Hello 2019: The death and life of the blog

I’m starting this post not knowing if it will be the story of how we got here or where I think we’re going. This (hopefully) marks a return to blogging, spurred on by my friend Kazys Varnelis who recently posted about the demise of communication facilitated by Facebook and points to blogging as a way to resist managed content. So, here I am.

So many things have changed in my own life, not to mention in the world, in the eight or so years since I was regularly blogging that it feels like starting over. Much of the last year has been spent with my nearly 11-month old daughter, and most of the rest of my time is spent running my business, OpenScope Studio. There are ten of us in the office now and it’s a very different experience than it was five years ago when it was just my partner and I doing a few projects renting desks in a scrappy garage.

The death of Google Reader in 2013 marked the end of an era as it hastened the move from consuming media from a list of sources and authors to skimming news and updates in smaller portions from curated feeds on social media platforms. This post from Wired points to Google’s cancellation of Reader as being in response to this shift away from a structured approach to reading news, but the platforms they intended to move people to (Now and Google+) have both also been cancelled. When Reader died I ported all my subscriptions over to Feedly but I never used it. It’s mostly a graveyard of dead blogs.

I’ve been writing, but mostly longer pieces and they’ve all been published elsewhere. Since the great Shipping Container Post of 2015 it’s been hard to find anything that can top that in terms of reach (I went to a meeting in a different city and one of the officials, who I’d never met before, cracked a shipping container joke 5 minutes in). But clicks are not the point, having a public discussion is the point (although please note I have turned the comments off).

In spite of dreadful news about the future of our climate and a nonfunctional (and currently shut down federal government), welcome to 2019! I’m hopefully going to be back writing in the space in a semi-regular way. It’s hard to know where to start- architecture isn’t particularly interesting, politics are all anyone talks about on Twitter now so I hesitate to rehash that here and staying on brand by being cynical about people who want to reinvent housing can only go so far.

By Mark

Mark is an architect in San Francisco.