Why Keep Blogging? and other SXSW Takeaways

SXSW: Why Keep Blogging?

It’s clear that virtually no one earns a decent living off blogging, so revel in the liberty of being beholden only to your interests. And when that interest flags and you begin to repeat yourself, as Guy LeCharles Gonzalez forcefully argued, quit and move on to the next thing.

At a conference like SXSWi, that was a rare but incredibly valuable sentiment. The Web has been through so many iterations that we now take it for granted. In the advent of social media, bloggers seek to distinguish their thoughtful commentary from the chat junk pile of Facebook and Twitter.

“At SXSWi: Does blogging matter? How about Twitter?”

There was a funny moment during our “Why Keep Blogging?” panel at SXSW Interactive last weekend, when the home page of this blog was up on the screen during my introduction, clearly showing my last post was over a month ago, on February 14th! Despite that awkward moment, the panel went pretty well and we received a fair number of compliments, both in person and on Twitter, which I was watching closely during the discussion, an absolute must nowadays.

[Check out two other write-ups of the panel by Magnet Media and The Gavin Show.]

The point I made “forcefully” that Miller was referring to was my belief the best blogs are driven by passion, not obligation, and that you can tell when someone is just feeding the machine to maintain their traffic, a la Seth Godin, for whom I often use the hashtag .

The lack of activity here lately has nothing to do with a lessening of my passion for publishing and marketing, but rather a necessary redirection of that passion to Digital Book World, where I already posted my initial SXSW highlights last week and where all of my publishing-related writing lives these days.

When asked during the panel what was next for loudpoet.com, I didn’t have a clear answer other than to say whatever else I’m feeling passionate about at the moment, and I certainly left Austin (and San Antonio) feeling passionate about a number of things, including going back to visit both next year! I already have a few ideas for panel proposals — some specific to publishing, some taking a broader view of new media — and my poetry gig at Lupe’s Art Blend gave me a taste of that familiar adrenaline surge that comes with performing on stage.

The next few months here will likely be kind of random as 110% of my energy will be going to Digital Book World, and I’m trying to catch up on some analog reading, too, as my to-be-read pile is spilling over with 2666, Oscar Wao, Finch and Steampunk (the anthology).

Plus, there’s my Tumblog, a new experiment I’ve started at Snake Oil Review, and a couple of poetry-related sekritprojects in the works.

If you’re still reading along here, thanks! I’ll be back!

10 thoughts on “Why Keep Blogging? and other SXSW Takeaways

  1. ah, old buddy old pal, we've missed you here for the <<PAST MONTH>> at loudpoet.com! (was wondering what was going on there…)

    i often wonder when i'll run out of things to say about the art and science of writing, marketing, distributing, and giving away/selling our works, and publishing. but so far dontpublishme.blogspot.com is homebase for me to organize my thoughts on these processes and that is–in essence–what a blog is for. it's my online journal, at the very least for myself, and my small circle of peers, for getting stuff off our respective chests. it feels good to blog.

    when it starts to feel like a chore is when it's time to hang it up. ain't there [yet].


  2. Awesome to be able to hear you read your work! Thanks for posting the video. Also hope you're finding some time to write here and there.

  3. No time to write, yet, so squeezing in the reading gig was awesome! Like riding a bike… a rusty bike with bent rims and no brakes, but a fun ride, nevertheless. 🙂

    PS: I forgot to bring any poems with me, so I had to print out my Smashwords file!

  4. Always nice to read your posts, Guy! But I know what you mean about neglection. I get my fill of publishing news and the last thing I want to do is stay up late at night writing about books for my own blog. Which is why I kind of transitioned in my own writing. Doing both DBW and marianlibrarian has set up a nice little balance 🙂

  5. Interesting comment on blogging. I agree that the best blogs are driven by passion and once you hit the wall of obligation it becomes a drone. I'm at this exact crossroads myself and plan to make some mid-course corrections.

    Blogging is a worthy discipline and much more brilliant when two things happen: 1) you love doing it and 2) many people read it. So I think your comment about Seth Godin may a little off — he's worked hard to build this blog platform to share his ideas daily with people who appreciate them. Rather than #bloggingtoohard, I'd say he's mastered the discipline.

    Nevertheless, Guy, I must say I very much appreciate your pioneering work with DBW — I'm proud to be a paying member and looking forward to engaging more with that community.

  6. #bloggingtoohard and “mastered the discipline” kind of mean the same thing in my book! I'm a Godin fan (most days), but the need to blog daily can lead to some pretty lame posts. Most prolific bloggers run into that, but it comes with the territory and it's certainly working for him.

    Thanks for compliment on DBW, and I especially thank you for seeing the value in membership! Much appreciated.

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