On pandering

In this day and age, the feedback loop for amateur & professional writers is incredibly tight. Anyone with a blog/twitter has realtime access to all sorts of external methods of validation through Google analytics, retweets, votes on HN, etc.

This feedback loop can drastically change the incentives for those doing the writing. Specifically, writing things that other people rapidly propagate is addicting.

I don’t use the term “addicting” lightly… I actually get an adrenaline rush.

During my blogging/tweeting practice I have been surprised by the huge variability in the amount of feedback/retweets that a post generates. The content that works best for me are droll posts that manage to be both edgy and the generally accepted correct opinion.

With this in mind, it’s much easier for me to see how anyone can build a following by taking strong, predictable positions on relatively safe topics. This predictability can help form a strong following that will aggressively agree with you… as long as you give them what they want.

When reflecting on what sorts of things I should blog about, my adrenaline gland has been suggesting to me that I should pander. It seems so straightforward to just start blogging about a few easy topics, ie: “Why startups are so awesome. pt. 23”, “blah blah Lean blah blah Bubble blah blah Angel Funding blah blah Convertible notes”, or the topic that people most expect to hear from me: “Why the music industry just doesn’t get it.”

No… that is not the path towards creative fulfillment.

I am going to continue to do my best to continue doing things the hard way. Wish me luck.


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