old school blogging (itty bitty thoughts)

old school blogging (itty bitty thoughts)

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Fun fact: way back in the day, in the time that I like to refer to as old school blogging, this website was called Farm Food Mama and it was all about cooking from scratch.

It’s also important to note that in the time of old school blogging, Facebook really wasn’t a thing yet.

I remember having to be convinced to join Facebook. It was 2009 and a talented writer friend of mine said, “I tell you what. I’ll start a blog if you join Facebook.” 

Pre-Facebook, logging on to the internet was a commitment (because dial-up, yo). There was no instantaneous, already-there kind of connection. Desktop only, my friends. We didn’t do internet on the phone.

Pre-Facebook, I had 28 followers to my blog—and I thought I was on top of the world! There was no such thing as SEO or formulating your paragraphs so the almighty Google would smile upon you. You just…wrote. You wrote about your life. So I wrote about life as a chick with two crazy boys and a bunch of chickens and my hopefully someday journey to a real live farm.

I remember a couple (older) people asking me “why in the world would someone want to hear about your day? What makes your day special?” I wasn’t exactly sure. All I knew was 28 people were faithfully reading about my crazy, scribbly, very real, sorta redneck, super sweet life.

Thoughts about old school blogging - the way things used to be before social media came into the picture to make things bigger, but not necessarily better.

But the best thing pre-Facebook? Old school blogging created a little community. A slow, tight knit, in depth community. The first violin my youngest got came from a blog reader. The first quilt batting I got came from a blog reader. There were lots of things sent back and forth between our homes. We logged in daily to read each other’s writings. And if too many days went without an update from someone, we’d check up on them.

Old school blogging. It was great.

Now, fast forward to today. 

Thousands of people visit my website every month.

Thousands of people listen to my podcast every month.

It’s crazy to go to a fancy ballgown and cocktail evening and have someone say “Omg, you’re Amy from A Farmish Kind of Life! I read your blog and listen to your podcast!” 

Thoughts about old school blogging - the way things used to be before social media came into the picture to make things bigger, but not necessarily better.

In old school blogging, “blog” originally meant web-log, or a journal of sorts. However, most “blogs” have now been transformed into online magazines where if it’s not a how-to or all about xyz type piece of writing, it just doesn’t belong.

You know what?

I kind of miss old school blogging.

But wait, Amy. Didn’t social media make your name bigger?

Social media gave us access to each other, but it didn’t necessarily make our community bigger. Social media just puts us in front of lots of other people.

Social media changed the way the old school bloggers interacted. It made us always have to be “on”, ready to respond. We had to be careful of what we said.  We had to interact at a certain level of engagement or our posts wouldn’t show up.

Here’s what I’ve learned coming from old school blogging to whatever you want to call what we do today:

I don’t think we are meant to be in community with 10,000 other people.

I don’t think we are meant to create content just to fill a space.

I don’t think we are meant to keep posting random status updates and pictures in some misguided panic that if we aren’t in front of people’s faces constantly, they will forget about us.

Thoughts about old school blogging - the way things used to be before social media came into the picture to make things bigger, but not necessarily better.

And all that content? Those status updates and pictures and shares and all the things? It gives people more to read. More to scroll through. But y’all there’s still only 24 hours in a day. We didn’t get more time for people’s content when people started pushing more content out.

I’m kind of ready to try old school blogging again. I’ll write about life here, at a place I’ve created instead of on someone else’s platform where I can only hope they will show you what I have said and entice you to come here to see what I have created.

But they probably won’t, because their job is to keep you on their platform.

I don’t know. In some ways, social media seems like it’s become the middle man.

And believe me when I say that I’m so thankful for and completely humbled by the friends I’ve met through this website and podcast, as well as those who came to find out about me somehow through social media.

But I just don’t know that social media is the best, most reliable way to keep a community of real connection going anymore.

It used to work.

We used to blog and know about people’s lives just fine. We used to blog and learn how other people were doing the things they had to do. We used to blog and learn skills and recipes and tips and tricks from others. 

Social media made all that bigger and faster. But did it make it better?

