Blogging with a small “b”

A snippet from a post by Tom Critchlow on small b blogging:

But what is lost by following big B blogging? By chasing audience we lose the ability to be ourselves. By writing for everyone we write for no one. Too often I read things otherwise smart people have written for places like Fast Company and my eyes glaze over. Personal identity is necessarily watered down. Yes those places have large audiences but they’re shallow audiences. They don’t care about you at all. Your writing washes through their feeds like water.

Instead – I think most people would be better served by subscribing to small b blogging. What you want is something with YOUR personality. . . . Writing that can live and breathe in small networks. Scale be damned.

I’ve pretty much stopped blogging on my personal site completely for various reasons: apathy; inability to let go in front of an audience; lack of motivation; disinterest in media and tech; unwillingness to stay plugged in and part of the stream… I just don’t care anymore. I work in tech, I work with writers and influencers, I write for a massive audience online for work, blah blah blah. But on a personal level, I’m in a very different headspace.

Still, Tom’s post reminded me of what I used to enjoy about blogging — there was a period of time, about five or so years ago, when I was really engaged and connected to my network, especially on Twitter, and got my work noticed and featured in the Atlantic, the New York Times, and other big outlets. While I’d always written online with an audience in mind, my favorite part about blogging was ultimately writing for myself, reading and learning and deepening my knowledge of things along the way, and documenting a wider web of ideas in my very own online space. I remember doing all of this because I truly enjoyed it — my site was an extension of me. Publishing on it made me feel more complete. And it still exists, but now mainly as a relic. I just don’t need it as I once did.

But anyway, I like what he says about “forgetting the big B blogging model” and not chasing an audience, or scale, or page views. It’s such a simple thing, but somewhere along the way, I completely forgot how to write for myself, how to face inward, how to be me.

h/t @photomatt

4 thoughts on “Blogging with a small “b””

  1. Good advice. I think my blog’s audience out grew my ability to tell the truth about my feelings. I now feel obligated to offer a light at the end of the tunnel. Because of that I’ve pretty much stopped blogging and went back to music, my first love, but less talent hobby. I’ve tried writing under pen names but my ego is too big to write something I’m proud of and not have it attributed to me. Shallow, I know, hence the lack of commitment.

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  2. I miss reading you more regularly, Cheri — but I totally get what you mean. Apart from the personal reasons why b/Blogging may not be the highest priority at this stage of life, the nature of the community is changing too. (Just yesterday I was thinking about the post you wrote a while back on etiquette, gently chiding the folks who demand feedback or command you to follow their blog.) I’m glad you’re still posting occasionally if only for yourself, though. You may not “need” it as you once did, but you still have important and worthwhile things to say.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve been really kind and helpful over the years, Cheri — in fact, you gave me my first Freshly Pressed honor many years ago! I looked up to you then as someone who had “made it” in the blogging world, and I still admire you for continuing to explore what writing and creativity mean to you, but on *your* terms.

        Liked by 1 person

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