musing about web publishing
I've been feeling inspired looking at things online and kinda wondering about what I can do (lots below)…→
I've looked at some science blogs lately and it's kinda amazing, there's a highly networked highly technical community out there putting out great content on an ongoing basis on independent sites, kinda like I used to see in blogs circa 2002-2003
Meanwhile I've also been looking at the tech blogging community a bit again (I avoid the chatter but I can't lie being grounded in web tech/business is a major part of my identity) and even there, there's just genuine expertise
which seems sexy to me. Here's a guy/woman who's taken time out of their day to investigate something and write it up and it's great to read, offers an opportunity for interaction about ideas, adds to their professional persona, etc.
Now I'm not expert at anything technical (I never quite figured out what a cosine is) so that's not the kinda thing I'm thinking about for me.
I've picked up some interests over the last few years, fashion (or consumption of fashion?) and hip hop... I've kinda been thinking about doing something in these fields but (besides never getting around to it properly) I also worry that I'll spend a lot of time on something, lose interest and then it's a waste. Then part of me says--if it's successful you'll keep at it, or put it in maintainance mode, even if you've lost interest in the topic because it's a good project to keep going. Plus I think interests are kinda stable; if you've been interested in something for 2–4 years chances are you're going to not be totally uninterested 2 years down the line.. you just change how invested you are in a space but not the curiosity about it
The thing is though. When you look at what 'significant' people in hip hop media actually are up to. They basically are a 'firehose' of posting new fresh songs, content etc and everyone spams their inbox, their twitter feed, hoping to get promoted. Then they're like OMG you didn't post my song! So there's extra drama there even after the communication saturation and necessity of continuous work (plus if you make something with community aspects there's going to be sizeable amount of moderation, drama etc. involved). I like the idea of some sites like rapgenius.com
that are more collections of info rather than just a way to get new content.
As for fashion... here's the deal. I started following a lot of these brands on twitter, facebook, email lists etc and at first I was kinda interested by how hip to the web their marketing is. They just pump out lots of content all the time--videos, photos, articles, links etc that you can repost, reshare etc. Which is interesting until you realize there's a lot of it so you're only going to reshare a tiny bit in your own online social streams.
But I picked up this magazine ok. Harper's Bazaar (Indian edition just to be fair.) And it is basically an advertising rag. What's happened is that the brands have pumped it with content, images, ideas, etc and they've just pasted it all together. Here's where you can by X which is trending now! So (like I was just saying about the content they pump out online) it looks like fashion brands are used to putting out a lot of content that even professinal journalists can just put together. Here's a woman in seriously done metallic makeup and all the tips about how to do it aren't generic, they're all Estee Lauder products. This whole makeup spread is an Estee Lauder ad.
So I'm like hmm and went out to see if I can find something different, something more detached. And I found some sources that are basically retailer or industry focused--Woman's Wear Daily, Business of Fashion
, etc and I've been following them a couple weeks and it seems like the kinda thing I'm more interested in keeping an eye on. The business and sociology and serious trend writing (the NYT fashion section does some of this) instead of the collages of misc products.
The thing is though, then I wonder what can I do? Again the 'become a firehose' problem rares its ugly head; if I start a fashion products blog that's basically all I'd be doing. Sifting through these feeds and content, finding stuff that moves me, posting it. And like 5x a day at least if I want to be any successful.
In a way this just makes sense in any field. You want to be a source of something, so you are a continuous sources of it. "It" is often just something new on the rader. So you're an aggregator. But is there a different way?