Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sometimes it's nicer not to be in the game

With all the fighting about the neverending struggle for attention in the blogosphere, it was refreshing to hear something from Dave Winer on the issue. He points out to Scott Karp, Mike Arrington and Nick Carr and "others who believe that the number of people who read your blog means anything " that,  "I have reasons to believe that almost no one actually reads this stuff.". He goes on to describe how he feels that most people skim posts without reading them thoroughly and cites a few stories to back it up.

While I agree with Dave that a lot of people scan posts and respond too quickly (without reading, considering and evaluating the post) I'm not sure they are in the majority. Now Dave also comes from a viewpoint where he's got lots of people skimming his posts and probably lots of people looking for ways to disagree with him. I would think that comes with a combination of a high traffic blog and outspokeness (I don't know much about either). But from my perspective, the people who do comment on my blog posts (or write their own posts referencing them) usually have done a respectable job of actually reading my posts. I've rarely, if ever, been misunderstood. Maybe that could be put down to good writing, but more likely to an extremely small sample size. ;)

Kent Newsome sides with Nick on this one and claims that, for Mike "..It's easy to say money doesn't matter when you just won the lottery.." . I guess  that's true, but I tend to make a lot of my judgements based on past performance. And that would be bad news for Nick and good news for Mike.

In any case, I'm actually quite glad sometimes that I don't rely on blogging (and blog traffic) to make any portion of my living. Not just because I'd have been in the poorhouse months and months ago (!), but because I don't have that pressure to write for any reason other than my own selfish satisfaction.

As I've said before, many times I lose interest in things when they become "have-to's" instead of "want-to's". I like photography, blogging and programming because I want to do those things. If I had to do those things to earn my living, they would lose a lot of their appeal.