After dancing from link to link, I stumbled upon an old Marco.org article. The article outlined Marco’s intentions for Marco.org circa 2007. It’s great to see that Marco’s style hasn’t changed and it’s equally fun to see where things have gone since then.
In the article, Marco clearly shows his frustration of being “pigeonholed”. He laughs at each job title within software companies and he declares his wide-variety of interests:
What am I? I’ve never liked the restrictive classifications imposed by employers:
What if I can program and design a decent interface? What if I can design, specify, and implement good code all by myself?
Ultimately, I hate being pigeonholed. I’m not “just” a programmer. That’s why I don’t work at large companies: I have multiple interests and don’t want to do the same tunnel-vision duty every day.
I have no idea what Marco.org is. It has switched between a discussion forum, an advice forum, a product review site, a satirical news site, a personal blog, and a tumblelog. Every time I’d redesign it, I would attempt to change what was. I used to object to people calling it a blog (since that used to be an insult), but the definition of blogs has become so broad that it doesn’t matter anymore.
And, in Marco fashion, he goes on to list the many topics discussed on Marco.org up to that point in time:
There’s no subject focus. Dan and I happily write about computers, fruit, real estate, politics, coffee, satire, pillowcases, the internet, video games, law, ventilation, movies, and puppies. Therefore, Marco.org doesn’t fit in any directories or advertiser niches.
Defining the scope of a blog or a journal — hell, the scope of anything — is half the battle. When sitting down to write out your thoughts, deciding where to start and where to finish is what makes the best writers the best. It’s just plain difficult to do.
The breadth and depth of our personality is what makes us human. Marco discussed the same topic two years later:
But what if a prominent tech blogger wants to write something about scrambled eggs or show off a really great photo of his child that won’t fit in 140 characters and TwitPic? Or what if tech is slow and all of his new post ideas are on other topics for 3 weeks?
Often, this “unfit” content goes unpublished. Or it gets relegated to a secondary publishing outlet with no audience and no context in this person’s life.
In saying that, it would appear to be inhumane to limit our content to a few defined topics. Dividing our interests amongst publishing platforms is like dividing our souls and jettisoning them into a void. I cringe when I have to decide where to publish my next thought or photo or link.
Take your pick. Choosing a web presence is increasingly difficult. Tumblr, Wordpress, Squarespace, Siteleaf, Octopress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Medium, Svbtle and now Day One all offer unique methods to share different types of media to the world. That’s a long list of incredible social services and having to choose one, two or even three services is a disservice to the rest of them.
My online presence is scattered across the web and I want to reel me in. My goal for The Newsprint has been to create a resource instead of a waterfall of ramblings. I intended for Tumblr to be a media sharing platform. I wanted Svbtle to be a personal zen of thoughtful prose. I use Instagram to archive my measly photography. And Day One is my one-stop-shop for everything that doesn’t fit in one of those four platforms.
I am going to narrow things down to three — hopefully two — major platforms: The Newsprint, Publish and Svbtle. Publish by Day One gives photography a front seat and is far superior to peer-pressure-filled Instagram. Svbtle will hang around for posting links to my Published journal entries and for smatterings of random interests not within the scope of The Newsprint.
What does this mean for The Newsprint? Nothing. It has been a great — and growing — avenue to write about productivity, tools and technology.
It’s so much fun to sit down in the evening with a fresh cup of coffee and splatter my thoughts on a simple site for people to read. I’m utterly flattered that people enjoy reading my ramblings. Thank you dearly for donating your attention. It means the world to me. And, going forward, I hope to have more of me in The Newsprint and less of me floating around in the web’s black hole.
I officially hate using the term “content” after reading Sid. ↩
Svbtle will be the platform that may be disposed of in the future. If asked for the best platform for simple writing, I would recommend Svbtle 100% of the time. Having said that, I don’t have any productive use for it at this point. Maybe that will change. For now, I’ll keep it around just in case. ↩