I’ve been blogging now for about eight months. If nothing else, I’ve managed to home in on a series of topics that I write about frequently, principle among them writing. One thing that got me blogging in the first place was the idea that I ought to force myself to become a content creator, instead of a passive consumer of info online. I’ve achieved that, but my own little corner of the internet is resolutely insular.
This might be in part because I’m not a particularly effective aggregator of information. The best content aggregators are out there scouring the web for obscure bits of information, which they then push out through their own branded communication channels. If one’s regular online haunts are likewise haunted by the multitudes, one’s value as an amalgamator of info is marginal at best.
I only follow 20-30 blogs/news sites on a regular basis. This leads me to conclude at times that there’s “nothing on,” in the way that I did when as a ten-year-old, I had six or so TV channels to choose from (my parents got cable practically the day after the youngest of us moved out). Nothing could be farther from the truth, of course, and I’ve seen popular bloggers make reference to subscribing to hundreds of RSS feeds, which they scan for items of interest.
Between work, school, my writing projects, and a small business idea I’m kicking around, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever have time to organize myself into an effective aggregator. So where does that leave me, as a blogger? I’m not sure, to be honest. The best blogs provide valuable content (where value equals entertainment, practical ideas, news, etc) to an audience that keeps coming back for more.
Right now, my blog is an essentially selfish enterprise that offers little value to an audience. What I hope is that it’s forming the basis of an online footprint that could be useful, career-wise, some day. And what I know is that it’s forcing me to publish on a regular schedule, even if I sometimes struggle to find the energy to put together a proper post (see below). I almost didn’t post at all on Sunday, because the quality vs. quantity argument offers extremely compelling justification to wait for good content to come to one in a blinding flash of brilliance.
In case it’s not evident from previous posts, I don’t really think good content comes through blinding flashes of brilliance. I think it comes from discipline and sitzfleisch and bullheadedness.
Which is why I’ll continue to post entries, three times a week, until I either stumble into a value proposition that means something to an audience, or until the work of blogging utterly dwarfs its potential.