscription it has become so much easier to keep up with our favorites. The real question is: Where is blogging heading in 2008?

  45. It is extremely important to make use of this tool to obtain the best positioning of our pages, since if we chose by the ppc it would be very expensive.

  46. I miss the freedom of not knowing better in regards to what I wrote. I know my quality has improved, but I miss the feeling of not second-guessing every sentence. I also miss that small community feel.

  47. I miss not feeling guilty for playing online games!

  48. I miss the days when blogging wasn’t so watered down, when people genuinely had interesting things to say, the days when blogging platforms weren’t used as cheap websites to sell crap.

  49. I miss Blogging when it was more personable and it was still called an ‘online journal’.

  50. Being extremely new to blogging, I would like to know how it has changed.

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