Chasing the cool kids

Quick! Get on Myspace, it’s where all the good stuff is.

Wait! Better build your following on Facebook. It’s a land rush and once you amass enough followers… And Pinterest. Definitely.

What’s your Twitter handle? Will you be live tweeting the presentations at SXSW?

Let’s get your show on Quibi… Build an Insta and a Finsta…

Did you see how much they’re making on Substack?! Blogs are dead.

The urgent advice usually ends with “blogs are dead.”

Like Groundhog Day, we keep repeating the same pattern.

Any platform that’s reasonably open has a long tail. That means that a few people get most of the traffic and most people get very little. If there’s money involved, that’s definitely what happens.

(that’s 124, with no zeroes, as the median)

Statistically, whatever you build online isn’t going to get a lot of traffic. There are no magic shortcuts in open systems, because the short head depends on scarcity.

By the time you show up to chase the cool kids, it’s probably too late to guarantee a sinecure.

What’s the alternative?

Publish. Consistently. With patience. Own your assets. Don’t let a middleman be your landlord. Yell at Google for blocking your emails and hope it’ll work eventually. Continually push for RSS and an open web. With patience.

Getting picked is great, when it works. Someone needs to be in the spotlight and it might as well be you.

In the meantime, catch your breath, show up and contribute.

It all adds up.