Kon Mari-ing blogs until it hurts

I’m Kon Mari-ing the blogs I follow so hard that it hurts.

Where have all the craft bloggers gone?

Actually, it really does hurt, as I delete women’s words, women I once almost thought of as friends. They stopped posting maybe 2008, 2009 … or they lasted a little longer, stopping 2011, 2012 or 2013.

They wrote craft blogs, intertwined with glimpses of their lives. Are they still sitting there, behind their screens, just like me? Not knowing where to go now that most of the amateur craft blogs have professionalised, found their schtick and SEO-ed the heck out of themselves?

Did professionalism kill the craft blog?

Do they still have things to say? Probably! I followed some of those women onto Instagram, and they’re still thoughtful, funny women. They’re still making things, whenever they find the time.

Is there something about the professionalisation of blogs that makes amateur, non-commercial efforts seem pointless now? Is their style of blogging no longer supported, respected? And have the tools, the technologies behind blogging, moved on without them?

Is social media the problem?

Blogs need readers, of course. Without Google Reader, readers only find blogs via social media promotion. Re-tweets and Likes. Quiet, personal blogging isn’t something that’s easy to promote on social media – how do you ask people to re-tweet your confessions of craft failures? Can you ask (generally friendly) readers to like your musings on the difficulties of parenting? Particularly if you don’t offer a glib solution at the end, or push a product?

I know what you’re thinking: Instagram

I know what you’re thinking: Instagram killed blogs. Maybe it did. I’ve always wondered if Ravelry killed knit blogging – my main reason for reading knit blogs was to find out what patterns looked like on a real person, and Ravelry does that. Ravelry does that so very, very well. There isn’t a sewing Ravelry (yet), but it’s true most of the crafting action has moved to Instagram. I’ve been Instagramming myself, since August 2012. Six hundred and sixty-four posts so far. I guess it’s easy.

I’m still not convinced Instagram is the full answer, ‘tho. In its heyday, Flickr co-existed with blogs. Sure, Flickr allowed links in a way Instagram doesn’t, a significant change in technology. But is that the full explanation? Was it the double-whammy of the end of Google Reader and Instagram’s rise?

Maybe. But I’m not convinced blogging platforms have tried or succeeded in being as easy to use as Instagram/Tumblr/Facebook. And culturally, I feel, we haven’t found a good format for short, easy but still insightful posts. Except perhaps Buzzfeed (which has a good reputation in Australia) – more on that later…

Fashion blogs vs. craft blogs

In contrast to craft blogs, the fashion blogs I followed have sped up astonishingly – posting not once, not twice, but many times a day. But many of their posts are simply link lists, re-worded press releases and the like … the voices of the authors are gone now, replaced by a sanitised, corporate voice. Quirks and strong opinions erased. Advertiser-friendly.

No, I don’t know what the solution is either.

I stopped reading

Confession time: I stopped reading blogs about 18 months ago. In contrast to my previous 100 per day skimming habit. Maybe I got busy? But I was busy before. Maybe I missed Google Reader? But I was already surviving without it…

I just didn’t want to read blogs anymore. I was overwhelmed. The shallow fashion posts were drowning out the dwindling craft posts. I couldn’t find what I wanted in my reader, even though I still liked most of the blogs I was following.

Making room for the future

Hence the brutal Kon Mari. Rachel Hauser has discussed the changes to blogging recently, and I was really struck by what one of her commenters said. Maybe I’ve just missed out on following the next wave of bloggers. So I’m making room for them. And thinking about my own blogging … and planning a Buzzfeed-style, short, easy and casual approach.

As casual as I can be, having written something as long as this!

My creative space #003

Desk003Hope you’re enjoying seeing the little changes, week by week, to my creative space and my thoughts. This time, only one photo to show what’s changed. The rest is the same.

1. From A. Because it’s a nice, smooth stone.

2. This sticky tape is too big. But very useful. So if it’s staying on my desk, it can hold all my post-its, used bus tickets and little bits of paper.

3. Notes from school, forms to fill out, things to remember …

4. Mess. It moves, it changes, it’s always there!

5.  My current book bag. The kids don’t go to the local school, I wanted Montessori. So I spend a lot of time in a café or at the library, waiting for them to finish. Reading, doing homework, thinking. Underneath there’s my pile of pattern-making books. I plan to read each one this year, slowly. And a Vogue Living from Mum (in turn, a gift from Nan).

6. I had to check for my post last night.

7. More library books. I might use some flowers in my tea towel swap. What will happen when libraries go digital? When books go digital? And we no longer visit libraries or book shops? We’ll still have the information, but is it the same? And what of the second-hand booksellers? I’ve found a lot of interesting things second-hand, books I never could/would have bought new. And I’ve become expert at browsing libraries for hidden treasures…

8. More crochet project. I’ll tell you about it once I’ve made more.

I know some of you only visit me on Thursdays, so: Have a great week everyone!

about this bubble blower…

That green lion shape is a 2 streams of bubbles at a time bubble blower (you dip each nozzle into the little blue pot).

Do they have these in Australia but I’ve never noticed? Perhaps I wasn’t looking for kids toys that blow bubbles…

I know they don’t give out fans in Australia (see background). In Tokyo (and Kyoto, actually) in the Summer people give out fans near railway stations, advertising various things. In Spring, it was packets of tissues with advertising. Ah, dear, and the kids love collecting …

study break…

Let’s be honest, July is the month of assignments and exam study here in Japan … there won’t be much posting, even if I do hope for a little relaxation/sanity crafting.

See you after the 25th!

flickr meme, you know the one ; )

meme, originally uploaded by redswirl.

Because it’s so pretty, I tag myself

1. What is your first name? I’m named for that lady, my Dad thought she looks like my Mum (she does)

2. What is your favourite food? spaghetti … I’m totally editing this, that wasn’t the first one, but it was pretty 😉

3. What high school did you go to? [redacted], didn’t generally look like that

4. What is your favorite color? red

5. Who is your celebrity crush? don’t care (that’s what I searched for in flickr)

6. Favorite drink? ice coffee … oh, yeah I forgot I’m in Japan, I actually hate coffee like this, shoulda said “iced latte”, I need the milk to make it drinkable, sugar too sometimes

7. Dream vacation? Berlin, forever

8. Favorite dessert? sticky toffee pudding, flickr couldn’t find “and ice cream”

9. What you want to be when you grow up? happy, now too ;P

10. What do you love most in life? my kids, searched for “no photo”, found Shibuya at night, so sorta appropriate

11. One Word to describe you? confused (today)

12. Your flickr name? red swirl

Copying along with craftapalooza and oh, heaps of other people too