So Folio seems to be one of the last surviving Muslamic layman’s blogs of the interwebs, somehow surviving the advent of social media. That does not mean it has any readers (7 readers a week on average, so not quite Dead Parrot sketch, but close), but yes, it remains active, as I witter away, mostly to myself. I think 2008 was the height of the Muslamic blogosphere. Some brave souls lasted another five years, before hosting their send-off tour in 2013. One or two lasted until 2016.
Looking back, I think the secret of my success was that I have never had any readers, nor many friends. My fellow bloggers always refused to list me in their “Brother’s blogs” blog rolls, either because I never got down with the cool kids or because I was just too contrary to be trusted not to say something off-message. I’m grateful for that, for I would hate to have a mass following that hangs on my every word, ignoramus that I am.
Long-time readers will note that annually I have considered throwing in the towel myself, giving up blogging for good, but in a way I am glad to be the lone voice still wittering away unread, out on the periphery, away from the merry jigs on social media. True, I have no idea what is happening in that other world, but that is no bad thing, as it only serves to expose how artificial the online ummah is. It is a constructed reality, made real only by those who have had the fortitude to lead the way.
In the blogging world, the only real way to get ahead and make yourself known was to surf along on the coattails of the preeminent bloggers of the era. You would have to actively comment on their blogs and engage in great debates. If you were lucky, another blogger might link to you, but generally the only real strategy was to self-promote, announcing to everyone, “I’m over here.”
If that did not work, you could always pretend to be someone else, and pretend they were recommending your blog, though that only worked once, because your IP address followed you around as witness to your conceit. So you were left with nominating your own blog for the Brass Crescent Awards and asking all your friends to vote for you — though that did not work either, because all your friends rightly considered your self-promotion vulgar.
Social media seems to be a whole different ball-game, which I confess I don’t really understand. I come and go there. I weaned myself off Facebook three years ago, by slowly replacing Muslamic super-controversies with wood turning videos and epoxy resin projects. Now I wander back and forth between LinkedIn, as a sort of social media substitute, but find it so bad for my mental health and sense of self-worth that I tend to delete or deactivate after a few days. And Twitter… well I occasionally peer in through my web browser every now and then to keep up with my favourite demagogues, but I would not know where to start with a feed of my own. Brevity, as evidenced by this post, has never been my strong point.
Nope, I’m truly old skool. Blogology is the only way of life for me. The pure pleasure of writing long-winded articles that nobody reads. It is true that we must be prepared for the false praise of fellow bloggers, who will give us a like within 3 seconds of posting, in the hope that we will follow them back, but I think the momentary dopamine hit is compensation enough. Perhaps somebody, some day, might stumble upon something I have written and find it beneficial. If not, well, then it probably served a self-counselling therapeutic role for me, staving off insanity for one more day.
In conclusion: no, there is no conclusion. I just felt like tapping out another therapeutic rambling splurge at midnight, which I will probably delete again in the morning, once I have had time to reflect on my lunacy. What was my point? Only that I can write complete nonsense like this, and some people will like and enjoy it, and others will think, “WTF, is he still at it after all these years, even after we told him we’re just not interested?” That is the joy of blogging.