Back in early 2019, I interviewed Cal Newport on the AoM Podcast about his book Digital Minimalism. One of the points he made was how the internet has become more and more consolidated under a few large corporations. When we go on the internet, we’re usually going on Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), Twitter, WhatsApp, or Google.
All these companies have the goal of keeping you within their walled system for as long as possible because that’s how they make money. The more time you spend looking at Instagram, the greater chance they can get an ad in front of your face.
These companies, particularly social media, also use tactics to encourage people to engage with their app more. Likes, comments, and follower counts tap into our primal desire for novelty and status. These incentives have encouraged bad behavior online and has likely contributed to the increasing rates of depression and anxiety, especially among young people.
I’ve been dissatisfied with the social media game for a while now. While AoM has social media accounts, I have very few personal ones and the ones I do still have active, I haven’t posted on in years.
But I do still have the itch to share things that I’ve come across that I think are interesting, useful, and cool.
To scratch that itch, but not do it via social media, Cal recommended starting a personal blog. Not a blog you use to make money. Just a personal blog where you post random musings just because. You know, like people did in 2002.
That idea resonated with me. There’s stuff I’d like to write about or share online, but wouldn’t be a good fit for Art of Manliness. I’d need another outlet for it. This is that outlet.
What You’ll Find Here
You’re going to find a lot of random stuff that I think is interesting. I’ll probably do a link round-up once a week of interesting articles I’ve read. I’ll post pictures of stuff I’m doing. I’ll write about things that I think are interesting. I’ll share what books I’m reading and give updates about my barbell training. I’ll share quick thoughts or maybe just a quote. I might even do some longer-form articles or audio interviews that wouldn’t fit over at AoM.
There’s no theme. There’s no editorial calendar. I’m not attempting to create a personal brand so I can market myself. I’m not trying to make money with this. It’s all whim. I’m doing this because I like it.
Don’t expect polished work here. These are personal jottings. Notes. Marginalia. For the most part, I’ll just be dashing these out. There will be typos. There will be awkward sentence structures. I’m okay with that. If you want my more polished work, go read AoM.
Rules of the Road
While I don’t have a particular theme with my personal blog, I do think it’s useful to have some structure. Here are the ground rules I’ve set for myself. These, of course, will likely change.
No comments. I just don’t have time to engage with comments. Plus, by removing comments, I remove that often addicting social feedback. I don’t want to even be tempted to check to see if anyone left a nice (or negative) comment about the thing I posted earlier that day.
Instead of commenting on my blog, I’d encourage you to start your own personal blog. If I shared something that you want to comment on, link to it on your personal blog and then write your commentary. I’ve got trackbacks on my site, so your article about my article will be linked on my original article. This was how the internet was supposed to work. We were supposed to create a web of interconnected links.
(Hardly) No money. I have no plans on making this thing a money maker. There will be no sponsored content or ads. I’m also not using the blog to shape my “personal brand” so that I can sell myself or my services. The primary goal here is fun and joy and curiosity. The only money-making things you’ll find here are affiliate links to stuff I use and books I read and can personally recommend. I’ll probably make enough money each month from these affiliate sales to cover the cost of hosting this blog and take my family out to IHOP once a month. That’s just icing on the cake.
Those are my constraints. As I said earlier, I’ll probably be adding more.
I’m looking forward to this. Make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed so you never miss a post.