Monday, March 28, 2011

Whatever happened to blogging?

Once upon a time, there was this thing called a blog.

Although still practiced by some of the more dedicated and better paid citizen journalists, blogging is, for many, a discarded literary form that could be spoken of in the same breath as the Smith Corona. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the medium, but at just about the time the popularity of the blog peaked, a new form of expression came along which even more perfectly captured the zeitgeist of self-expression.

The microblog.

With the emergence of Twitter and Facebook, millions learned that they could say everything they wanted to say in 140 characters or less, In fact, fashioning a pithy turn of phrase that was so much cyber snack food became an art form in itself. And it is still skillfully practiced by many today (and not so skillfully by millions more).

I, too, fell under the spell of the hipness that was Twitter and Facebook. And so it was that, about three years ago, my blogstream dried up into a trickle, and then silence. That is a piteous fate which, thankfully, I can reverse. So I’m taking my blog, Graduate Level Sykesology, out of mothballs and putting it back on the road (to horribly mash up two dusty metaphors). Why?

I miss long-form writing. Or at least longer than 140 characters. I have found that, even though I enjoy writing immensely, I am less and less inclined to do it when I’m off the clock. But a blog can be of some assistance here, by installing a layer of accountability. There is a sense that “I owe it to my readers to write faithfully!”

Now, I’m not kidding myself. There are a handful of human beings who have ever read Graduate Level Sykesology. The only person I have currently listed as a follower passed away six months ago, God rest her soul. There is not exactly a clamor for the continued essays of Stephen Sykes.

However, the chance that rebooting this blog brings with it the possibility of renewed and greater readership carries with it a responsibility, and a darn good reason to write again with regularity. And if I satisfy myself alone by filling a screen with more than insurance-speak, well that is one more person satisfied than if I left well enough alone.

I hope you, whoever you may be, enjoy this blog. I will post links to it on Twitter and Facebook. And if you crave more bite-sized musings, you may also follow me at

Thanks for reading.

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