What on Earth ?

I just re-wired MailChimp to point at jonbeckett.com instead of jonbeckett.blog. Something a friend wrote in an email to me recently resonated – that all of the big platforms – WordPress, Tumblr, and so on – really are walled gardens. She had noticed how the circle of readers forms on each platform, and eventually stops growing.

I’m not sure if it’s because people have become lazy and accept the feed of content a given platform presents to them – which of course comes from the same platform.

Anyway – getting back to MailChimp – I’m guessing a few people will get this post as an email, and wonder what the hell is going on. “Is he really thinking of walking away from everything AGAIN?” – possibly.

I can’t help wondering if blogging as we have known it is dead. When we all started out in the early 2000s, there were no platforms. The earliest version of Blogger was much like Jekyll and Hugo – a script that helped generate a site. WordPress was a script to run a site – not a platform. Hell – I wrote one of the earliest popular blog solutions – and open sourced it – because everybody was open sourcing everything. I still remember the day I started getting emails from corporates, and discovered Novell had packaged my blog script with their servers without telling me.

The spirit of discovery has gone. Everybody expects everything to be given to them on a plate – and that includes discovery of new or interesting content. We used to find that stuff by going out and LOOKING. It’s our own fault that the algorithmic timeline has appeared.

I’m still interested in the email subscription thing. I have an account at Substack that I’ve played with for a while – I’m wondering about doing a mashup of sorts, and cross-posting between here, and substack.

It’s interesting how quickly the tide seems to have turned against Medium. Back when they started, everybody loved that whey were doing. They played the age-old game of playing nicely with everybody else. Nicely enough that lots of peole migrated to their platform – and then of course they lifted the drawbridge. Just like Facebook and Twitter (who both allowed their APIs to discover users from each other in the early days).

Maybe it’s time for me to shut up. It turns out a couple of glasses of wine, and a couple of glasses of beer unlock something in my head. I certainly become “chatty man”, but filled with chat about inconsequential rubbish.

7 thoughts on “What on Earth ?

  1. You can, and should, import content from non-WP sites into reader of feedly or whatever you are using. Trick is where to find it. Like you say, some of it has become subscription based…

    I too am challenged finding fresh content. Some of which that initially looks interesting ends up being 90% advertising for a product they want to sell. I don’t want to buy most of what I read… So my question is this: have we reached a point of expecting quality content for free all the time? Every time?

    You and many people who follow my blog know I’m interested in creative writing. I post some of it but then some people tell me to publish for kindle or query to magazines, write books etc. I need money too, I have teenagers to feed, but what’s holding me back is that I don’t want to become such a site that pushes my content on my readers for a fee every single time I want to write.

    Not sure what the answer is. But I’m not ready to accept that blogging is dead just yet. Quality blogging. (You know what I mean…not all my drivel is quality… 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree – it’s too easy to sit inside the comfortable walls of WordPress, and imagine that you’re finding everything there is – which of course is not the case – you’re only finding blogs at wordpress.com.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t everything as we have known it dead? Leave your forwarding address.

    You’re like my Forrest Gump and secret internet hero all in one. Do you remember the scene when he finally stopped running? All his followers expected some words of wisdom when he finally stopped, turned, and looked at them and said:

    “I’m pretty tired … I think I’ll go home now.”


    I subscribe to your newsletter, another at raptitude.com, and a third at chrisbowler.com … I read them, too. All three make me think – that’s good.

    I envy your agility and wish I had your skill and knowledge to move my content from one platform to another. Your write.as host for jonbeckett.com is simple and elegant and reminds me a little of postach.io, but I miss the about and comments sections. WordPress’ walls may be higher, but they make it easier for us to keep up with you on your .blog … different walls, but still walled communities. None of them are as high as the walls I have around my personal diary, and that’s where most of my posts come from.

    Sorry for the long comment! Never stop breathing. Keep writing.

    Liked by 2 people

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