Refocusing The Blog

April 11, 2008

Time for a change of focus for Webomatica.

Lately, I find myself agreeing with “technology avoidance” articles like Scoble turning off the Internet, Hugh quitting Twitter, Mark Evans declaring RSS feed bankruptcy, ignoring TechMeme and Mashable, and tech bloggers overwhelmed by stress.

I wrote about the New York Times article on the Blog Herald and mused about taking a “blog vacation”. Well, I’m going to take my own advice and do so.

I’m not completely down on blogging. I still enjoy writing, reading, and participating in conversations (wherever they may be). I’m really enjoying participating in the L33t Podcast and the Blog Herald.

It’s the pressure to blog constantly that I’m tired of. I don’t enjoy the feeling of having to chime in on everything. I don’t enjoy using the computer in the evening after work. I don’t enjoy tracking page views, RSS subscribers, and ad revenue.

I don’t enjoy this hobby becoming like work.

Last weekend, I went up to Marin where there was no television, no cell phone access, and I didn’t take my computer. Just my wife and I, hiking in the woods. It was the best weekend I’ve had in quite some time. And I want to do that every weekend – not just occasionally.

Lastly, I once read a post by engtech which had some really good blogging advice:

Two key things I learned over time were to avoid the echo chamber and stop repeating news stories with a slight spin, and to write new content instead of always linking to other people and blockquoting.

I plan to blog less, but when I do write something it will be of better content. I like how I do my “links of the week” as a single post on Saturday to keep the signal to noise ratio low. I will focus on better titles, telling stories and covering the four different kinds of learning. I will write more software, how-to guides, and book reviews as I read to learn.

The second paragraph is inspiring to me. I want to do better at adding value to the web and not just filling it with noise. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll do that or if it will be any good – but I’d like to try.

I’ll still write about tech, but only major events that really move me. The Techmeme chasing, the page view baiting, the “look at me” stuff, will decrease substantially.

If this description sounds like a bad idea and you’re moved to unsubscribe, I totally understand. Otherwise, see you on the other side.


  1. Mike says:

    Hear, hear. I'm thinking the same thing – maybe it's because spring is approaching? I dunno, you're out in California, anyway, but here on the east coast spring is a bit more apparent. The sun is coming out a bit more, and it's finally okay to go outside and do stuff.

    Am trying to figure out a way to quit Twitter, move it all to WordPress, but keep the ability to update via SMS. I'll keep you posted, if you'd like…some interesting possibilities. :)

  2. webomatica says:

    Thanks for the support. About the weather: No kidding. Today was 74, sunny, and gorgeous.

    And do keep me posted on your experiment – I am definitely looking at efficiency these days.

    Maybe I can get the cats to update the blog.

  3. rodaniel says:

    “If this description sounds like a bad idea and you’re moved to unsubscribe, I totally understand.”

    Not at all. Different is good!

  4. webomatica says:

    Variety is the spice of life, so they say :)

  5. kamla bhatt says:

    quality over quantity seems to the new mantra for many bloggers. can't beat quality in the long run!

    kamla bhatt

  6. Jeffro2pt0 says:

    Quality over quantity, where have I heard that before? Although difficult, glad to see you are willing to disregard the hype trains and branch off on your own unique indepth stuff which adds value instead of just another piece of trash on the web. We need more of this.

  7. Mark Evans says:

    I know where exactly where you are coming from, and it's something that I've thought about more recent. There are days when, truth be told, I've got really got nothing to say or write but still feel the need to do a post. Maybe the smart thing is to simply do nothing once in awhile. In any event, I hope you stay in the game because it can be fun!


  8. Tarun Saigal says:

    Totally hear you ….and I was beginning to wonder about the increasinglevels of noise from muliple channels and what was the point in following so many ….twitter, fb, ff, linkriver, tollu, linkedin….and of course then theres the email and the reader …phew ! You are right …. I would rather come home and sprawl in front of the telly….rather than flip in and out of the comp AND the telly ! And I am just the “user” -not the provider like you guys

  9. tonyhung says:

    The irony of the whole thing is that this post, of all posts, has made it to Techmeme

    Gotta love a weekend. :)

    {Yeah, once I get around to it, DJI is rebooting too — which is hopefully sooner rather than later}

    t @ dji

  10. mathewi says:

    Hope to still see you around, Jason — we can't afford to lose thoughtful writers like you from the blogosphere. There are few enough as it is :-)

  11. vanelsas says:

    Jason, a thoughtful post. Something probably all bloggers go through once. For me the decision was quite easy. I only write if I have something meaningful to say. It takes the pressure of the writing and brings focus to the content. I also found it brings the pleasure back of writing something you can be proud of. Take the time, don't worry, if the writings are good, the readers will wait for it

  12. gregory says:

    ha, having long been in india on unbelievably slow dial up, i have been catching up with your world, and it onloy took a couple of months to figure out that so much of the buzz isn't necessary to know… but the nuggets are… you just need a good filter

    and just like time can be far more valuable than money, looking at the sky can give a lot more information than your screen….

    enjoy the break

  13. webomatica says:

    Plus I was asleep when it happened. But, I can certainly appreciate the irony!

  14. webomatica says:

    Thanks Mark – I'll still be around. This is a self-moderation rather than a full on quitting. And as for fun – I hope to recapture the fun and passion I had when I first started blogging.

  15. webomatica says:

    Thanks. The fact that you're still typing away is a big inspiration, as always.

  16. Eric Berlin says:

    Very interesting Jason, as we can see there are many that are trying to find the right blog balance, the right interwebs-immersion balance, the right work-web-life balance.

    It really is about that blurring line between hobby and second job, passion and unhealthy obessesion, isn't it? Long ago, I gave up the need/compulsion to cover the “big stories” going on each day. If I have something meaningful to add I'll do it, but like you I've been striving to write stories that turn *me* on, which hopefully will have the same benefit for readers. If those stories happen to hit techmeme then great, but it's not the primary focus.

    The ironic thing for those bloggers who have ambitions to become more popular is that it's the against-the-grain stories that when done consistently and well will gather a larger ongoing audience.

    Anyway, I love your stuff Jason and look forward to whatever may come next.

  17. webomatica says:

    Thanks Eric. It's that passion of writing stuff that I really enjoy that I need to recapture. I noticed you jumped right back in there recently with quality stuff after a brief slow down; that's inspiring.

  18. Jason – Don't disappear. I do went quiet fro a bit but honestly it's because we were moving and wanted to enjoy the time with my wife. I've been reading threads here and there but very little. The result for my is when I do turn on the computer, I'm much more objective in reading and writing.

    I think things are going to move very dynamically here and I honestly don't think ANYONE can predict where and how. There are too many good developers out there and they want to be recognized.

    Great fun to watch but I really get as much satisfaction sharing a good story, as writing one.


  19. That's two nights in a row (Time to preview before posting) Obvious it was I too (not I do) :)

  20. Ps3 says:

    Refocus? I read about couple of minutes, ago i read that people thought that the 3g i phone was a rumor.
    i was pretty surprised and thought i was dreaming too. then i realized they were dreaming lol.

  21. Hannah H says:

    Loved the post, it’s rare to find a decent blog on google these days.