Thursday, June 5, 2014

Are Blogs Dead? Not Even Close. But They're Different.

So, yesterday I had a total brain wave: Put WIP Wednesday on Instagram. Duh, all it takes is a hashtag (#wipwednesday), so I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before! While WIP Wednesday continues to be popular right here on the blog, it seems tailor-made for Instagram too. Instagram is perfect for quick sharing—a "let's just see what everybody else is working on" kind of thing. So in future weeks, I hope you'll all participate in WIP Wednesday either on IG, here on the blog, or both, if you're so inclined (you can now link up Instagram pictures in the blog-based linky).

But this got me thinking about all the talk recently among quilters about how "blogs are dead," or "blogging is taking a backseat." It's true that blogging is taking a backseat for many people, but I don't think blogging is dead—not even close. So today I want to tell you why I think blogs in the sewing and quilting community are alive and well. We're just using them differently now.

A photo from one of my first blog posts

Let's hop in the way-back machine to the year 2010, which is when I started blogging. Blogs were indisputably king then. Twitter existed, but I don't recall it being popular among quilters just yet. If Instagram and Pinterest were around, nobody was using them. And people actually liked Flickr back then. I know, it was primitive. : )

At that time, I think blogs in the sewing community served two main purposes: 1) To foster community and sharing, and 2) To inform and educate. I started my blog almost entirely for the first reason: Sharing and community. At the time, I knew very few quilters in real life, and none of them were doing it quite the way I was. But the bloggers were. I felt like I found "my people" online. And with no IG, at the time there was no better way than blogs to share with each other what we were all working on. Starting a blog seemed like a natural way for me to more fully participate in that community.

Kissing Fish, my first tutorial/free pattern

But somewhere along the way, things shifted. People started asking me how I did certain things or what patterns I used (and the answer was often my own). Gradually my blog evolved to become more oriented toward that second purpose I mentioned above: Informing and educating. And at the same time, vastly better ways came along for participating in the online sewing community. Like I said, Instagram is perfectly suited for community interaction like WIP Wednesday. So if community is what you're looking for, IG is probably where you'll find yourself at home, and that's just fine.

One of my first Instagram photos

But I can't put a tutorial on Instagram. We can't pin things from Instagram (yet!). With the exception of fabric de-stashing, it's very difficult to buy or sell things directly from Instagram. I can't describe things in-depth on Instagram. I can't write an 800-word treatise on Instagram about why blogs aren't dead. LOL. Those who want/need to learn something, or just get more long-form, detailed information, or buy things like fabric and patterns are still migrating online for that purpose, and will for the foreseeable future, unless something in the social media landscape changes dramatically.

And are there still people who want and need to learn about quilting and get more detailed information—to the level that they're motivated to go online for it? According to my blog stats, the answer is a resounding "yes". I've gained more than 4,000 new followers on Bloglovin' alone since Google Reader officially bit the dust less than a year ago. I'm currently adding Bloglovin' followers at a rate of around 100 per week. My page views are up 10% from a year ago, to an average of 75,000 page views per month, and my average unique visitors per month are up 12% to 25,000. And that doesn't even count those who might only be viewing my content through a feed reader such as Feedly.

Supernova, the first quilt-along I hosted on my blog

So are blogs dead? Definitely not. But so much has changed since 2010. The medium is evolving. The way we use blogs is different, how we find and follow blogs is different, how often we read them is different, and why we read them is different. The way I see it, blogging has lost the community function it served back in 2010, but blogs' educational function is still alive and well, and maybe more important than ever. But that means, for better or worse, blogging has become more of a one-way medium. It's not as much of a conversation as it used to be. And there's nothing wrong with that, since we have so many other two-way options now. Each social media platform has become more specialized. In fact, I think bloggers can embrace that specialization and learn how to use everything together (IG, Pinterest, Facebook, blogs) to create a sum that's greater than its parts. (For example, I post here on my blog a bit less frequently these days, but I've tried to make sure it's high-quality content when I do post. I use social media like IG to supplement with "bonus" content and to drive traffic to blog posts.)

Yes, I'm getting fewer blog comments than I used to. I think people come to my blog, read what they need to read, and move along. Or they're scanning their feed readers and being more selective about what they click through on. But I think blogs are still the go-to platform for more detailed information when it's needed. Meanwhile, Instagram, Facebook, etc. specialize more in community interaction (you can follow me on Instagram at @freshlypieced). I think that's a pretty effective way to split things up, and it seems a lot of quilters out there agree with me. Blogs aren't dead, so let's embrace the different animal they've become.