I kind of miss old school blogging. I miss just talking about things that happen and not having a formula to follow. I miss getting to know people without the game of social media. And I’m just enough of a rule breaker, you can’t tell me what to do kind of person that old school blogging might just become the norm around here again.

Thoughts about old school blogging - the way things used to be before social media came into the picture to make things bigger, but not necessarily better.

I can see Google cringing now. And they’ll probably slap my hand. 

Which is mildly annoying, but even if my hand stings, I’ll probably still be able to get chores done.

I mean, rub some dirt on it, right? I’ll be fine.

  — Amy Dingmann, 9-20-20

Thoughts about old school blogging - the way things used to be before social media came into the picture to make things bigger, but not necessarily better.

(Note: In an effort to spend less time on social media, I’m going back to a short daily update here at my website. Simplifying things for myself— and hopefully you—and eliminating the need to scroll through angry, present-day drama to find uplifting or deep nuggets to spend the day with. I’d love your thoughts in a comment below or via email at [email protected])

30 thoughts on “old school blogging (itty bitty thoughts)”

  • You said exactly what I’ve been thinking for some time. I think the middle man has got to go. Thank you for sharing the Netflix video, The Social Dilemma on FB. It was eye opening for some that I’ve shared it with.. I will continue to come back here to check on my favorite northern farmish author often. Thanks for always keeping it real Amy!

  • I remember the good ol’ blog days. My husband and I used to blog on yahoo360 way back in 2006 and made some really good friends. Then, it shut down around 2008 and we all moved to another platform called multiply, which also shut down. A lot of us connected on Facebook, but it is certainly not the same. We all, at one time or another, complained about Facebook and how much we miss blogging, but most of us have not been able to get back into it.

  • Although I left comments on MeWe, I wanted to contribute here, too, since before social media comments were the place to talk to each other. And really, not many people share too deeply on social media. People don’t want to be vulnerable in the face of a crowd. Old-school blogging creates a more intimate setting. We can talk about our feelings and our needs that get glossed over in the social media arena. It really is easy to create a facade of everything going wonderfully in our lives on those platforms. And then when things don’t, we become silent. Blogging of the old-fashioned kind helps us share more authentically.

  • Today, I took the first step in opening up my own personal blog account. I’m looking to get back into the old school vibes of the internet, when it was… fun. I have some socials for my farm page and though I’m still under 500 followers, I find it stressful to use. Not because I don’t know how, but because I have to filter so much and play the whole social media game. Not to mention, there is so much in my face that internet has become overwhelming. Like you mentioned, we are not meant to be in community with thousands of people all the time, every moment, or … even at all. I’m hoping to publish my first entry this week, and it’s just a no frills personal blog with no socials attached, so no pressures. Just fun.

  • Oh Amy! I’m so glad to find I’m not the only one who wants to blog like it’s 2002! I feel like you just gave me permission to do something I’ve been longing to do.

    I’m going to take the time I’ve been putting into social and start a personal blog/journal. A place where I can share whatever I want, whenever I want, just for the sheer joy and fun of connecting with a small group of people. A place where numbers, SEO and social media has no bearing on my topics or writing.

    I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Somehow, hearing that someone else has the same desire gives me the assurance I need to take the leap! Thanks a million for sharing this!

    • I’m so excited for you! I thought I was the odd one out, the only one having these feelings, but the more people I talk to, the more I find out it’s actually a thing. Lots of people long for the old days of blogging. Let’s make it happen!

  • Amy, decades prior to blogging, there was Carla Emery and her Old Fashioned Recipe Book. We had to write letters, real pen and paper letters, some of which made it into the next version of her book. When she had her last baby not long after mine (and he turned 40 Friday) I crocheted her a toddler blanket like the one I’d just made for myself. It was slow, but we were a community even then. I applaud your choice, and hope to follow your escapades here.

  • I forgot home much I enjoyed old school blogging. I used to blog and I got turned off to it by feeling like it needed to be perfect all the time. Thank you for this post, it’s made me realize that I want to go back to sharing my thoughts on life on my blog, I’m going to start again. I always enjoy your posts and your podcast, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

  • I totally agree! I used to love reading blogs and when I finally “gave in” and connected to Facebook, I was sorely disappointed. Thank you for bringing this to light!

