Source: Clepsydra Geyser Permutations
Staring at the blank screen at the end of Xmas day, I found myself fighting a realization. New Year’s Resolution time is coming…what will I commit to? What do I really want to commit to (in the context of this blog)? The answer is one I feel I should be sad about but I’m not. I don’t want to commit to anything. When I think about the lack of purpose for this blog, I realize that I honestly do not want to commit to writing about one topic, one idea and revisiting it in all its permutations.
The realization that I’m fighting? Let’s say that this piece of advice is simultaneously appealing and repulsive at the same time:
Narrow the focus. “…[M]edia companies need to invest more money in their premium content—editorial that is unavailable elsewhere but that is highly valued by readers. Go deep, not wide.”
It is that idea of narrowing focus of the blog that is painful. Tom Hoffman (TuttleSVC) shared that as one of the problems for Around the Corner–a lack of focus, or purpose. And, regrettably, he is right. This blog is all over the place. Yet, with so many subscribers and readers, obviously something is worth reading. And, yet, the magic feels like it’s gone. I’m not writing about Web 2.0 that much anymore. It’s strange but I feel a real lack of desire to write about Web 2.0 and how it’s going to change the education world. While I acknowledge the valuable writing and pontificating of the edublogosphere, I increasingly find it to be yada-yada-yada.
Source: David Armano’s The Paradox of Please as cited in Focus or Fail, DaveFleet.com
A challenge for me has been to dig deeper and understand more. I’m not writing to please anyone but myself. The blog goes where my interests are, flitting around from topic to topic. It was, I thought, a lot of fun to be interested in many topics, ideas, and sharing them. The blog is a notebook for what I’m interested in, but am I interested in things that will make a difference in the long run? Do I even want to be interested in something that will bring about change in the long run, especially in a blog?
It’s this fundamental conflict with having subscribers and readers…sure, I know you’re out there, and I like knowing you’re reading but I also don’t want to be moved by you to write about what you like…if I fail to write about what *I* like, you may not read. If I write about what you want to read, I won’t want to write or read.
Some of the topics I don’t want to write about anymore, unless I’m talking to people who’ve never heard of this before (it’s boring to keep revisiting the subject):
- Read/Write Web and Publish at Will
- Blogging and podcasting
- How RWW is going to transform education (I don’t think it is…it will transform how we each communicate, collaborate but not education).
What do I want to write about? It’s easy to write about techie stuff…you’re simply sharing the latest techie thing (e.g. UbuntuLinux Intrepid…wait long enough and you’ll have a whole other update to write about). You know what? In the end, I’m probably not going to change a thing. This blog continues to be about what lies around the corner of my interest. I suppose I’ll keep writing about everything that catches my eye. I will definitely fail the narrow your focus test.
I can only hope that what I’m interested in is valuable to others reading. I just wish I could align our interests better. What is it that I’m interested in that will just rock your world? That way, we’d both be excited about the same things and the rest of the world would fade away…or drop by to watch us catch on fire.
Update 12/27/2008: I love this quote that Crossroad Dispatches shared…her post is inspiring, both by what she wrote and how she wrote it. Even though she shares that this quote is cliche, it is the first time I’ve seen it:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
Evelyn Rodriguez at Crossroad Dispatches has a lot to say. Worth a read!
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