Almost Seduced by the Marketing Monster

In-between conference calls, writing an endless stream of source code, cycling home, washing up, clearing the kitchen, and paying my children to tidy their rooms (no, really), I have been thinking about the email I sent out earlier – offering people the “opportunity” to contribute to my blog’s existence on the internet.

I’m going to put my begging hat away, and stamp on it a few times. I might even set fire to it, and dance around the burning embers singing some defiant song or other.

For a few moments this morning I lost sight of why I write a blog in the first place, and almost got seduced by the marketing monster. I write primarily for me. Nobody else. Just me. I empty my head into the keyboard almost every night because I like writing. It’s really that simple.

I know a lot of people live in the WordPress walled garden because they enjoy the community – the likes, the comments, the follows. I’ve never really chased any of that – if you happen upon one of my posts and it strikes a few chords with your own thoughts about something then of course that’s great – but I’m never going to go out of my way to get my words in front of you.

I’m trying really hard not to start ranting about people that “play the game” – that like and comment on blog posts purely in order to attract attention to their own blog. To each their own I suppose, but it’s a bit like turning up to a party where you don’t know anybody and walking the room complimenting everybody’s clothes with the same three or four phrases.

Here’s something you probably don’t know – outside of the English speaking world, Blogger is and has always been just as popular as WordPress. In Russia, LiveJournal is still massively popular too. There’s a myopia common to the west that if we do not see our circle using or liking something we presume nobody else uses or likes that thing. Here’s the thing though – the social networks all use algorithmic timelines, meaning that they only show us updates, influence, and marketing from sources we are likely to be interested in.

The end result of all of this is division, and losses of freedom and independence. It’s a bit like the mayhem that has unfolded in the United States – and is probably common to many other countries too. The majority of people that regularly use social media presumed that they were in the majority of society as a whole – they still do – and yet they are not. The same thing happened in the UK with Brexit – the online majority were shocked and stunned to discover that they were actually a minority when compared to the populance as a whole – mostly because most of the news, opinion, and discussion they read, watch, and consume is broadly concordant with their views. This is of course no accident.

Enough about politics. I hate politics. I can never quite work out why anybody would want to take up a career in politics, because the old saying is absolutely true – “you can’t make all the people happy all of the time”. I’m not even sure it’s a saying – isn’t the more common version about fooling people?

Anyway.

There’s the famous “anyway” – where I get bored of what I was writing about.

I’m not fund-raising to put my words on the internet. I’m not selling the old iMac either. I am going to try and write a few more blog posts like this one though – but maybe not about politics, or blogging. Nobody wants to read about politics or blogging – certainly not me. Ah crap – if I start thinking about what other people want to see on the blog, that means I care about an audience, which flies in the face of what I wrote at the start of this post.

Crap crap crap.

Maybe I’ll start writing fictional blog posts about a hassled software developer with three daughters, two cats, and a number of fish that writes idiotic blog posts in the few minutes he manages to steal for himself between work, chores, and whatever disaster is unfolding on a given day. Oh – wait a minute…

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