Thursday, June 18, 2015

"My Twitter Life" ups the promotion of niche-only blogging


Today, in "My Twitter Life", I was greeted by the confrontational “Bloggers, go niche or go home!”, with this link.  That sounds like Regal Theaters “Go big or go home”.  (Oh, why then does Regal Ballston Common show big films in small auditoriums?)
  
The Twitter-er followed with an example of a real niche blog, intended for physical fitness customers who don’t like formal gym programs, here.  Reminder, yes, I haven’t made it to LA Fitness for a while. (Remember the gorgeous facility visible from I-10, I think in Ontario, CA?)
  
He also gave a link to another tip-list for “professional” blogging here
  
Seriously, I’ve seen a lot more promotion of the idea that all blogging should be niche blogging for $$$, that you should write what people want and will pay for, not what you have to say.
  
I’ve also seen a lot more aggressive behavior in promoting services and products (including self-published books) in direct messages, that sometimes show the same level of courtesy as telemarketing or robocalling.
  
I do what I do. “It is what it is.”  I got into blogging after my first self-published book (way back in 1997), leading to flat HTML sites.  In the early days, I ranked high in search engines with no effort because my files were simple HTML and loaded fast compared to corporate sites, that hid their content unintentionally behind scripts and databases.  The content (the confluence of gay rights – especially lifting the military ban and DADT) with libertarianism seemed novel at the time.  Sales of the self-published book were reasonable until about the 9/11 period. 
  
Of course, with time, any political message gets less interesting to consumers.  I moved on to other areas encompassing what had started with the military – the whole terror, security and privacy questions, and the need to protect infrastructure from both terror and natural events (including climate change).  I also became interested in sustainability and social demographics.  I became concerned that we can lose our freedoms if we aren’t vigilant.  But I also thought that a lot of hardships could be avoided if we work and behave “smarter”.
  
This sounds like an “eat your vegetables” message that will attract the “choir” with normal passive search engine presence.  It indeed does, and I am able to network with individual persons and parties that I come to know over time, but these individuals tend not to be (or come across as) particularly “needy”.  People with more specific “needs” can be attracted by more direct marketing of content, but this is not a part of the world that seems very interesting.  Yes, for example, I support “marriage equality”, but when that is the only focus of some content out of related context, it doesn’t mean a whole lot (to me, at least).    I still think my presence is “politically” effective, just by being there.  But I realize that in time, conditions can change. Business models of bloggng services and hosting may not always be as amendable to users who don’t actually generate profits with their particular content.  Weakening of Section 230 at some point in the future could become relevant.
  

We have a schism in our culture, where “critical thinking”, learning and development of science for its own sake, is seen at odds with socialization and helping people, organized into specific and narrow communities, with their more immediate needs. 

But there is also this "idea" that you're not a "real" writer unless you will work for other people and get paid to say what they want you to say.  I do get pestered by this thinking. 
     
I’ll note another article, maintaining that content isn’t a commodity any more, here.

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