Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

To do, to do

Yesterday’s blog post is the last in the pile of previously unpublished posts that I intend to publish.

There’s more left in the pile, about ten last I checked, but I’m not going to be publishing them.

Some of the posts are simply out of date. Remember, these posts were written over the past two years.

Most of the posts are simply uninteresting. Most blog posts are, including the ones on this blog.

A few of them are uninteresting to you specifically. For example, it’s clear by now that nobody is interested in further entries in the Stumbling into Publishing series.

The remaining unpublished posts aren’t really any worse than what I’ve been posting these past couple of months. That isn’t why I’m stopping. I’m stopping because I’m tired of them. I’m tired of their tone, style, and focus. I’m tired of stating the obvious, arguing the basics, having opinions on things that won’t change, and giving feedback to institutions and groups that don’t care.

There is value in blogging in some contexts. It makes sense to blog if you’re writing about comics, SFF, romance books, or the like because those fields have a community. You may not like it overall or only stick to a tiny subset of it, but even a small community beats the trench warfare that passes for discourse in the the more general publishing industry.

In publishing, on one side, the incumbents throw doubt on every change.

On the other side, the radicals throw doubt over anything that is older than three weeks.

There really isn’t a sense that “we’re all on the same side” as one writer blogged this week. It’s very much the opposite. Many sides. All at war.

As a contrast, consider SFF. Over the past few years the community blows up regularly. Usually it’s because some reactionary bigot throws a fit about having to stop being incredibly rude and nasty and abusive to people who aren’t like him. Despite these near weekly skirmishes, the field has much more of a sense of community than digital publishing, ebooks, or publishing commentary in general. It’s a community in turmoil because it’s being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, sure, but it’s a community nonetheless. People are invested in it being a community, which makes it interesting, if a bit frustrating. The only people personally invested in blogging about publishing are consultants trawling for gigs.

I think I’m going to stick to a simple rule on this site. I’ll try to only blog when I or somebody else is doing something that I think is interesting.

I’m rubbish at telling people about things I or my friends work on. I need to get better at it. I don’t talk about the ebooks I make for Unbound or the workflow scripts I’ve written for them. I never blogged about Tom Abba’s weird and fun experiments. There’s a lot of interesting activity going on in the peripheries of publishing and those are more interesting than any commentary I could make.

Pointing out people doing something is more interesting than saying that somebody should do that thing.

Of course, when I say ‘interesting’ here I mean interesting to me. It’s quite obvious from past experience that it isn’t interesting to you (blog readers) because very few of you click through to read those sorts of posts. Your interest and behaviour is toxic.

It also might be interesting to do ideas and arguments properly. Instead of throwing a series of half-digested posts onto the blog, maybe pick the best idea and write a short ebook. Up the quality of the argument and then blog only to point people to the ebooks.

I don’t know. I haven’t made up my mind.

If I start blogging on a regular basis again it’d probably be about comics, SFF, or some other book sub-genre (see the note above on community).

My sister might pop in here once in a while to blog about goings on in the Icelandic publishing industry, which I think is more interesting than the stuff I’ve been throwing out. An insight into an alternative publishing universe is always educational. It helps you realise that there isn’t a specific destiny that all publishing must migrate towards.

All in all, expect sporadic posting on this blog in 2014.

If I truly believe what I wrote above about community then I should put my money where my mouth is and switch to commenting opinions instead of blogging them.

In theory, that should be the way to try and build up a community around ongoing discourse.

I’m very bad at commenting. I need to get better.

What about? What about? What about?

Everything I wrote above applies to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus as well. They are only worthwhile if writing within a community. With that in mind, I think disentangling from Twitter is a sensible thing to do. How exactly I’ll do that, I don’t know. It’s something to figure out over the next couple of weeks.

If I unfollow you on Twitter, please don’t take it personally.

You can also find me on Mastodon and Bluesky