The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Independent Publishing

My thoughts have turned back to independent publishing on the web of late. It’s something I think about a lot (obviously), but sometimes other people bring it front and centre when sharing their own related thoughts. Alan Jacobs lamented getting plain text into Wordpress. Cal Newport wrote about indie social media. Craig Mod walked hundreds of kilometres across Japan and published a daily entry over SMS — and shared a strangely enjoyable podcast of sounds to boot.

All not merely about blogging, some maybe even a little weird, but all tangentially related to publishing on the web. And owning your stuff.

Most important, my pal Rian Van Der Merwe finally (finally!) started up his newsletter once again and launched his own site membership after 10 years of writing. We’ve talked about this frequently over the past months and I’m super excited to see him finalize a direction and run with it. Please consider joining — he writes mostly about product management, but also a lot about how technology affects us. If you enjoy this newsletter, chances are you’ll enjoy his as well.

So this is all top of mind for me. But the reality is, I don’t really have time for much publishing these days. We’ve been having some hard times in our home and the mental health of my family comes before hobbies such as this (more on that some other time).

But when I’m short on time for writing, I’m thankful for the work of others providing good reading!

Back to Craig Mod and his walking+publishing experiment. Not everyone is into walking; I can get that. But good writing? I think we can appreciate it even when the topic is not normally of interest.

For 25 days I woke up to this kind of thing waiting in Messages:

Day 18. Thirty-seven asphalt slammin’ kilometers. What are pinkie toes anyway? Not necessary, right? Mine have become meta-pinkies, shadows of pinkies, mere charcoal sketches of pinkies. Somewhere, below the blisters, there are pinky toes and they are fully ready to bow to evolutionary desires and leave this material world. I write to you from Denny’s. The most popular place in the known universe. I have left the forest and reentered Pachinko Road.

There’s a lot of negativity about what the internet turned out to be after 25 years. But it’s not all bad … some people are still having fun.

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