John O’Nolan founder of Ghost on blogging

The State of Casual Blogging →

Following the river of thoughts flowing from my last post, yesterday I found out this piece by John O’Nolan (long time developer of WordPress and founder of Ghost) expressing his personal view on the topic. I’ve liked in particular the following words:

There is more than enough room in the publishing industry for open and closed platforms to exist in harmony, catering to different types of writers with their individual advantages.

This point of view is respectful of every point of view, and I think that in ultimate analysis is THE final answer to the question of where one has to blog. And it’s where you’re most comfortable doing so…

A small change of habit today… just four news, instead of the usual five!

Canvas infographics – How To Use Images To Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic
Canvas infographics – How To Use Images To Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic

The fine pals at Canva, have made a nice recap of their study over 100 Million Facebook posts which told us about the power of images in our culture and so how it boosts traffic to the published contents. Here’s the original article (from which the infographic is taken):

How To Use Images To Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic →

As for that en­tan­gle­ment among sto­ries, Mr. Williams has con­ceded that it’s “confus­ing.” But this am­bi­gu­ity isn’t a bug. It’s an es­sen­tial fea­ture of the busi­ness plan. The goal is to cre­ate the il­lu­sion that every­thing on Medium be­longs to one ed­i­to­r­ial ecosys­tem, as if it’s the New York Times.

But un­like the Times, Medium pays for only a small frac­tion of its sto­ries. The rest are sub­mit­ted—for free—by writ­ers like you. Af­ter a long time be­ing elu­sive about its busi­ness model, Medium re­vealed that it plans to make money by—sur­prise!—sell­ing ad­ver­tis­ing. This means dis­play­ing ads, but also col­lect­ing and sell­ing data about read­ers and writ­ers. So Medium will ex­tract rev­enue from every story, whether it paid for that story or not.

In truth, Medium’s main prod­uct is not a pub­lish­ing plat­form, but the pro­mo­tion of a pub­lish­ing plat­form. This pro­mo­tion brings read­ers and writ­ers onto the site. This, in turn, gen­er­ates the us­age data that’s valu­able to ad­ver­tis­ers. Boiled down, Medium is sim­ply mar­ket­ing in the ser­vice of more mar­ket­ing. It is not a “place for ideas.” It is a place for ad­ver­tis­ers. It is, there­fore, ut­terly superfluous.

“But what about all the writ­ing on Medium?” The mea­sure of su­per­fluity is not the writ­ing on Medium. Rather, it’s what Medium adds to the writ­ing. Re­call the ques­tion from above: how does Medium im­prove the In­ter­net? I haven’t seen a sin­gle story on Medium that couldn’t ex­ist equally well else­where. Nor ev­i­dence that Medium’s edit­ing and pub­lish­ing tools are a man­i­fest im­prove­ment over what you can do with other tools.
In sum—still superfluous.

As writ­ers, we don’t need com­pa­nies like Medium to tell us how to use the web. Or de­fine open­ness and democ­racy. Or tell us what’s a “waste of [our] time” and what’s not. Or de­ter­mine how and where read­ers ex­pe­ri­ence our work. We need to de­cide those things for ourselves.

Matthew Butterick expresses in his piece one of the main reasons on why I’m not sold with Medium, and still prefer to publish everything I want over a space I can really control. Thanks to my pal Andrea Contino for pointing me to Matt’s article…

Share a story of personal defeat

Every now and then I try to collect infos and books over a topic. Let’s say text editors.

At university it was Vim; after coming to Mac, years ago, I started documenting over TextMate. Lately it’s been the turn of Sublime Text

I read introductions, how to correctly install, maybe apply a graphical theme to the app (this remembers me I have to post some resources I found over Sublime Text themes) and the first chapter.

Then something comes by and I get distracted. Time passes by, the ebooks/guide remains unread and I use all those extra-useful apps at 0,05% of their power.

For me this kind of behaviour is a personal failure… and sharing those feelings here, I’ve accomplished my participation to the latest task on the Daily Post series over Desk App Community…

On creating a better web

Another interesting read today, over Marco Arment weblog…

Google and blogs: “Shit.” →

Starting from the visitor’s traffic decline since the Google Readers’s closure, Marco notices how search engine is more and more driven by the amount of dollars spent in marketing, against the quality of the content and the ‘connection’ to the user’s query.

We – all – write contents in our blogs, and then start a spam-like behavior of spreading our URLs over every single social network in existence. Searching for a peak in traffic gained organically, against a brought search result placement.

Marco – as the ethical hacker he is – proposes to start building tools that make the web “better”. But from my point of view this does not excuse us from using the Internet with greater awareness,  and keeping educating people to do the same.