It is done. I have just paid for this blog to be hosted by Ghost for the next year. I guess the goal now is figuring out how to engage readers without selling my soul.
I’ve always been terrible at marketing. I publish endless stories about every-day life, and then do no more than stick a poster in a quiet corner of the internet – hoping a few passers-by might happen upon it.
It doesn’t help that I tend to hate the whole idea of “marketing”. While I love the wonderfully romantic and somewhat eccentric themes of organic discovery and serendipity, I know that most people won’t take any notice of anything unless it is rammed in their face.
How can I ever expect anybody to find the blog if I don’t tell them it exists?
Telling somebody your writing exists is a bit like introducing yourself to a stranger at a party where you don’t know anybody, and the person you’re introducing yourself to didn’t particularly want to talk to you in the first place.
Of course I could make life a lot easier for myself, and jump into one of the walled gardens such as Tumblr or WordPress, but all that really achieves is turning you into another butcher within their vast sausage machine – consuming each other’s output in a recursive race to the bottom.
Nope. Been there. Done that. For far too long.
Maybe sticking the occasional poster up in quiet corners of the internet is the best method after all. While I might only attract the occasional passer-by, I will be found by those that wanted to find me – kind of important really.
One thing is certain – I’m never adding comments. I’m done with comments. If people want to debate something I have written, or share a story from their own life in response to something I have written, they can always email or message me. You might ask “but what do you really think about XYZ?”, and I’ll tell you – just not in public.
It’s been interesting to watch social media both collapse and re-build itself this year – to see the likes of Mastodon rise from the ashes of Twitter’s raging fires.
People finally seem to have seen the light with regard to ownership and freedom. While wandering into town to meet my daughter from work the other evening I listened to Leo Laporte talk to a group of journalists who were pretty salty about having their curated audience taken from them. Leo (quite correctly) opined that the audience had never been theirs.
That’s why I walked back towards 2003 with my blog – back to my own castle, filled with my own writing, written under my own terms. When you visit you’re not being encouraged to sign up to a corporate behemoth, or to sign away any freedoms. All I ask for is your attention for a minute or two.
A few words about the day just gone. My thoughts, observations, ideas, daydreams, and frustrations. Celebrations of the little things.
Tolkien once wrote “I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay”. I need to pin those words above my desk. A beacon to find direction when lost.