  • That same thought has been in my head all summer. I used to have the best time just blogging about what we were doing, what I read, how we were prepping/gardening/saving money, and my readers loved it. While Facebook has brought me some more followers, Pinterest is where most of my traffic comes from. I think though I will go back to old school blogging too (I got started in 2011 – back in the stone ages of technology). Thanks for your insights!

  • I absolutely love this post. I’ve been following for just a little bit now. I really like your style. We are new to the homesteading life. We have always wanted it, but finally started creating it this past summer.
    I found your blog right before I deleted my social media accounts this past spring.
    The pressure to always know what was happening in each part of the world- good or bad, and to act accordingly, was too much. If you didn’t respond to every event fast enough, loud enough, and often enough- well, you were torn to shreds. The pressure to always be sharing what was happening in your life and how you felt about it. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was condemned by some- telling me I wouldn’t be able to function normally. Some said I was just running away of responsibilities (to act on behalf of the world). The beautiful thing is, I don’t care anymore! I don’t hear the noise anymore. I’m so incredibly content in my own little world and circle of friends. Yes, I will stand for injustices, and help in things where I can. But it won’t look like others, and it won’t be so “loud” as others, and it won’t be everywhere in everything, all the time.
    I tried to start a blog several years ago, because I, too, enjoy that creative writing process. But I became so overwhelmed with all I was expected to do! Join all the groups, follow and share others, write free e-books to gain subscribers, offer giveaways. Be up until 2am every day writing posts. It was all about how to become a big blogger and make lots of money. Neither of what I wanted. It made me realize just how fake a lot of these “big bloggers” were. Nothing felt genuine. Everything felt perfectly planned and executed. I just wanted a way share what I was learning in life, WHEN I wanted, and HOW I wanted, and to the degree that I wanted. I was told that world was gone. To get on board with the new ways, or get left behind.
    I truly am looking forward your upcoming posts! I have your e-mails starred, so I always see them first. Most of your posts that I read, I end up forwarding to my husband and best friend.

    • I love your comment. So much truth. 🙂 I totally get what you mean about there being pressure to know what’s happening, have an opinion, give that opinion fast enough and in the right way, etc. It’s overwhelming. Thanks for much for your support and encouragement. 🙂

  • I’m so happy that you made this choice….for both of us. I was finding that I’m spending less and less time on Facebook, and was missing the connection with “my people”. I’m all about going “old school” and will eagerly look forward to reading your daily blog as I once did. Thank you for staying honest and “real” as our world gets more and more “interesting” to navigate.

    • The world is definitely getting more interesting to navigate. I think at this point we all just need to sit down and have a chat with ourselves and figure out what it means to be true to who we are. 🙂

  • I love the idea of NOT having to wade through the political and toxic crap to find your posts! Happy to go old school with you!

  • YES! I totally agree. Blogging before social media was so good. I miss old school blogs a lot, but have found a few lately!
    I’ve been struggling a lot with blogging recently but decided to just let go and write about what I want. I have some niched blogs too but my personal one will remain just that.. personal, where I write what I want.

  • I love this! I found you on Pinterest searching “old school blogging”. I’ve been blogging since 2012, before I had FB. Someone had to talk me into getting FB, also. I’ve almost stopped writing the way I loved to write because I felt like I was “doing it all wrong”. But you’ve inspired me! Thank you!

  • I know this is an old post, but I wanted to share my thoughts anyway. 🙂 I have a blog, but I’m inconsistent about posting, because it seems like there are SO many hoops to jump through… SEO, Pinterest, perfect images, branding, social media promotion, etc. I have so many thoughts in my head that I would love to just WRITE about, but all the technicalities hold me back.

    I LOVE what you said about social media being the middle man… it’s so true! I often use social media to share simple thoughts because I don’t feel like they need to be as curated. But, we could effectively just use our blogs as our own channel, for sharing our thoughts, WITHOUT the middleman.

    And if people want to follow our blog… they can actually… follow our blog. What a novel idea. 🙂

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