the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


December is a month where many of us look back, and look forward, preparing ourselves to take the next step into the new year.

During the past, this would be a time where I would go into my blog archives and compile my ten favorite posts.  This year, I haven’t been motivated to do that.

2011 was an odd year for me online.

I felt more isolated as a blogger in 2011, as most of my peers grouped together under the parenting umbrella.

The energy moved away from personal blogs to social media and group blogs.

I had a troll bugging me for months.

I wrote less on the blog, and lost touch with others.

I went from someone who hardly knew how to use a camera to a person running around New York City taking instagram photos, feeling that I could better capture my daily emotional state with images than words.

I seriously thought about ending my blog, and focusing my energies on more practical endeavors.

But I plan to continue.   I am crazy like that.

Do you have any plans for your blog in 2012?  Do you feel that personal blogging is dead? Do you feel that only 1% of the bloggers get 99% of the attention?  Do you believe that you can make money with your blog?  Can you still be honest about our lives online without being called a freak?

Usually, we discuss these issues at expensive blogging conferences in far-away cities.  But a couple of us came up with an idea —  why not just come onto Twitter tonight, for free, in an organized by free-wheeling conversation on this subject?   No sponsors.  Just talk.

Want to discuss the state of blogging heading into 2012?  Tweet w/ @Schmutzie & I and many others at 10pm EST (7PM PST) tonight, Monday, December 12.

use the hashtag #blog2012

And remember, despite our many concerns as bloggers in an unstable economy, we should celebrate another year of online writing!   This Sunday, December 18, is The Sixth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert!  

Please submit all songs and photos by December 17th.


  1. Jack@TheJackB

    Personal blogging isn’t dead and I don’t think that it ever will die. People have tried to kill it for years. Blogging is still what we make of it.

  2. Carrie

    I am way new at the blogging stuff. And yes, I do sometimes feel a bit isolated because I don’t have kids or a family to write about.

    But then, I tend to think that makes me a little unique. Maybe? And I have always preferred to be the one who is a tad ‘different’.

    While I do enjoy reading about those with kids and big families, it’s a huge thing for me when I find someone who is in the kinda the same boat I am. Single or no kids or just pretty much tackling the world on their own. In their own way.

    Makes me feel like I found that needle in the haystack with that common thread.

    And listen. I don’t sing. But for some reason YOU have convinced me to warm up the pipes and put myself out there for the world to see.

    I’m so gonna regret it, but it’s that stuff I regret in life that I always had the most fun doing!

    I’ll try to be there tonight. I’m still doing my best to figure Twitter (as well as life) out.

    • Jessica

      Hi Carrie: Welcome. I have a kid but I’m single and there is a lot more talk about that and living in Los Angeles than there is about my parenting. Stop by, hopefully I will at least make you laugh and let you know you are not alone.


  3. Diana

    I’ll be there, Neil. Can’t wait.

    I don’t think blogging is dead. I do think it has changed a lot since we started — back in the good old days.

  4. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    I’ve been blogging for 6.5 years now. I’ve never stopped at any point, and generally post three times a week. For years, I posted five days a week. I have a lot of content! In some ways, I see Compost Studios less as a blog and more as a Web site that I manage. I am thinking about ways to take advantage of what I’ve built and what I have to offer there.

  5. sizzle

    I’m going to try to be on line to participate in the conversation. It’s a topic very much on my mind. I’ve felt a bit lost in the blog world this past year too. I’m not ready to give it up but I do feel nostalgic for “the good ol’ days” when blogging wasn’t about making money or gaining notoriety but more about self-expression and connection. There is a reason those friendships I made early on still stick (like with you).

  6. anna ~ random handprints

    sounds like a great twitter convo tonight, i’d love to join-in. i rarely think about blogging in macro-terms, since i have always assumed no one besides my brother and 2 close friends would ever read mine. now that blogging times have changed so much and i’ve become a blogger trying to earn a dime, i might feel a little differently, but ultimately, i’m cool being in the 99% whether it’s in blogging, in life, or anywhere else.

  7. Kim

    I’m so disappointed I missed this ! DAMNIT !

    As a single/childless blogger myself, I too often feel left out. Please let me know when you do this again. I am actually pitching a panel to several conferences about this very topic and would love to have you on it Neil, if you are so inclined. And if you know anyone else who might be interested or have some ideas, please send them my way.

  8. Varda (SquashedMom)

    Wonderful talking with you, Neil – both in person tonight at Anna’s reading and on the hashtag Twitter salon. Great discussion, thanks!

  9. Angella

    I’m so glad you hosted it last night, Neil (and Schmutzie). SO GLAD. I’ve felt isolated this year, too, and it was good to talk to my friends about it (you guys).

  10. Chantal

    Funny. I just wrote about not feeling like I was really a part of my Twitterverse. I am a mom but I don’t relate at a all to the very ‘mommy’ blogs/bloggers. Hard to find a place in that world otherwise.

  11. Adventures In Babywearing

    I was following along with your tweets last night. I don’t know what I feel about blogging right now. I do enjoy it, I don’t see personal blogging as every dying, but I’m not so sure about how much attention it will ultimately get. I think it will always be around (and I hope so, because I prefer to read personal blogs over most anything.) I think my main plans for 2012 are to just write. And yes, you can make money blogging. This year was my most profitable year with advertising and sponsors. I did make more by writing for other blogs and decided to not continue that for 2012. Yes, I made more money but then found that I wasn’t as happy. And it definitely wasn’t fulfilling.


