As I consider switching totally to Micro.blog, I’m thinking deeply on the appeal, and what my reservations about switching are. I think it’s a worthy exercise, because I spend a significant amount of time online, and a significant amount of time writing and publishing ideas and art (side note–really getting tired of the sterile term “content”). Micro.blog could help by giving me some needed and sensible contraints, removing friction for creation, and so on. However a few of those contraints have given me pause and caused me to take a deeper, more honest look at what I want to accomplish by publishing online.
For instance, there are no post stats. How will I see what posts are popular? This has been so integrated into the Wordpress/Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram experience for so long I’ve taken it for granted. I even emailed Micro.blog support to ask about it. Turns out I could use a solution like Google Analytics if I want to take the time. But why do I care?
Because, to be honest, I have blogged for many years (mostly half-heartedly, but still) with an intent to “establish authority” and “build a platform” so that I might be able to one day support myself financially via my writing and creativity. Gearing my writing toward what people want to read (expressed in clicks) is an important part of that, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that in principle.
So, I’ve often worked on optimizing my site and my (here’s the dreaded word) “content” for that. Thing is, I neither have time, nor inclination to do that kind of blog full-time at this juncture in life (though I did a few years ago). In terms of time and energy, I just can’t approach blogging like job right now. I have family, friends, and a vocation that I love and joyfully choose to spend most of my time and energy in those places. Right now, I also want to write what I want to write and publish the creative work I want to publish simply as a way to express myself and have fun in the context of an online community, regardless of how well it fits in a “niche-market.”
Of course, I’m not opposed to making money online, selling creative work and services, and so on. Sometimes a kind of blogging is a super important part of that for some people, and I’m not knocking it in principle. In fact, I do hope that I continue to make some sales of my courses and ebooks from my website as a side gig, but I must say that a lot of the techniques and ideas that are put forth as “essential” for “success” have always rubbed me the wrong way.
A move to Micro.blog full-time for my online “home” represents to me a definitive “moving on” from that kind of blogging–that way of optimizing for search and clicks and sales–and focusing more on the relational, personal side of blogging. A different emphasis for a different time in my life, and different approach to helping people through what and how I choose to publish.
The idea of it feels very good.