The Waving Flag: A Resurgence of Blogging?

Wednesday 2 August 2023

A Resurgence of Blogging?

In this post, which I admit falls into the category of "a blogger writing about blogging", I want to discuss the history of, and one possible future for, blogging from the standpoint of a wargamer and hobby blogger.

I'd also like to touch on the impact of the ever changing world of social media on the popularity of blogs.

I know I've been writing about this, and related topics, a lot recently, so if it's not your cup of tea just skip this post.  Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Since 2007, when I started this blog, it's been the fashionable thing to do, then old hat and now may be the next big thing.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

For a while blogging was the newest, hottest thing in town.  It was even touted as a way to make serious money (via advertising).  Many hobbyists and wargamers tried it, mainly for its novelty but not for long.  They certainly didn't make any money.  More and more got bored (or ran out of ideas).

Even so there was an active, if a touch exclusive, UK blogging community amongst wargamers.  I know this because I used to see pictures of their annual "get together" at Salute.  Then the novelty palled for them too.  However, it's not all bad news: some good blogs survived and I still follow a few.

Some content creators switched to YouTube.  I assume because it was new, the money was better, and reading a script was easier than writing an article.  Some recorded podcasts because it was new and interviewing people is easier than writing an article.  There's now a whole genre of "wargamers down the pub" videos & podcasts if you're so inclined.

Social media & blogging
Hobby bloggers, including those who switched to YouTube or podcasting, increasingly relied on social media to spread the word about their latest content.  Attracting readers could be as simple as a quick post on Twitter and one on Facebook/Instagram (ideally using free automation tools like  The so called "write once, post everywhere" approach.

The recent chaos at Twitter has created a problem for hobby content creators and their followers.  First, the free automation tools for Twitter have gone.  Second, it has drawn attention to the long term fragmentation of social media.  There's now: Threads, Bluesky Social, Mastodon, WhatsApp and TikTok to mention just a few.  There certainly isn't "one ring to rule them all" (as a creator or a follower).  Using social media is getting more complex and time consuming.  It's certainly no longer as efficient as it was.

As Monique Judge said in her article for The Verge advocating a return to personal blogging:

"If what is happening on Twitter hasn’t [already] demonstrated it, our relationship with these social media platforms is tenuous at best. The thing we are using to build our popularity today could very well be destroyed and disappear from the internet tomorrow, and then what? "

The future?
On this basis, I hope, like Monique, that blogging will make a return but I think it'll be different from the first phase.  Blogs will

  • Be more about documenting progress on personal projects (hobbies, interests, technology etc) creating a long form journal together with a set of resources of use to other hobbyists.
  • Be far less dependent on social media for driving traffic; becoming more reliant on search engines and recommendations from regular readers.
  • Act as a firm foundation for the blogger to use as a base to engage in whatever social media platform(s) they prefer by posting links etc.

I have to say this reflects the position I'm been moving towards for the past year or so; I can only see this trend continuing.

I'd like to think that this would all be underpinned by open platforms and distributed technologies, like RSS feeds and the Fediverse, so that we no longer rely on a the whims of social media companies [1].

However, I think this view is over optimistic.  Not least because, a lot of wargamers won't keep up with the changes in outlook and technology this requires and will stay with the like of Facebook and "Wargames Twitter" [2] as they slowly contract and decline.

As the ancient curse says: "May you live in interesting times".


  1. I'd like like to point out that I'm fully aware of the irony of writing a plea for open source and distributed platforms on a blogging platform run by Google. 

  2. This is what wargamers call their little corner of Twitter in the vain hope it will somehow protect them from the wilder side of the platform.  It doesn't because there's no such thing. 


daveb said...

I remember reading one critique of social media as it has terrible curation. It's incredibly difficult to find old posts. The timeline is massively snarled in favor of attention getting material. This is why I think blogs will remain chugging away. Tracking progress and games that happened. I do think I detect a few stale blogs starting to post new material. Hopefully it is the early spring of a resurgence...

Vexillia said...

That's a good point about curation. I suppose it strengthens blogs as a medium of (hobby) record; always easily available via a bookmark or a search engine.

I too have seen 1 or 2 long dormant blogs start posting again. Hardly a flood but it's a start.

TWR said...

I too would like to see a resurgence in people using blogs, with a focus on some of the items you itemise above. While I use Twitter for some wargaming posts it doesn’t replace my preference for blogs. However, I note a general trend in wargaming content, irrespective of platform. Increasingly it seems to be of a superficial nature. Unboxing videos are something I really don’t understand.

Vexillia said...

Superficiality: the curse of the regular blogger. To be fair it's not always possible to think of great content, especially under the "pressure" of a, self imposed, regular posting schedule.

I have watched a few unboxing videos and sometimes they've been fun. I think it's a vicarious pleasure at best.

Salute The Flag

If you'd like to support this blog why not leave a comment, or buy me a beer!

Salute The Flag