Friday, February 23, 2024

Sometimes, It Doesn't Mean Anything

In the years that I've been blogging here, I've watched this medium's popularity peak and decline.

To be fair, in 2009 blogging had likely already peaked, but in MMO space we were still riding the high point of the MMO wave with WoW's Wrath of the Lich King and the impending release of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Parallel Context was just one of many MMO (and WoW specifically) oriented blogs out there; if you went to any of the big MMO sites back then, it certainly seemed like there were a lot of people starting up or maintaining blogs. I guess it feels kind of weird when I sit back in 2024 and realize that PC is a survivor.

Blogging is, at it's heart, a solitary kind of experience. When you write, you don't get much in the way of feedback until you actually post.* After a while, that can get kind of old. Here we are, blogging about a genre that is at its heart a social endeavor, and yet we operate in solitude while writing.

It takes a certain type of person to keep blogging, year in and year out.

From Yes, there's a site for
purchasing tutorials on how to blog using Wordpress.
Not sure how I feel about that one, given the
complaints I read about WP from my friends.

This isn't a lead-in to me saying how wonderful I am at blogging, because most days I'm just happy if I can get something off my chest and posted here. And really, if people actually knew how to write something that was guaranteed to go viral, they would go and do just that. Human psychology being what it is, you can't operate with certainty about anything. You can establish trends and have a really good feel on tendencies, but prediction is an inexact science.

And people's tastes can be fickle and change on a dime. (Just ask Billy Squier and his sudden plummet from popularity after Rock Me Tonite.**)

For me, the head scratcher is that while I've been doing Meme Monday for close to 1.5 years now, the Meme Monday about Playing a Female Toon is the one that by far got the most eyeballs to Parallel Context.

The memes themselves were kind of tame, because I didn't want to retread the same old female armor memes or the sexy fun times memes that are all over the place on social media, but for some reason that post got people to the blog. 

Go figure.


I will admit that blogging in the age of streaming and Tik-Tok does feel kind of weird. I thought of this while I've been reading Pride and Prejudice, because I can see the forms that modern novels take in the story, but the novel is most definitely a product of a bygone era. But if an author writes what is important to them, so do bloggers today. 

That's not always the case, given the metric ton of "how to write for profit" books/websites/etc. that are out there, but when you get to the heart of it all we do tend to write what we like and what we want to say. 

And what do I want to say? I'm not sure, really. I just write about things that pop into my head. Are they interesting? To me, yes. 

For example, reading Jane Austen has given me a bit of a window into what she found interesting over 200 years ago, and in turn I wondered what someone would think of my own output if they were to read this blog in 2224. How much could that reader glean from my posts?

It's a question that I can't really answer, because I think I'm too close to the blog to be able to stand back and take a more critical approach without coloring my opinions. But I do wonder what authors thought their work might appear to people in the future, or whether they were more concerned with simply providing a living for themselves and their family to worry much about what future generations thought.

I certainly hope that they won't think that the high point of my output is a Meme Monday on playing a video game as a Female avatar.

*Unless you bring other people into the writing process, or have multiple bloggers for one blog, such as what PC originally had. 

**Whether or not the video played a part in Billy's fall from grace is debatable, but what isn't is that Rock Me Tonite was Billy's last charting single in the US, and he suddenly vanished from the pop charts after that single.

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