Related to the recent theme of running your own website, Craig Mod interviews Jason Kottke on the latest episode of On Margins*. Craig’s podcast is focused on books, but he interviewed Jason on the premise that his hundreds of thousands of words published on his site over 20 years is several books worth.
A lot of the interview is only tangentially related to the theme I’ve been harping on lately. But there are some golden words spoken towards the end of the interview about running your own site, memberships, and the intimacy of email newsletters.
As false as it may be, the inbox is a place of implied intimacy, where you can have an even stronger voice than you can on the open web. I know for me, writing stuff to my mailing list is probably the most satisfying thing I do online, to be honest. The responses I get are unlike responses you can get anywhere else on the web, I've found. You're not going to get a 3,000 word comment from the heart posting on a news site or something like that.
And Jason follows up:
Right, not anymore. But blogs used to be that way, a little bit. One of the ways I've always thought about blogs is like you're writing an email to anyone who might be interested, rather than a single person. I think that blogs very much used to be like that. It was, we are all writing these open emails to each other and anyone who wanted to respond at length could.
Craig closes the show describing his feeling for a site that he has been following for over a decade (kottke.org):
You go to this familiar place that keeps evolving over time, but everything is connected through the strength of your voice and your ethos and your curiosity. I think that's a very important, amazing thing to have in the world today. Thank you for doing that.
That’s a big part of why we do this kind of thing.