Once upon a time, everyone I knew had a blog which I could use to keep up with them. The blog may have been hosted on their own site or may have been a diary on one of the public journaling/social media sites (HuSi, LiveJournal, etc.) but it was easy to keep up with people and interact with them via RSS readers and so on.
Then people decided they didn't want to broadcast everything to the Internet, so they started setting their entries private. Which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, except that most of the social media sites implemented it in such a way that your RSS reader needs to be "logged in" in order to see the items — which is impossible on most server-based aggregators (Bloglines, Google Reader, LJ Syndication, etc.). So for every site that did things in that way, you have to manually check on some regular basis. (This, incidentally, is why for my friends-only entries I still provide a "friends-only entry" item for non-logged-in RSS clients.)
But then all that's moot because the various blogging platforms are veritable ghost towns. Everyone's moved to Facebook or Twitter. In and of itself that wouldn't be a bad thing if the same sorts of content were happening, but it isn't; instead, people are just using them as platforms to write one-line "status" updates which are usually along the lines of "eating a tuna sandwich" or are links to whatever latest YouTube video has gone viral or whatever. Very few of my friends are actually talking about things that are going on in their lives anymore. All social interaction has been distilled down to one-line soundbites which are more about sharing things that other people did than they are about talking about things. I really miss it.
Not that I've been particularly good about that, myself. Somewhere along the line I decided that I'd just post random quippy status crap to Twitter, and reserve my blog as a platform for more general-interest topics. For some reason, blogs are no longer an acceptable way for people to just keep in touch with their friends; they all have to have Meaning and Value. It doesn't help that the various subscription engines still seem to treat the feed as the unit of currency, rather than the item, so it's difficult for people to find the generally-interesting stuff in the deluge of chaff that comes about from a mixed-function feed.
HuSi still has a fairly active diary community from the long-time participants there, but it has the private entry RSS issue, and I hardly ever remember to check for stuff there. When I do I see months' worth of out-of-date stuff that I don't really care about, and no easy way to just see a date-based feed of the few people there who I care about.
It also doesn't help that places like FaceBook et al have decided to center themselves around sharing as much of what you post with as many people as you know in every context as possible. Why would anyone want to post a rant about their coworker there when it's quite likely that a mutual "friend" (meaning acquaintence) will comment on it and thus expose it to the coworker? To make matters worse, these social networking sites have decided that real-life identity is Very Important and that there's no value to someone who wants to talk about things without having it associated with their professional life. In real life we all have several different faces; what you show to your boss, to your family, to your friends, to your lover(s), to fellow hobbyists... but on FaceBook you end up having just a single Identity that is immutable and indistinct, and so you either end up showing everything to everyone, or culling it to the minimal set of only what you think is appropriate for everyone to see (which, as it turns out, is very little).
I miss the old Internet 2.0.