83 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly! And since the New Blogger's Hop started yesterday, I know there's no shortage of new blogs being started either. :D

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  2. I love that you've addressed this issue, & so thoughtfully too. As a blog follower who is also on Instagram, Pinterest & flickr it's true that each have a specific role or niche but can complement each other well & work as a whole. As someone who is a self taught quilter, there is no way that I would have gained skills without the fantastic resources from bloggers like you, your tutorials are some of my absolute favourites! Thanks!

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    1. Yes! Yours was one of the first blogs I ever read & it's about quilting, something I had never tried till I started blog reading. Your blog got me interested & from there I found other blogs. Together, all these blogs have made me brave & confident enough to try my very first quilt & I know it will turn out just fine because I have your all's excellent tutorials to follow as I go.

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  3. Great post, Lee! You've put into lovely words and concrete ideas some of the vague thoughts that have been swirling around in my brain. Thanks :)

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  4. I enjoy instagram, and I enjoy the 2 way conversation that happens so easily there. I hate twitter, I don't know why but it's just not for me. I enjoy blogs, but I have to admit I read them (including yours) through Feedly and rarely click through. I find instagram is for when I'm feeling social, and blogs are more like flicking through a magazine, for times when I just want to relax and not necessarily interact. I blog as well, my blog is only read by a handful of people but its important to me as a record of what I've been making and the process behind my quilts. I like being able to look back on my blog at photos of what I've made, whereas instagram is more transitory. I also feel that my photos on instagram don't have to be fabulous quality, and it doesnt worry me, but I try to take decent photos for my blog. I liked what you had to say about this, and thank you for a great blog that I've enjoyed for many years.

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  5. I have been thinking about this a lot. I love reading blogs and connecting through them, but a lot of bloggers no longer have time to reply to comments or even blog. Instagram is also great fun and so helpful when you need ideas or comments right now, but I almost never read backwards in Instagram, while I do try to catch up with the blogs I follow. It is interesting how people change where they spend their reading time.

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  6. I really appreciate this post this morning, Lee! I have recently moved from the world of heirloom sewing into quilting (so much more fun!) and am considering starting a blog of my own. I have really been inspired by your blog and others, and I agree that while this is a changing social medium, it is no less important than it has been in the past - it's just different! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. Glad you are blogging and planning to continue to blog. Thank you. Reading your blog and others similar to yours is how I contentedly spend those wee morning hours when my aging body says "sleep is done," but it's way too early to move from my bed. I am thrilled by the number of young women who, like you, are continuing the art of sewing and quilting, innovating these time-honored skills, and sharing via your blogs. I learn so much and am so encouraged by your love of the things I have loved all of my life, Thank you. Thank you.

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  8. I really enjoy Blogs. I don't facebook, instagram or twitter, just don't want to but I do really enjoy reading blogs. (though I don't always comment, I am reading and enjoying) I think I will comment more so the author knows I enjoy. Thank you for your blog.

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  9. Some of us don't have smart phones! Wow, I know! But it's still true. No Instagram for me. I love to read all of my blogs on Feedly and I don't usually click through to leave a comment. But I'm still reading and enjoying all of those blog posts.

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    1. Exactly! I have a smartphone, but I have a pay as you go plan (I hate feeling tied to a phone all the time) so there's no data plan on it. I take pics & upload to my computer manually.

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    2. Amen! I agree wholeheartedly with Melissa and Shannon. If I did have a phone, I don't really know if I would be on IG. My teenagers have complained about not liking it, and I this is going to sound so closed minded but I am not that big on social media myself.

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  10. I'm glad you shared this--I agree 100%. This is what I have noticed too.

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  11. Hi Lee,I have been having some of these same thoughts. I am so sad that Flickr has changed so dramatically, but IG is GREAT for quilters! I will continue to blog but feel much the same way as you about IG vs blogging. Thanks for putting into words what many of us are thinking!

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  12. As an avid blog reader I have to agree, blogs are NOT dead. At least not for me. I read all my blogs via MS Outlook. There's that nifty little option in the Firefox Bookmark menu to subscribe to RSS feeds & I use that which sets up my feeds in Outlook. I have no clue if bloggers can pull stats from that, but that's how I do things on my end. There are approx. 30 blog feeds in my RSS folder in Outlook, & YES, I do read every post (though some more quickly than others depending). I found maybe 4-5 of these blogs by doing a Google search for the type of info I wanted, but the others came to my list because there was a guest post I really liked, a blog train, or some other collaborative project & I decided to follow that person too. So, 85% of the blogs I read I discovered because they were featured on another blog I already follow.