  12. Jessica

    I have edged away from my blog b/c of the need to make money and to focus my writing for people that pay me. That being said, when I have something to say and just let myself say it, I do enjoy my blog. I am a mom but it’s not what I talk much about. For me, my blog is my online resume. My blog has made me money b/c people can see my work and then they hire me to write/speak/produce or whatever but in and of itself, no, I don’t see a lot of money being made from blogs but that is just my experience. I’m really sorry I missed the talk last night.

  13. Kim

    I’m really sorry I missed this; I had a long internet/twitter vacation.

    In 2012 I’ll be writing at a site of my own instead of sharing, which both excites me and scares me a little. I have no idea what’s to come, aside from that. I do know that I’ve grown less satisfied with posting even when I don’t feel like it, which is in the nature of a shared site with a schedule. So I’m expecting to write less often, but what gets posted should be more of the stuff that makes me feel pleased that I wrote it, instead of pleased that I got something up on Monday or Wednesday.

  14. Absence of Alternatives

    I like that you are crazy like that. And your Instagram photos, esp. those of NYC, I love those. Your keen sense for seeing something unique in people and life translates brilliantly into images.

  15. Yuliya

    Bummed I missed this, but I do plan on doing some goal setting for the upcoming year…and I do need to do a favorite posts post too, I actually enjoy going back through my archives and reading my faves…and enjoying my own blog probably means I’m doing something right.

  16. sweetney

    My goals for 2012 blogging wise:

    To be more engaged with readers
    To read more blogs
    To comment more
    To cut out the things I find less satisfying/meaningful online and focus on REALLY connecting.

    Also – and I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: I LOVE and ADORE your instagram pics, and really wish you’d consider doing a for real photoblog, maybe even selling prints. Not kidding. You have a gift, don’t squander it, dude. 🙂

  17. Pearl

    It’s seven years since I started blogging and if you graph it, you’ll see peak years and low years. This has been a low year for posting. It hasn’t lost the thrill for me, but I’ve turned to Facebooking (yes, that’s a verb) more and more — and I just checked that and can’t believe that I’ve been on FB since June 2007. Where has the time gone?

    I’ve been sought out to do book and music reviews on my blog over the past couple of years — not for money, but I do get books and CDs out of it. Otherwise, I have no interest to pursue making money on the blog.

    But I do wish I could get out of my “writer’s blog block” and get back to really sharing my innermost thoughts. I’ve been reprimanded a couple times by family members for writing some of my innermost personal thoughts and sending them out there into the blogosphere. I believe that has curbed my writing and the fact is… I simply don’t have that much to say anymore.

    I do not want to close the blog; I often refer back to early posts of mine and like to see where I was in life when I wrote them.

    As for you, Neil, maybe your blog posts are fewer, but they’re still wonderful insights into the Neil Kramer we’ve grown to know…and love in a bloggy way. As for your Instagram photos…there are no words. You are very talented and each picture is worth a thousand words — in lieu of a blog post.

  18. Rufus Dogg

    Well, I’ll tell you what I have let go to pot.. reading my Google Reader blog list. I have not touched that for a whole week and am spending my Sunday morning catching up reading some wonderful blog posts. The ones I appreciate most today are the ones that only post once a week. 🙂

    I solve the whole identity thing by personal blogging as three different people. One is very public (raises paw) and doesn’t give a crap about who he offends as long as he is true to himself — with plausible deniability. The other is a guarded “professional” who blogs in a very serious voice and the third is a shrouded identity only a few people know. I think that is the way most people live their lives, which is why all this shoving us into “one person, one profile” crap that Facebook and Google Plus is trying to do under the guise of authenticity and transparency is doomed to failure. The only people who think one-person, one profile is a good idea are the young (or the anti-social geekery) who have no history.

    Blogging supports other products, services or sanity. I think the only people making money blogging are bloggers selling books on how to make money blogging. And their product is: BOOKS! 🙂

    PS: I like your photos, even the ones taken in Queens. It allows me to live in #NYC vicariously through them.

  19. Elaine of Kalilily

    I didn’t know about the Twitter session or the The Sixth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert! because I haven’t been to this blog before. But I follow Tamara on FB and her Mining Nuggets and linked over to hear her delightful holiday song. The point I’m getting to is that I’ve been a blogger for more than a decade, and those first few years were a mind-opening adventure as so many of us began, together, to explore this new territory. It’s such a different world, now, and my posts have become less and less frequent as my connections dwindled. Maybe I should feel reassured to read that others have become less enthusiastic bloggers as well. Maybe I need to find a replacement affinity group among the bloggers out there. Maybe my enthusiasm for blogging has run its course. I’ll have to come back here and give it all more thought. Loved the concert! I’ll have to figure out something for next year. (And it will probably take me until then to do that.)

  20. Alexandra

    I followed the twitter stream from you and schmutzie the next day. It was interesting and what I read is one of the top reasons why I love twitter: it’s easier to connect and get to know someone.

    I love having found social media, for me, only two years ago. I think of how many years, yes…years….I spent lonely because of not finding anyone that seemed to like me, or be interested in knowing me, in this small town.

    But since I logged on two years ago…I’ve got a world now. I think of the years I spent in therapy, on medications, and the loneliness continued. But online, every day, I know someone is thinking, ” I really like knowing her.”

    Really….blogging and twitter have put a string in my step and straightened up my shoulders.

    I hope personal blogging never stops. Those are the blogs I follow: I don’t follow group blogs or tech blogs.

    I love my personal, humor, real life, lessons learned, what it’s all about, true bloggers.

    I love them.

  21. Loukia

    It was a weird year for us all, Ruth lots of change. However, one things remains true to me: I will not stop blogging, even if there are chsnges. Also, I consider a core, original blogger in my life! Don’t stop.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial