What with all the "blogging is dead" chit-chat chit-chatting around the internet (see here for Josh Corey's typically thoughtful response), it seems a bit of an odd moment for me to re-enter blogging with a bit of enthusiasm. While I'm just as fond of Facebook as the next person, I remain rather fonder of the open-ended opportunities for brief squibs or lengthy pontifications the blog offers. But facts are facts: even considering that I've never met half of the people designated as my "friends" on Facebook, and I really haven't the foggiest notion who some of them are, and considering that maybe half of them have deliberately hidden my updates from their feed – any little verbal butt-scratch I post on Facebook gets read by probably three or four times as many people as visit Culture Industry on any given day. In short, blog visits have been dropping in direct proportion to Facebook activity.
So I confess: Like many other folks, I've been using Facebook updates to drive traffic to the blog. (Facebook, by the way, makes this easy and painless.) But I think I'm going to try decoupling the two activities for a while, to blog without advertising it on Facebook. Just to see who comes around.
The semester, by the way, looms. I just finished the pre-teaching read-thru of Paradise Lost (that's the "refresh my memory so's I can talk about it intelligently before actually teaching it, when I'll be reading thru it once again"). Probably been thru that particular long poem a dozen times, start to finish. I'm rather in awe of David Kastan, who in the preface to his excellent Hackett edition of the poem recounts having taught Paradise Lost something like twice a year during his fourteen years at Dartmouth. Now that's knowing a text.