    I go to blogs for the instruction & ideas. I do like that others there are into the same things I am & we can all talk about it when the notion strikes us, but mostly I'm there to get ideas, learn how to make something new, & improve my skills. I don't use Instagram, but since so many blogs are using them now I will probably bite the bullet sooner rather than later. If it were more user friendly from a desktop/laptop I would likely use it MUCH more. I know it's geared more towards phone-based photo sharing, but I'm just not a prolific pic taker. I'd much rather browse & comment from my laptop. That's hard to do w/ Instagram... unless there's a search box hiding somewhere that I haven't found yet. For that reason, I prefer Facebook & Pinterest.

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  13. I think that people have different ways of using or enjoying social media. I continue to follow and blog regarding quilts. I use Facebook only for interaction with family and close friends. I have completely stopped Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest because I found them to be a total time-suck.

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  14. I agree with you. Blogs have changed over the years. I started blogging in 2004 as a way to meet other fiberholics. It was and still is a great way to connect with others as well as learn from them. I think there may be a downsurge (is that even a word?) while the way some use them to market may change. I have been reading a great deal about that for a while now. I think that will always evolve on a certain level. I may tend to go a while without blogging during certain busy times, but I will never stop reading and blogging as long as I am quilting and knitting… Thank you for posting your thoughts on this.

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  15. Thank you for this post. I am over 50 and I prefer blogs to IG. They are more visually satisfying to me. I get more out of a blog than an IG post. I hope you never stop blogging!

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  16. Thank you for blogging Lee. Please don't stop.
    I've been blogging for 6 months and have learnt an enormous amount from looking at other people's projects and of course from tutorials, and free patterns. Until then my only source of information was my local quilt shop which concentrates on Civil War and other 19th century reproduction fabrics, and books with traditional patterns. When in blogland I soon realised that my view of patchwork and quilting was blinkered.
    The sense of community is strong. When I posed a question about tension issues a few weeks ago I got a lot of advice from other bloggers all over the world, and resolved the issue, which saved me a trip to the sewing machine dealer.
    I'm not happy with the other social media: FB is too bitty, Instagram seems like photos with tweets. As I intensely dislike Twitter I have yet to be convinced of the benefits of Instagram, and I will take some convincing!
    Unfortunately, with so many social media channels there aren't enough hours in the day to read everything AND do some sewing. Which comes first?
    I'm sticking with blogging; the rest I find too confusing.

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    1. Sorry, that's so long it would have been a post in itself!

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  17. You're right. They both have their place. I think I don't "get" or know how to utilize IG as much. Like I know how to look at the pictures and click the heart and write a comment, but get frustrated when I see something I like but don't know how to get to the actual blog it pertains to if I want more information. But that could just be me being a little dense :) I'm a big blog follower though. I have a massive blog roll on my feedly and enjoy looking through so many wonderful things. As for comments, do you track your blog views/traffic and click throughs? Just wondering if that is down?

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    1. I think what you mention above is a HUGE drawback of Instagram - it isn't integrated with the rest of the web. You can't link to anything else from IG! It's so silly! It seems like just a matter of time before somebody comes up with a social media platform that will make Instagram look as clunky as Flickr. LOL. I've got my eye on Pippit.

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  18. This is so how I see things too, Lee. I do love Instagram, but I still love reading blogs for the expanded info about projects and more photos of projects! I can see things better on blogs! And personally, my blog is more 'me' than anything. It's hard to put alot of yourself into one blurb with a photo on Ig. I think they both serve a purpose, but both are healthy and active. And flickr....I used to just love it, but the community there is almost zilch. Even the smaller groups I'm in - there isn't much interaction. Anyway...it's all very interesting and you said it well. Thanks..

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  19. Hi, I don't know what Instagram is but I do blog. I love reading other blogs as well as putting something on mine every day. So I will see what the future holds.

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  20. I think you hit the nail on the head here - IG and blogs are two very different platforms but they complement each other so well and I think the idea of having WIP as a hashtag on IG is great because we'll get to see so many other wonderful people's work who may not have a blog to link to. Great idea!

