I love challenges (read: if you want to motivate me, challenge me), but I hate it when someone else’s thoughts on a topic challenges the decisions / strategies that I have made. Especially - if that is only recently so.
Also - if I didn’t love Spencer Fry so much, I’d be totally mad right now after reading his latest article on writing. Why? Because it challenges the goals that I set myself a few weeks ago…
The Decision (prior to Spencer’s article)
Whilst I had been enjoying my blogging on here (and it has to be noted, that I do publish longer pieces here, amongst the snippets), I’ve been thinking of ways that I could go back to more “traditional” blogging if we can call that.
I killed my previous (self-hosted, WordPress) blog in favour of moving to Tumblr, because I wanted something that made it easier - and not more difficult - for me to create content on a regular basis. So with regards to that, Tumblr is perfect as it allows me to publish anything of any size anytime that I want.
But Tumblr doesn’t really add “credibility” to me as an author, because the medium seems much less sophisticated (with the perception probably being that it is more a sharing platform, than a publishing one). If you have a look at Paul Graham’s writing for example, you get a sense of authority, credibility and experience. That’s what I wanted.
So the first attempt at moving in that direction was to publish my first book - Rockstar Business. But I couldn’t write a book every week / month, so that wouldn’t enable my passion for writing sufficiently.
I thus decided on a strategy where I will continue to Tumblr here, but also - from time to time - publish a compilation of articles on a specific (niche) topic which would be presented in a separate, unique way (i.e. not here). The plan was also to package those in more convenient formats (PDF, iPad, printed copy?) and sell it accordingly; thus creating another income stream too.
Not a bad idea, right? But then Spencer came along…
The Decision (after Spencer’s article)
My Tumblr now feels insignificant:
I think that in a way blogging is dead. I don’t consider spencerfry.com to be a blog. It’s a collection of essays. Blogging in the traditional sense — snippets of your thoughts on X, Y, and Z — has been replaced by Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
I don’t feel that this is your average Tumblr blog, since I do combine longer articles with the snippets that Spencer refers to here. But as mentioned above, it’s almost like the medium (and note: I do love Tumblr) isn’t conducive to the goals mentioned earlier.
Also not overly sure about selling my content anymore…
Information is meant to be consumed. It’s meant to be free. It’s meant to reach as many people as humanly possible, shared, and discussed. A wall around content — paid or otherwise — is destined to crumble. You need look no further than Jason Calacanis who when he really wants to get his voice out there re-posts his newsletter to his blog.
It’s always been a passion of mine to write and I love sharing my opinion in the hope that it sparks someone else’s mind into action. So in that regard, it’s important for me to have a well-trafficed and well-read blog, considering that I also use it as the pillar of my online presence. By thus putting part of my content (arguably my best content, as that would make “business sense”) behind a paywall, I’m not achieving those goals anymore.
Pfff… Which way to go? Wish I was as clever as Spencer Fry.