Friday, September 6, 2013

Facebook vs. Blogger

So, as some of you may have noticed, I have not been too active on Ye Olde Blog over the last couple months. But! I have been somewhat active on Facebook, which I had recently joined. And the experience has led me to think about a few things.

The two forms, to me, seem decidedly different, which makes a comparison of the experience interesting. And the differences between the two have something to do with my activity levels on each.

Facebook is basically the online version of joking around with your friends. Yes, sometimes Facebook can be more. Sometimes important things transpire on Facebook and filter through to social consciousness (of groups either large or small). But, basically, it's sitting about and having fun with a few of your friends. The serious bits are like the occasional intrusion of depth into a conversation that mostly revolved around making fun of Miley Cyrus. Facebook is about everyday stuff (Hey, how's it going? Have you been to Tru's lately? They have a great new sandwich on the menu) and one-liners.

Blogs are more about content. Now, obviously, there are a few jokes and bits of stupidity and silliness on blogs, too. But, overall, the focus is still on creating some sort of content. It is about a writer making a conscious attempt to write about something, to speak their mind, and to share something of themselves. This, I think, is what I still love about blogs: the focused attempt to say something. There is conscious meaning in blogs.

But this focused attempt to speak and share is also more demanding. It demands more in terms of time and thought. The emotional expenditure is steeper. This makes blogging, in a sense, more difficult.

Over the last few months, things have been busy. Four growing kids, busyness at work, and (yes!) some actual writing, rewriting, and revising of fiction. Throw in health concerns and there was little time or energy left for crafting blog posts.

Facebook, on the other hand, is sort of easy. You check in, glance at what people are doing, and then write a few quick comments in a natural way, whether making a joke, offering condolences, or shouting out some encouragement. Facebook is sort of fun (and a bunch of other things, too, some of which are not so nice). It's easy, it's quick, and you can enjoy some good times with friends. Videos of velociraptor pranks are also acceptable.

But I miss blogs. As a writer and reader, it's nice to step up and say something. And it's nice to sit down and read something.

Conversation is wonderful. I love conversation. Facebook is a sort of conversation. You joke, you laugh, you get annoyed, you occasionally want people to shut up. Reading blogs, though, is a bit like stepping into a book day after day. It, too, is a communication, but one that has been shaped by the writer's will and passion and values. It's often the stuff that wells up from underneath, the stuff that you have to talk about even though it's hard to fit in a conversation.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know blogging takes a lot of time, but it's where I feel most comfortable. I'm not on Facebook, but sometimes I can get that quick conversation on Twitter.

Jessica Bell said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this. PS: I love when you comment on my FB posts. They never cease to make me laugh :-)

Matthew MacNish said...

I love Facebook, and while I still blog a bit, I miss the old days, when it was fresh and new and exciting. Sadly, the day job has come to the point where every single second I spend on blogging means a second I do not have for writing fiction. I had to prioritize appropriately.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

As usual, I agree with you completely. I continue to blog even though blogging has waned. And shockingly, people still visit the blog, although the conversations occur elsewhere. I'm blogging a book right now! A confluence of forms that work well together, because both allow a greater repository of information. That's the way I use blogging as a reader as well - usually finding a tweet or FB post that points the way, but then spending time on the post itself. Which is how I found my way here today. :)

D.G. Hudson said...

I'm one of the few with no interest in FB. My kids are glad I'm not there. They're young adults, btw.

I like blogging, even though I'm not a hard hitter like some who blog frequently. I have a reason, blogging less means I have more time to write.

Do what you need to do, Bryan, but I'd sure miss those cartoon strips, and your eloquent reviews of books if you did stop blogging.

Thanks for checking in with us. Kids and family need our time too.

Ted Cross said...

I was already beginning to tail off a bit on the blogging when I finally broke down and opened a FB account, but FB has pretty much nailed the coffin lid shut on my blog. Too bad, though, since you are right that blog posts provide more, and I do miss that. I just have so little free time these days...

Donna Hole said...

My blog - and blog friends - are my main social media. I get caught up in some conversations streams on FB, but I rarely log on anymore. I talk talk talk all day at my day job and sometimes I just want to read someone else's thoughts on topics that interest me.

FB is like watching TV, interesting and occasionally addicting; but I'm easily distracted away. I miss my blog after a while, but like Matt, I mostly miss how much I enjoyed it when it was the new thing in my life.


Mira said...

It was really nice to see a post by you, Bryan. :)

I'm not on Facebook, but I could see how you would really shine there - you are so good with the one-liners, very witty.

Personally, I like the depth of blogs, too. I enjoy the challenge of writing a small non-fiction piece. It's been good writing practice for me, and I have connected with some wonderful people, too. Blogging is not completely dead. :)

One of the things about kids is they grow. You'll have time at some point, Bryan. Maybe by then, blogs will be the new big thing.

Misha Gericke said...

I know exactly what you mean.

Blogging can take a lot out of you, but I still find it's the most rewarding way for me to interact with other writers.

That said, I've become more involved in google plus lately and it's a blast!

Steve MC said...

To me Facebook is a lot like everyone hanging out in the high school cafeteria.

Blogs are more like where I'd like to be - in the library with a few cool guys and girls who have more thoughtful things to say.

john robert said...

Nice comparison Amazing post

Kelly Isabelle said...

Great comparison. In lieu of a blog, I started a FB page which I have used as a platform for writing. I feel eager to transition to a blog as I feel it will give me a chance to dive deeper with more like minded readers. I think my readers on FB like my posts but arent quite prepared for the length and depth and just hop on and off my page. My hunch is that readers coming to a blog post will have more of an interest in lingering on the page longer and being engaged in some meaningful intereaction. Have you found this to be true