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  21. Just had to add my two cents.. Blogs are not dead! I use Feedly myself. At one point I did try to move to FB but you don't SEE every post from everyone you have subscribed to so I gave up on FB for that and a BLOG is my first stop for info I MUST SEE.

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  22. arstechnica wrote about how one gauge of a blog's effectiveness is the interaction of the commenter to the writer, and perhaps that interaction was a better indication of readership than mere numbers. But in reading about your numbers, it looks like arstechnica overlooked the marketing aspects of IG or the other social media in driving readers to a blog. Certainly IG is faster--both in posting and in a reading, without the need for lengthy comments--and perhaps that is why comments are down, yet readership is strong. I still read blogs, but do like both avenues. I read blogs more in batches when I have more downtime, and IG on the run. Wonder if Flickr is taking major hits from the advent of IG? And maybe that's what's driving their redesign (that we all love to hate)?

    Elizabeth

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  23. I read a lot of blogs, but rarely comment. I really enjoy the tutorial type posts.

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  24. So true. It only makes sense that social media and habits would evolve, nicely said. Now I need to learn how to get my IG where I want as far as who I follow and how I use it. Glad you're sticking around blogland for the long haul

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  25. I like to use both, definitely. I am getting less comments too and no new followers for a good while now, however I think that is because there is just so much other stuff to look at and do online that we all have a finite amount of time. No way do I even comment on half of the blog posts I read. No way do I read half of the blog posts that come up on my reader every day. I read somewhere that it comes in waves and not to stress about it. If my readers are like me (and I think that they are otherwise they wouldn't read my blog) then they probably read them in a similar way and I totally get that.

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  26. Great post! Couldn't agree more!

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  27. I had not heard that blogging was dead! I didn't even know blogging was sick... ;-) Hmm. This was an interesting post, from a "what's the point of blogging" perspective. I had never even heard of a blog before 2009, when I won an essay contest and the prize was an all expenses paid trip to Paris to attend an interior design trade show and blog about it on behalf of the sponsoring drapery hardware vendor. I was like, "Yay, I'm going to Paris! -- By the way, what the heck is a BLOG?!" After that experience, I started my own personal blog and wrote about my kids, my garden, whatever was going on with the kids. I started posting about my sewing and quilting projects primarily as a reference to myself, because I never remember what tension setting worked best with monofilament nylon thread or which needle ended up working the best when I embroidered on silk. I don't even remember how I stumbled across someone else's quilting blog for the first time, but I now follow quite a few of them. I enjoy not just seeing pictures of others' quilts, but also reading about their process -- and I do comment frequently, especially when I have a question about how or why something was done a certain way. I've learned a lot from other quilt bloggers. My blog publishes automatically to my Facebook feed, which is the only reason anyone in my family ever sees it, but I'm not a big FB fan. I only have a vague notion of what Twitter and Instagram are all about, and no burning desire to find out about them. But Pinterest I love, love, LOVE and I don't feel that it's a waste of time at all. I very deliberately spend time on Pinterest, mostly on my iPad during those "lost" moments waiting at the doctor's office or in the carpool line, waiting to pick up my kids. I have at least 12-20 different quilting related "boards," and I have pinned thousands of quilt images. But what's really valuable about Pinterest from a research and design perspective is when I go back and look through the images I've pinned and analyze them for trends. Pinterest helped me to realize that I need to include more solids and negative space in my quilts even though solid fabrics look "boring" at the quilt shop next to all the wild and fabulous prints. I'm in the early stages of a pineapple quilt design right now, and one of the first things I did was to scour Pinterest for pineapple log cabin quilts. There are tons of variations, but collecting those images and comparing them helped me to decide that I prefer larger scale pineapple blocks with lots of skinny strips versus smaller blocks and/or pineapple blocks with wider strips. I clicked through to some of the source links, and found tutorials and reviews of different methods of making these blocks -- this helped me decide to use paper piecing for my pineapple blocks. Now, I did look through my collection of quilting books as well, and two of the books I already owned had versions of the pineapple log cabin in them. However, I found SO many more on Pinterest, and I really needed to see all of the variations in order to fine-tune why some of these quilts really appealed to me and others did not speak to me at all. I am not someone who likes to create quilts that looks just like the pattern photo, but it can take a lot of trial and error to find your own quilting "voice" by making disappointing quilts over and over again until you finally figure out what you like. Looking at as many quilts as possible and referring back to images of quilts that you love is a much more efficient way of learning why some design combinations are more successful than others. I am incredulous when quilters refer to Pinterest as a "huge waste of time," because I can't think of any tool that is more valuable to me as an inspiration for designing original quilts or for solving design challenges that crop up along the way.

