Independent Blogging is Healthier Than Ever and Still Dying
Andy Baio on the redesign of his popular personal blog Waxy.org:
"But there a few reasons why I’m sad about the decline of independent blogging, and why I think they’re still worth fighting for.
Ultimately, it comes down to two things: ownership and control.
Last week, Twitter announced they’re shutting down Vine. Twitter, itself, may be acquired and changed in some terrible way. It’s not hard to imagine a post-Verizon Yahoo selling off Tumblr. Medium keeps pivoting, trying to find a successful revenue model. There’s no guarantee any of these platforms will be around in their current state in a year, let alone ten years from now.
Here, I control my words. Nobody can shut this site down, run annoying ads on it, or sell it to a phone company. Nobody can tell me what I can or can’t say, and I have complete control over the way it’s displayed. Nobody except me can change the URL structure, breaking 14 years of links to content on the web."
I'd add there are benefits to independent blogging even if no one is reading. That's not a problem for Andy or Jason Kottke, who has been writing about this topic off and on for years. They're just seeing HUGE numbers drop to LARGE.
For the rest of us, control of the code is the really cool first effect, but I've never been too concerned about URLs resolving or RSS hiccups. It has to be about the next thing you're creating or sharing and having a home for it where your readers are respected and no one else can screw with them or you.
I've seen my page views increase 10X since moving all my writing to this site, but that wasn't the reason for the move, nor is it the result I concentrate on. It's all about the growing response I get from readers I treat with respect (no pop ups, ads or trickery) and the fun I have sharing useful stuff here. That's a feature I can't buy on Facebook or Twitter.