First, go read Kent’s great post on the 5 stages of blogging. Don’t continue until you’ve done this, as my post makes almost no sense without it as a baseline.
Second (you aren’t cheating, are you? ok good), go read Jeremiah’s great followup on 5 other stages of blogging. Done?
I think these two have started a great analysis, and I’d suggest a third mini-path to add as well (and would make a pretty graphic if I weren’t in the midst of some very frustrating issues with my new Vaio and Vista). My third path would go right in between the other two, and would have these steps:
3. Ennui – at this point the blogger is neither focused nor disappointed, they are, in a word, bored. Maybe they have some traffic, maybe they don’t, but they find it more challenging to create content on a recurring basis. Writing becomes irregular, infrequent, and spans numerous topics. From Ennui, the blogger will either move on to 4a:Revival or 4b:Malaise.
4a. Revival – something sparks life back into the blogger, either another blog post, a personal or life-changing event, or some huge piece of industry-specific news. The blog regains its pulse and attention, and the blogger’s back on top of his/her game. From here, the blogger moves back into stage 2:Expectation.
4b. Malaise – the blogger posts even less frequently, and the blog becomes more of an afterthought than an activity, and is on its way to out. The blogger doesn’t necessarily go through Kent’s stages of alienation, because based on sheer numbers, most bloggers don’t really get intertwined with “the blogosphere”. In this case, reality sets in for the individual that they just aren’t a writer. I firmly believe that not everyone was meant to blog (or podcast or vlog). Blogging seems like a great idea when we all start it, but let’s face it: blogging is work, and good blogging is hard work. Most people don’t enjoy spending time on activities wherein they aren’t being successful or feeling good about themselves. After this, Kent’s original stage 5:Abandonment is the only spot left to go.
I’m curious to see where the thread goes from here.