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    1. Great thoughts on Pinterest - I love it too. I will often gather up a whole heap of ideas on Pinterest and amalgamate them into a quilt for me. I love your idea of getting a picture of what you like by analysing a group of similar designs. That really is going into a deeper level of quilt design where you don't just want to make a certain type of quilt, but you want to do it right.

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  28. Great blogpost, you’ve put into words what I was trying to write down for some time now.
    I started my blog back in May 2007 and so much has changed since then. I learned so much from visiting other quilters, taking part in quilt-alongs and there was not as much competition as there seem to be these days.
    I don’t have a smartphone, so no Instagram for me. I don’t use Twitter or Facebook either and I don’t use Pinterest. For now I love my blog and Flickr, despite the changes. The number of comments on my blogs have dropped but I still get new followers. It makes me happy to look back at all those years of blogging, because I have made a wonderful journal of my quilting and sewing adventures.

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  29. I love your thoughts on this! I've found that for me, blogging is a "home base" or a place "to be" where people can find me. You are right, it's becoming less of a 2 way thing but is still so important for the reasons you stated.

    Instagram gives me my daily fix of online social interaction, and the blog is there for more substantive content.

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  30. IMHO, blogs, even they serve no purpose other than a artist portfolio, are essential for an online presence. While I will never argue the value of third party social media sites, I will argue the business sense of putting your entire web presence in the hands of someone else. What happens when a new shiny social media site comes along? How do you migrate everything? What if they are hacked or crash - are they contractually obliged to ensure you media is backed up and will be restored? What happens when your current favorite social media site changes its look, the way it works, or its policies? Facebook switching to a paid model is a perfect example of how quickly things can go wrong for the independent designer.

    Social media sites are businesses that benefit from all of the free to them content users provide. It is usually a great symbiotic relationship, until it isn't. I feel like using the social media sites as a compliment to your web home base (blog, portfolio, etc) is one of the smartest decisions you can make.

    I could go on for days about this topic, lol. I think I shall shut it now. Nice post! :)

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  31. I run a craft store and read blogs to research what people are doing, buying, etc. I really appreciate those of you who still blog! I don't comment like I should, but I read! And I find it very helpful for making choices for my store! So, thank you for blogging!

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  32. Its interesting. I just turned 30, so I should be on IG, twitter, Facebook, etc. But for me, its too much to keep up with! I know that there is a great community there, and maybe, eventually, I'll find the time and motivation to move to those platforms, but for now I just have the blog.

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  33. No, definitely not dead. Flickr probably has bitten the dust on the community front, but no great loss, I couldn't expound for paragraph after paragraph on there either ;o)

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  34. Like Jess, I too have kept out of social media a lot, preferring to connect with people "for real". However, having taking up quilting after finishing my PhD i decided to check out some blogs, and now start my mornings coffee in hand, digesting what others have gotten up to, dreaming of beautiful fabric. Its a bit like reading a book, a bit like community, a bit like educating oneself, all rolled into one. Thanks for your blog.

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  35. I couldn't agree more! I started blogging for the same reason, and only this year joined a local quilt guild to meet some other quilters in the flesh. I also noticed that my blogging frequency and content has shifted, and that my IG has been more for progress photos. I'm also a feedly reader!

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  36. Love your post. Loved reading everyone's comments. I do not want to be more absorbed on my computer in my spare time than I am now. Blogs are it for me. No IG, twitter or flickr. It just gets too much. I understand how the direction you are taking but appreciate that we will still be able to link with the blog or WIP etc. I love the words in blogs as much as the pictures, I learn, I laugh and I nod in agreement. Can't get that with instagram

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    1. I am in this camp. I love the time I spend on the computer / smart phone, but enough is enough. I prefer blogs to the other choices. After that, I want to sew or go outside.

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  37. Instagram, being photo based, is like a billboard on the roadway. The images are entertaining, and may or may not leave much of an impression. Comments there are quick, like honking your horn to show approval for the billboard. The phone is checked for new content, then popped back into the purse.
    Blogs tell stories, with pictures and/or words. They are entertaining, educational, and invite a conversation, if only with oneself. I love bloggers who store and index their posts so I can bookmark or pin them, and refer back to an idea or a tutorial.
    Blogs take a lot more time and thought, and maybe some bloggers who aren't so good at it will shift to simpler formats, and it will be easier to find thoughtful, informative, interesting content on blogs. That's why I come here! (And I'm a feedly reader who rarely clicks over, but felt compelled to let you and other s know that good blogs are appreciated!)

