This week I have been mostly messing about with my blog, simple HTML code and Google + settings in an attempt to begin a publishing empire with maximum tricks at my side.
Jesus, it’s a nightmare staying on top of it all. In the good old days I used to write a newsletter once a week and the sponsorship was enough to pay the mortgage and more.
No longer. WordPress, widgets, plug-ins, Twitter, LinkedIn, (even) Facebook, Reddit, writing for BBC Future, TechCrunch, Telegraph, HuffPo, coding, travelling to keep visible at trade shows, talking at trade shows to keep visible, sussing out emerging economies, setting up funds, fixing this and that, finding good clients, losing bad clients, moving offices… and nine years on, still writing this newsletter every Friday morning for 11.40am email delivery.
And like most people in the digital space that are over the age of 25, I’m not really a technophile. I work with these new machines because the people who don’t work with these new machines are unemployed and becoming more violent every day.
So, it’s a pain, a real ennervating pain, to be constantly moving, changing, keeping up, constantly creating content, constantly creating content, constantly creating content, constantly creating content, constantly creating content, constantly creating content.
But sometimes it’s exciting; sometimes it’s amazing. When I got into Twitter I realised this was utterly revolutionary, not quite like the beauty of Bob Dylan’s lyric There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air, but world-changing all the same. Twitter opened the web again, tore people away from their bookmarks and transformed the way information (some of which was crap) was disseminated.
Not so with Farcebook, a showground for insecure people with Narcissistic personality disorder who give away their video and image content for nothing. LinkedIn has been coming up on the rails, definitely a place for business leads, although expensive for advertising. Forget Pinterest and the rest of them, email marketing is more interesting.
Then there’s the aforesaid Google + and a social network that has been difficult, very difficult to love. All bells and whistles, crouching on the shoulders of the hit-and-miss social giants before them, teasing us by starting off as a closed network until we’re munching on our eyelashes to be invited.
Then the stats, ‘the fastest-growing social network EVER’, the stampede to feature and be featured and then, what? Clever Americans showing off all types of crap that I’d cross the road to stamp on, idiots spamming and us social media types treating it in the same way that french-bound 30-year-old married English teachers treat ugly girls in their class.
Then the obvious backlash, Google admitting that things hadn’t quite gone to domination. But then the tide of anti-populism is unleashed and it becomes interesting because it has to be if you’re publishing anything. How the fuck do you do it or reach any level of critical mass without the brains of the internet? What was I thinking?
So, I dug under the bonnet and started to look into its (search – hohoho) engine and boy, does it change things. As I said, I’m no technophile and I barely know what I’m talking about, but if you’re a writer or a communciator of any description you need to know about it pronto.
This chap for Econsultancy, however does know and this piece will show you how it’s done with link backs to other articles that will take away all your fear of finding out about *something else*.
Consequently I’ve sorted out my blog and tagged my online reputation, reach and reason. Traffic to my site has soared and it’s been more worth the effort. I even feel as if I know what I’m talking about and that you might listen to what I’m saying – hahahahahahahahahaha.
However, if this is what the future is all about, then a weekly Friday newsletter might not be worth doing anymore, I publish this about five minutes after you receive it anway and market through all the social channels I mentioned.
Nine years of hungover-Fridays (Thursday nights are the parents’ weekend) trying to think of something remotely interesting with only the occasional day off for holiday or illness coming to an end? Yep, maybe it’s time to go.
Google + changed my life, it’s going to change yours. Get used to it, baby.