Back to the future: Robert Tracinski on blogging.

Robert Tracinski at The Federalist:
The era of blogging offered the promise of a decentralized media. Anybody could publish and comment on the news and find an audience. Guys writing in their pajamas could take down Dan Rather. We were bypassing the old media gatekeepers. And we had control over it! We posted on our own sites. We had good discussions in our own comment fields, which we moderated. I had and still have an extensive e-mail list of readers who are interested in my work, most of which I built up in that period, before everybody moved onto social media.

But then Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube came along and killed the blogs. There were three main reasons they took over.

The first was that maintaining your own website is kind of a bother. ...

Read the whole thing.

For me, circumstances in my personal life conspired to encourage me to follow the larger trends, both toward and away from traditional blogging. In the early 2000s I was newly single and had some inherited assets, and consequently had ample leisure time to read and write about the events of the day at a leisurely pace. Around 2007 - 2008, I got involved in a high-drama relationship and soon found my schedule full with the demands of work and parenting. This of course coincided with the rise of Facebook and Twitter, and although I initially resisted, I eventually joined the social-media bandwagon.

One thing in particular about the Facebook format is that while it makes it very easy to offer your comments on *one* news item, there's no real provision for writing a post linking two or more sources. This is a very big drawback in my opinion, because one of the potential strengths of the internet as a news forum is the ability to correlate and compare different sources in a single place.

I agree with Robert's conclusion and I'm on board with his four-point program. I'm looking forward to getting more involved with long-form blogging, and I am adding The Trancinski Letter to my blogroll.

(Blogroll: that's "a roster of websites and blogs with good information" for you youngsters.)