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    1. I only started my blog last year but I love the story format, both the telling and the reading. I agree with all you have said Lindaroo

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  38. Blogs are still around...but what is annoying me..the communication the blogs are based around. It is not as common anymore to subscribe to follow via email...it is twitter, facebook and Instagram and Pinterst! The worst...when they have a giveaway and only offer these ways to follow for a chance to win! Or they do offer just joining their blog, but you get additional entries to the giveaway if you join to follow all these other ways. I don't so those other ways.just email! So I get one entry and many others get 4-5 chances! Granted, not the end of the world, but still...

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  39. Very nice discussion of the evolving nature of blog use. I'll say, though, like some others, blogs still do fulfill the community function for me. I don't use other platforms - don't have time for multiple venues, and I find that I desire more than what feels to me like flightier sharings. I love the in-depth connections of blogging. Having said that, I think if IG and Twitter had been around when my kids were younger and demanded far more of my time, those would have been Godsends to me for community! Who has time on a regular basis for more than a snapshot sharing at that stage in life?

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  40. I do enjoy reading blogs, but only occasionally comment. I don't do Instagram.
    Love that I can get tutorials, have made the kissing fish quilt.

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  41. I love blogs and hope that you are correct. I'm on IG but I'm sure I miss stuff. I like the depth of a blog, even if someone only posts once a week.

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  42. IG is ok. I use it from and iPad as I don't own a smart phone (gasp). Blogging is much more personal for me as I get to know the bloggers. I like IG for destashes!

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  43. I am 52 years old and started quilting three years ago when our only was not only leaving home but going out of the country for an extended period of time. I didn't honestly know about blogs then. I work full-time at a law firm and during my lunch hour discovered a blog in about October. By Christmas I was following several and that became my routine -- and still is for the most part -- read blogs while I eat my lunch, sew two or three times a night and some on weekends. You give me inspiration and enjoyment. I can't thank you enough. Dallas, TX

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  44. Lee, you have said what I have been thinking for about a year now. My comments on my blog are way down. Basically they are none existent. But the page views are up and I am gaining readers but I don't do much teaching on my blog. It's mostly for community and sharing and as a record for my quilt journey as well as other life issues and events. I'm glad we can keep this community of quilt bloggers going because so many of them, including you, have become special friends.

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    1. I totally agree! Believe it or not my blog rarely gets comments but my number have risen. I have evolved my blog from trying to be a business to being a like everyone else. I am a mom and wife who has been through a lot of hardships over the last five years and quilting has been my sanity. I have enjoyed the change of my blog immensely!

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  45. I find I don't leave comments as often as I used to. I follow more blogs and don't want to spend more time. I leave comments only when i see something that really gets my attention or I have something I really want to say. I'm sure you appreciate the comments but with that many followers it must keep you busy.

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  46. i agree with your comment about integration of our social media platforms and, perhaps, complentary information. Blog posts for me are a story to tell, or a tutorial, something that is timeless and can be returned to, while instagram is that quick snapshot and often quite scattered, and also more personal.

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  47. I'm reading! I'm glad you're writing! :)

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  48. I would be lost without all the wonderful blogs out there!! I have tons of inspiring quilts and tutorials bookmarked on my ipad. IG is nice to view all the beautiful work out there but it's the blogs that I learn from and make me feel like I personally know you

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  49. Very interesting...I hesitate to get involved with Instagram! It would be just one more thing to keep up with and read. I love blogs and Bloglovin! Thanks for such insight!

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  50. I have to agree all round. I love your idea to have WIPWednesday on Instagram as well, I started using Instagram recently purely so I could try to post regular photos of works in progress and keep my blog posts more to writing about finished projects, tutorials or patterns. For me this is really the best way to share my work with the time constraints I have. A blog post can tak me hours to write, a photo takes me minutes to post on Instagram so I hope people will follow me on both and get regular and differing updates in that manner.
    Blogs have certainly change, and perhaps this is not a bad thing. I think the evolution of mobile devices has also changed how many people read blogs and made them more accessible than ever. I certainly read more now than I ever did as I can pull my phone or ipad out wherever I am and have a browse. I rarely comment when I'm doing this though because commenting simply doesn't work on either for me. One mistype, backspace, effort to change and I can type no more, if I could even type to start with. So I read and run and if there is a blog I really want to comment on I mark it unread in the hopes I will find time when I am on a computer later in the day.
    Blogs are most certainly not dead, far from it. They are however evolving, becoming a piece of a larger picture rather just being stand alone. I think bloggers need to evolve with them and branch out to using other media to complement their blogs and to complete the bigger picture. Otherwise, perhaps, they will get left behind..

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  51. I love your blog. I have to admit, the older I get...the less time I have on my hands and find myself blogging less. Still I would be lost without all the tutorials! This is one thing I really love about blogs...therefore I would be lost without them. I have not jumped on the Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter of Flikr bandwagons simply because I don't want my time curtailed even further by them. But I must confess,I did succumb to Facebook! FB can provide links back to blogs and therefore bringing traffic back to your blog. Good luck with your work and whatever path you choose to take.

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  52. Fantastic conversation and a lot of food for thought.
    A couple of things that come to mind is that we are so used to the 'like' button on FB and IG that if blogs had that we might get more feedback.
    And also, I read via Feedly and most often on my iPad these days - commenting from the iPad is a pain and not simple. So I am probably guilty of commenting less.

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  53. I certainly hope blogs are not dead. I don't participate in any of the other social media so I'd be lost without my daily blog reading fest.

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  54. Thank you for this post. I am just starting out as a blogger and I just about let it all go last winter when I was just on Instagram all the time. I am starting to read blogs again but I find I want to "read," not look. Long essays like yours, or bloggers who have a great writing style are the posts that capture my attention now. There is a place for both, and as your stats show, the division is rewarding those bloggers who are really talented long-form writers. (And I find that encouraging as a way to focus my blogging.)

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  55. I still enjoy the blogs I read (yours being one of them). Instagram is nice and so is Facebook but blogs are so much more personal.
    When Google Reader ended, I did stop some of the blogs I read. I'm using email to get them and those that didn't use email got dropped.
    I'm so glad that you're still blogging and I'll keep following you!

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  56. Blogs are not dead! I read around 85 of them faithfully through bloglovin' and am very thankful that you and many others are still blogging!

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  57. Yes yes yes. I'm also a blogger but I fall into the book blogger category (plus some life stuff) but I dabble a little bit in quilting and so subscribe to about 20 or so blogs (via Feedly). I rarely comment because I'm really only just looking and learning but I would never have moved forward with my quilting hobby without quilting blogs. I love the tips and the tutorials. I love seeing the finished product and all the WIPs. I've even though about linking up my own WIP post one day...though that would mean I'd have to get organized. On the other hand, I don't subscribe to any quilting feeds in Instagram or Twitter even though I spend a fair amount on both. They just don't suit my needs (and because I'm not part of this quilting community I feel a bit voyeuristic following instagram but not interacting).

    In short, please keep keeping on!

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  58. I agree. You've put some of my thoughts in this post.I`m thankful of many bloggers that share tips and ideas .I love read and leave a comment. Thanks for be there :)

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  59. Oh please don't let the blogs die!! I've learned so much from bloggers. It's how I got back into sewing and have learned how to quilt! Thank you to all bloggers for sharing.

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  60. Good conversation on this topic. I think blogs are alive and well and all avenues have their purpose. I just hope that I will not be the "last" person in the world to find out about Instagram ( I feel penalized right now because I don't have a phone). I am hoping by then we will have moved on to something everyone has instant access to.... Oh yeah that would be blogs, FB, flickr, twitter etc. :)
    Can someone tell me how Instagram works so I can understand if it is a time thing...is it as quick as putting a pic on flickr or FB? In the mean time I will just enjoy reading blogs and looking at flickr pictures.

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  61. I hope blogs aren't dead because they are the primary way I follow quilting. I'm not on Facebook or instagram or pinterest or,any other social media. I need blogs to keep up-to-date. So thanks for keeping up your blog.

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  62. I read your blog through Feedly and love your quilts and ideas. Thank you for continuing blogging. :). I love reading blogs and am pretty faithful about it.

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  63. Yeah! I don't want blogs to die. I prefer the more personal and educational content of blogs. Thanks for this article. You should submit it to one of the magazines, I bet they would love it!

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  64. Great perspective. I do NOT want to do all the other stuff (IG, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) because I don't need more time spent on a computer. Long live your wonderful blog.

