What became of the football blogging class of 2011?

14 Oct
blog titles

What happens when you put the title of every blog on the Guardian 100 list into Wordle

Concluding my three part series into football blogging this was meant to be a section.  On December the 31st 2011 James Dart of the Guardian published a list ‘100 football blogs to follow in 2011.’ It was a huge moment for blogging, more than just a moment of recognition it was an acknowledgement that football blogging had really transformed football writing..

The class of 2011 is in many ways blogging’s equivalent of Man U’s much lauded class of 1992; the pride of the blogging world, the freshest, the most promising. The question I wanted an answer to though is where are they now?

So I clicked through every blog in the 100. Just under four years on how many of the 100 are still active?

Guardian blogs 2

Just under half of the blogs featured on the list are still active. A similar number though appear inactive whilst a small number seem to  be dormant with their last post dating from August 2014. Interestingly some of the inactive blogs contained final posts which shed some light on the bloggers reasoning for calling it quits (and it will come as no surprise to those who have read the results from my blogging survey that time features particularly prominently).

In a post titled ‘The last post’ and dated Monday the 6th February 2012 Danny Last of European Football Weekends looks forward to a life beyond blogging when he says:

This will be the last post on European Football Weekends. But hey, don’t be shedding any tears – it’s been a thunderously good ride. At the start of 2012 I decided to take a little break from EFW, and see how things panned out. I’ve enjoyed that freedom so much that it now feels right to hang up the old keyboard. You don’t realise how much time it eats up until you stop. 

Other bloggers point to a change in their circumstances. For Tim Hill of the blog Talking About Football  2011 was definitely not the ‘year of the blog’ – on March 22nd of that year he explained his decision to quit blogging:

This is not a article  on how Tesla’s work on electromagnetism is subsumed within the football of Eastern Europe in the late 1970s. I wish it was, but it isn’t. No, it’s a post explaining the scarcity in posts recently.

Truth is, I’m engaged in work that has had me away from football since the turn of the year. To my knowledge, Roy Hodgson is still in charge at Liverpool, Gareth Bale is the best player in the world and Andy Gray & Richard Keys are respectable members of the Sky Sports team. I know no different.

I’ll be gracing the internet with my #newseriousness tag at the start of the summer.

Dominic Pollard was another blogger on the 100 list to quit in 2011. In a post titled ‘A Fond Farewell’ he says

Between having to finish my Masters dissertation and getting a new job, the time and focus is no longer there for me to continue running the blog with anything like the regularity and consistency that I would like. Thankfully there are many far better blogs than this which are thriving and growing all the time, all of which I intend to continue to read and recommend.

Rob Marr of dormant blog Left Back in the Changing Room, similarly points to a change of circumstances leaving him with less time to blog – though he signals his hope for a comeback. In a post on the 11th August this year he says:

I’ll be taking a bit of a break from the blog. Two weeks ago I became a father and, as you will either know or can imagine, this has left me previous little blogging time.

I shall return.
RCM
In all fairness it has only been two months, but will he like Danny Last  find the freedom from blogging liberating and move on, or find that he just doesn’t have the time to return? Time will tell.
Of course the story isn’t all doom, gloom and disillusioned, time-strapped bloggers. Some of the class of 2011 have gone on to greater things. Adam Bate, of the blog Ghostgoal – which is still (but only just) active writes in a post earlier this year about how blogging helped to open the door to a dream career:
I work for Sky Sports as a football feature writer. It’s my first full-time writing job. And yet, my dad is a retired mechanic from Wolverhampton. He’s not the editor of Sky Sports. In fact, I had no contacts in the industry. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I did have some contacts. I wrote a blog. I was a blogger.
For  at least 46 bloggers though they continue pretty much as they had done when they had been on the cusp of 2011 – still blogging.

Were you blogging in 2011, or were you one of the bloggers in the 100 list? If so please leave a note about your blog and how things have changed since 2011 – whether you’re still blogging, or enjoying life after blogging!  

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3 Responses to “What became of the football blogging class of 2011?”

  1. Anonymous October 14, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I was on the list and I am still plugging away (Giancarlo Rinaldi – Rinaldi’s Blog). Not always easy to keep going but think I’ve still got a few things left to say.

  2. Justin Bryant (@Keepers_Union) October 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    I was on the list. Like Adam Bate, my blog (The Goalkeepers Union) led to paying work (columnist for Goalkeeper Magazine, pieces in The Howler, XI Quarterly, quotes in Rabona and elsewhere) and in 2013, my second book was published – a very time-consuming process (Adam Bate actually reviewed it for Sky Sports News). I still keep the blog going (last post August) but post frequency has dropped off as I am running out of topics, since mine is more a how-to for goalkeepers, rather than analyzing professional keepers.

    • Neil - Row Z November 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Funnily enough continually coming up with new ideas was an issue raised by several bloggers in the blogging survey as their biggest challenge. Speaking for myself, over the past year I always seem to be about two topics away from actually grinding to a halt, but something – an event, or a news item will lead to a spark of inspiration which germinates into a new idea.

      It has though led to me slowing down. I’ve also done a bit (and I mean only a bit) of paid writing for WSC, but the other big issue of time (especially time to get out and about to games) means I find that too challenging for the current time with everything else going on in life!

      Just to say too that I’ve actually read Small Time and am quite a fan. I used to be an 11-a-side goalkeeper myself (only at Sunday League level), but a few years ago, when I was younger, I lacked the confidence to deal with the pressures and these days just play 5-a-side.

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