a thinker, not a linker

Demosthenes is feeling blog-fatigue:

The problem I'm having blogging, recently, is the way in which it works... with that "sequential scrolling posts" aspect of it; there's a catch-22 at the center of it all. If one writes fairly long, well researched or well-thought-out or whatever posts, there is still a significant possibility (if not a likelihood) that the post will have no impact whatsoever. It'll just disappear into the archives, and once that's happened, it's gone. This creates a disincentive towards longer posts, unless you're absolutely sure that you'll get noticed. Even then, there's the problem of getting people to actually read through the thing, instead of skipping ahead to something more easily digestible.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Write long original stuff, and too soon it'll disappear, unread and unremarked, into the archive; all that time and effort is for naught. Write shorter link-based stuff, and you're just a links page with some pithy words attached, no different than literally thousands of other writers. Try to find a balance between the two, and length becomes the priority instead of content.

I have some thoughts on this. I'm definitely in the "thinker" camp - not to say I don't have short "linker" type posts, but the main rationale for blogging in my case is to put my ideas down. And I find that stuff I write doesn't disappear - after all, thanks to Google, every embrassing thing you write will persist long after it has scrolled off the page. Not to mention the deep links to your archives that persist far and wide.

There are also simple things a thinker-blogger can do to keep their writing accessible. For example, have links to your best stuff on your sidebar (see mine at left). Jonathan Edelstein has the most comprehensive of these I have seen, and Dwight Meredith also as a fantastic collection. The advantage if this is that new visitors can quickly see what else you've written besides just the last weeks' entries. If there's a single blog out there that I'd like to see add such a "Best of" links collection to, it's got to beShadow of the Hegemon.

But I think the single best way to avoid blogger fatigue is to simply not worry about your hits. I achieve this by keeping UNMEDIA free of any counter or stats meter. I honestly have no clue as to how many people are reading this blog. As a result, my writing here is free of any pressure or subconcious desire to attract readers. The point of this blog is just to give me somewhere to write.

There's surely a reason that Demosthenes didn't choose Locke for his pseudonym. Like all writers, what matters is his writing. Whether it scrolls off the page, gets linked by Instapundit, or ends up as the number-one hit on Google searches for "Bush sucks" is irrelevant to a reader like me.

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