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  65. I read blogs EVERY day. I love them. I especially like the tutorials and ALL of the pictures. I hope the blogs I follow on Bloglovin stick around for a very long time.

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  66. Long live the blogs!!!! I am glad you wrote this Lee because it was something that has been on my mind on and off recently. Matter of fact it raced through my mind on the way to a community service event for my daughter's 4-H club. Unlike myself I know most folks are big on the social media platforms but I have noticed the big rise recently with vlogs aka: video blogging. Its something that my daughter has begged me to allow her to do and I am not that really comfortable about it since she is under age. Even though it seem like every teenager and 20 something is out there doing it. Being a blogger myself, it sounds really hypocritical not allow her to go forward with it.
    Blogging for me started out in the way of hopefully sharing and connecting while still allowing me to have my own opinion. Which is something that became unwelcome on social media after voicing my opinion over home schooling. I was like, "Wow you asked for everyone's opinion of what they thought of home schooling and you unfriend me for it ...nice!" Since starting my blog in 2010 I have evolved. Blogging has helped me with my grammar (which is still not perfect), kick out my inner demons even though I probably should have not done so. I can not express how liberating it is to voice my own personal expression even when I don't do it so elegant at times. It has taught me how to quilt at my own pace, as well as "Yes Virginia, you can open your own home business by designing quilts! You may not make a whole lot of money at it sweetie but it can be done."
    As for comments. Being someone who barely leaves comments unless it hits home or something I can relate with for example this post. I can not blame nor make others do the same. I have noticed is the rise in my numbers, and I have enjoyed blogging even more. I believe blogs are dwindling because they are not for everyone, just like social media is not for me. Here is the kicker though. Without social media my blog probably would not even get read. Thank you Lee for publishing this post so elegantly.

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  67. Looks like that is exactly what is happening! I use my blog more to record what I've done when it is finished - my progress is on IG!

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  68. I think we stalkings don't comment often but read often. But I use my blog to record the quilts I have made with the stories around them for me, so though a few people have commented it is not something I look for. It would be different if I was wanting sponsors. I was not good about even letting my family know the stories about my quilts this way if they want it they will have it.

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  69. Love this post. It really explains what I've been reading on other blogs about why they're not posting as much or not blogging altogether. So thankful you are still blogging :)

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  70. I'm very guilty of enjoying content and tutorials--and then NOT commenting. I do love the visual medium of blogs, the written word and learning new things. Thanks for sharing all of your talents!! I've avoided twitter and instagram until now and I don't really need to add any new obsessions or things to distract me even more!!

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  71. I don't comment on blogs very often. But I do love blog posts. Especially for quilting tutorials and ideas! And I don't use instagram or twitter.

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  72. I don't IG nor Tweet and do not plan to. I curtailed FB'ing because of too many privacy issues and too much effort though it certainly is a way for me to keep in contact with many around the globe.

    I do read the blogs I am interested in and look for inspiration from other quilters. I do not normally comment but I do enjoy the content.

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  73. I also want to say there are some truly amazing artistically talented quilters out there in blog world whose works I would not have had the opportunity to enjoy if they somehow had not made a blog post here and there. I thank every last of you for sharing your talents and blogging just for me.

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  74. Yea for blogs. I still love mine, though I've never gotten many comments, and I'm certainly not getting 100 new bloglovin' readers a week- 100 a week?! That's seriously amazing! I have 18 readers total. As much as I love social media, I would miss the ability for people to leave real thoughts and comments on my blog. Liking something on my feed will never be as meaningful as someone actually telling me what they like about a project, or what they would change.

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I love comments and read every one of them! : )

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Disclosures

In addition to my paid sponsors, I sometimes accept free fabric, notions, or tools in exchange for posting about it on this blog or my other social media platforms. But I pledge that this practice will never change one of my product reviews or lead me to use fabric or other items that are not "my style."

I also am an Amazon Affiliate and receive compensation for items ordered via my Amazon links.

Copyright and Permissions FAQ

Can I make a quilt that looks just like one of yours? Of course! You don't need my permission for that. But remember, it's polite (and helpful to others) to credit your source of inspiration.

Can I share one of your photos on my blog or website? Probably! But please contact me for permission first. Use of my photos for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Can I pin your photos to Pinterest? Yes, please do! I love Pinterest!

Can I sell individual items made from your tutorials or patterns? Yes! But please don't open a factory and start churning out hundreds of them. : ) And please do not reproduce or sell the patterns or tutorials themselves. Thank you!