It evidently isn’t blogging that is dead, but what used to be called the blogosphere died some time ago. How I used to loathe that term, but it now represents a wistful glance in the rear-view mirror. At its peak, it represented an inter-connected series of blogs of shifting, but broadly mutual interests. Each blog nourished each other through commenting on each other posts, a carefully curated blog-roll, shared arguments and occasional memes.
There is little point in nostalgia. Facebook and then Twitter emerged as easier sites to share opinion and recommendations. There is, at least since Teju Cole, little artistic expression on Twitter. Writing on those platforms doesn’t, unlike blogging, feel like a creative project. I kept a Twitter presence to follow the journeys of a few readers who over some years shaped my own reading experience, but it is so easy to get dejected by the rolling news, the banter and the trivial. My @timesflow account became primarily a way of driving readers to individual blog posts.
The nuanced conversation and complex interconnected social relations that characterised the blogosphere seem to have transferred in part to podcasts, at least in terms of the literary conversation I once found between bloggers. To be honest, I didn’t envisage back in 2009 what a marvellous world this blog would open up for me, both in terms of meeting literary-minded people in person, or just exchanging emails and messages. Social media remains a viable way to “meet” like-minded people, so I’m sure I’ll maintain a presence in some shape and form.
This is all a rambling way to explain that I have decided to end Time’s Flow Stemmed. On this site I found a voice, maybe became a better writer, definitely became a better reader. I’ve no regrets or sadness. Through blogging, I’ve met many wonderful people all over the world and hope to continue the conversation in the future. I still have a great yearning for conversation about literature and what makes a human, though I’m not sure yet what form that may take.
Thanks to everyone that followed part or all of my reading life, especially those that subscribed, and those that joined the conversation. If I start anything new I’ll post an update on this site.