All The Blogs I’ve Ever Stopped
“95% of blogs lie abandoned”: This statistic, quoted in the NYT, has been interpreted by excitable media commentators as “95% of blogs fail”. This is about as relevant as saying “95% of bands fail”: of course they do - so what? Everything ends sometime. Bet it was still more fun to be in a band than not.
I currently have 4 or 5 blogs on the go, depending on how you define it. But here are my contributions to the litany of failure:
Blue Lines (Feb-Nov 2000): Earlyish UK blog (hand-coded in its first month!), moderately well-read by those primitive standards. Killed off in tribute to Howard Devoto’s splitting up the Buzzcocks, nobody noticed really.
New York London Paris Munich (2000-2005) (contributor): First-gen music blog (second-gen starts with Fluxblog; we’re currently in the 5th or so probably). Probably my most successful blogging venture - a team blog, but killed off by my fiat because I felt it was past its best. Pitchfork ran its obituary! (Which still floors me - thanks Jess).
I Hate Music (2000-2008) (contributor): Written under the nom-de-plume Tanya Headon, this was about 50% me in its first few years. Enormously enjoyable - for the writers - trolling of music googlers. Killed off some years after we ran out of steam on it.
Groke (2000): Follow-up to Blue Lines on the pitas platform, abandoned before launch (but after a cpl of posts) because I didn’t like the platform.
A Loafer’s Discourse (2000-2001): Follow-up to Blue Lines with more self-consciously “literary” inclinations, much influenced by the kind of vignette posts maura.com was running at the time. Never quite worked out.
Secret Empire: (2001?) Started as an experiment in anonymous blogging, discontinued after one post because I couldn’t work out how to promote it, and also because I woke up the next day and realised it was a crap idea.
Moments In Love: (2001) A blog writing about single moments in records - still one of my best ideas and abandoned mostly because it was too much on one plate.
I Hate Films (2001) (contributor): Atrocious attempt to recapture the “magic” of I Hate Music. Lasted one month and deleted forever.
Pumpkin Publog (2001-2003) (contributor): Blog about pubs and food edited by Pete Baran. Absorbed into Freaky Trigger in a “great news for all our readers” move, so I guess it survives (but not as its own thing).
Pop Nose (2004?): MP3 blog, started because I believed MP3 blogs ought not to be just about posting music you liked. Quite successful initially, killed off by me because I managed to convince myself that THE MAN would send all the MP3 bloggers to jail forever. This turned out not to be the case.
Blackbeard Blog V1: (2008) After promising myself I would start a marketing blog, I finally did, posted enthusiastically for two months, then got sidetracked by offline work opportunities. Also my blog drowned in spam comments. Its second iteration has been much more successful!
Try Some Buy Some…: (2008-9) Tumblr with idiotic/annoying excerpts from music PR emails. May yet be revived.
This has been a nice trip down memory lane for me but there’s a wider point, which is that there are an awful lot of excellent reasons for ending a blog, and that many blogs which do end are by no means “failures”.
Social media coverage in general should focus a lot less on the things people do or don’t “achieve” via these tools, and more on the fact that conversation, writing, collaboration and suchlike are pleasants thing to do in and of itself. Reclaim social media for the flaneurs, is I guess what I’m saying!