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The other night I spent a few hours redesigning my personal website to better set it up as a blog. Call me crazy, but I may want to eventually be known for a blog that doesn’t have a recurring feature called “F*&k You! Friday.”
As if winning some award in 2011 and having a great job wasn’t enough, a part of me needs to be seen as legit by a bunch of strangers on the internet.
But then I started thinking more about who makes it big online these days.
When was the last time you heard of someone making it big as a blogger?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Blogging isn’t cool anymore. It’s lame.
I recognize the value of text on the internet. It powers all kinds of search. But we live in an age of multimedia and reading requires effort. Effort that could be spent looking at cute photos. Or watching cute videos.
I recognize the value and power of blogs. But somedays it seems like YouTube killed the blogger.
I love this song so much, but this video is why I never drink alone.
When did it become cool to bury your crappy internet writing behind a terrible stock photo?
Somewhere between 2013 and 2014, bloggers thought that they need to make their content look cooler. This probably occurred because of Medium, which features a huge image prominently with each post.
Maybe bloggers want to look cool. I don’t blame them. Blogging is pretty much the lamest thing you can do in 2014.
Maybe that giant image buys you two or three more seconds of a reader’s time. That’s a measurable but meaningless stat you can report to advertisers.
But a giant image at the top of post doesn’t signify great content. Some random person’s opinion does not gain meaning and gravitas because there’s a giant peacock standing on top of it.
Images shouldn’t bury great content. Images and blog posts need to be paired together. Think wine and cheese, not flies and shit.
Make it easy for readers to find your writing. Don’t be afraid to let your writing stand on its own. And use images meaningfully, not just because they boost meaningless metrics.
I turned off comments on this blog.
We had a good run, but comments no longer add value to this site.
- SPAM comments are not worth dealing with, both the robot generated kind and by people looking to be “influencers.”
- There is no meaningful conversation in the comments. None.
- There are more than enough ways to comment on my blog thoughtfully through Twitter, Facebook and other social channels, like your own crappy blog.
Some people will argue that a blog isn’t a blog without comments. I say fuck them.
You can’t add to a conversation after skimming a blog post. You’re giving a half-hearted attempt at best. You’re most likely trying to make yourself look smart to a bunch of strangers on the internet.
All old comments will be archived and displayed. But moving forward, I’m done with comments.
I wish I had thought of this.
Also, what’s up with this world where people’s arms are too weak to lift a phone up to eye level?
If you’re a self-obsessed narcissist trying to build thought leadership, you may have looked at Paper.li as a way to automatically curate and share content.
I can’t say I blame you. There’s a whole internet of crap out there. Why should you, a thought leader, be bothered with finding quality content to share to people you’re trying to influence?
Paper.li takes all the humanity out of content curation. No longer will you need to carefully read articles to determine their quality and value. Paper.li will capture the most meaningless links from your social media connections and figure out which group of links make the least sense together. It then spits them back out as a daily digital newspaper.
A newspaper on the internet? How novel!
Even better, if you sync it with your Twitter account, it will automatically tweet using the user names of scraped content every. single. day. Talk about building relationships!
But should you use Paper.li?
No one in their right mind who cares about sharing great things and building genuine relationships with human beings should use Paper.li.