I don't know what happened. I thought my recent spate of ads would push me into the inner circle but no, it didn't happen. Damn you Citigroup! You said not to worry. You said the Life thing was in the bag. That's the last time I trust a multinational financial behemoth to get me in with the art crowd. Citigroup, you're fired! No more banner header for you.
But seriously, if there's a trend in Life's selections it seems to be toward commercialization. Most of the big photoblogs have ads. They have slick designs. They're edited by teams of writers. You know the ones. The Picture Show, Lightbox, In-Focus, PDN, NYT Lens, etc... Yeah, there are still some great mom-and-pop one person photoblogs out there but I think Bryan Formhals' prediction is slowly coming to fruition. The general shift is toward institutions and away from personal journals. And as that shift is happening, personal journaling seems to be giving way to retweets and tumblr links. Instead of offering original material, many blogs just bat around existing stuff. And rebat. So personal journals are taking it from both ends.
So what does the future hold for us small diaristic photoblogs? Should we hope to be institutionalized? No, I think there's room for us. In fact the photoblogs I most enjoy are the small personal journals. They have a voice. They have idiosyncrasies. They have personality. I still check in on the biggies now and then but it's more to check temperature. To really delve into things I need memoir, not committee minutes. Hopefully I'm not alone.
The good news is I discovered a few fun new blogs through the Life article. Great writing and great photography continues to be produced every hour of every day. Our job as bloggers is to sort it out, hopefully without that process sending us to an institution.