Write the blog you want to read

It’s funny to say, but it’s true. The things I blog about tend to be the things I’m most interested in. I love this policy. For one it’s flexible. As my interests change, so goes the blog. For another, it allows for diversity. I can post a photo of a car, followed by something technical, followed by something about cheese, followed by something I cooked, followed by something I did outside, without batting an eye. I frequently look back at what I’ve posted and think to myself, “Damn, this is such a great blog! I love this stuff.”

I would go so far as to say that having this blog has made my life more interesting, because I’m often motivated to do something unusual or kind of wacky by virtue of its inherent blogability. The generally positive feedback I receive in return creates a virtuous circle which leads me to seek out yet more off the beaten path adventures—to blog about.

Many people advise would-be bloggers to focus on a single subject and stick with it. I applaud the people who are able to do this well, and there are some very good, and very lucrative subject-specific blogs out there. But man, forcing me to narrow my focus down beyond just “stuff I like” would be disastrous. I would lose interest.

I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who likes the exact same combination of things as I do, but at the same time there doesn’t have to be even one person with the same taste as mine. That’s not the point. The whole difference between blogging and just keeping a journal is the intent to share. As I see it, the value of Justinsomnia is not only in the individual post, it’s also in the sometimes surprising difference between posts. You might have stumbled upon my blog searching for something technical or food-related, and if you’re tickled by the fact that my interests extend beyond that one thing, hopefully you’ll continue to follow along.

Even though blog writing is closely related to newspaper column writing in function, I actually tend to view Justinsomnia more as an ongoing, interactive art project. Each post is like a small canvas that I can fill with words, photos, code, and occasionally even sound and video. Anyone on the internet can interact with my posts by leaving a comment, which actually changes the very nature of the work, particularly in the “eyes” of the search engines. Over time trends emerge in my posts, not unlike Eric Tabuchi’s Typologies, and it wouldn’t surprise me if at some point in the future there aren’t exhibitions dedicated to the blog post as work of art.

3 Comments

Justin, I realized tonight that it’s been many, many months since I’ve been to your blog or read your posts (my newsreader has been busted for some time), so it’s a breath of fresh air to return to Justinsomnia and take in your unique perspective and observations. Thank you for being so true to your interests all these years.

Yep, I’m still here, blogging away. Thanks for the kind words.

Your blog is great. I don’t even remember at this point how I stumbled upon it. I’ve spent that last hour+ reading your archives. Your adventures out of the bay area to local camping and hiking, your city life adventures, and your tech nerdiness are all awesome. Please keep writing the blog you want to read!

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