Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

People and Blogs newsletter

Couple of weeks ago, I ran into a newsletter called People and Blogs by Manuel Moreale. It’s a weekly newsletter (with RSS feed ❤️) where each week, Manuel interviews someone who writes a blog. They discuss how they got started, what they blog about, how they blog, what’s their view on monetizing blogs and few other things. I find it very delightful. One thing I enjoy about about the format is how everyone suggests blogs they enjoy as that exposes me to new people and their writing which is a win every time.

I initially learned about it from Ana Rodriguez’s interview. I’m a big fan of her writing and that worked as a great segue to learn about the newsletter.

Only at the end of 2017 did something shift inside me, thanks to Jeremy Keith's talk at the ViewSource conference. I discovered the IndieWeb community, and with that came the reassurance that my "nicheless" blog was absolutely okay.

As someone who’s always having internal battles with whether or not I should focus on a single topic, I’m always reassured when I read others thinking of the same and finding their own path and becoming happy with a blog that’s all over the place like mine is.

Another favorite of mine was Toby Shorin’s interview where Toby talked about his process:

When I first started I got most of my ideas just from walking around downtown New York. The visual culture here is so intense that one can get an education by simply walking around and looking at what people are wearing, at what advertisements are depicting. When I started off, it was enough to simply ask questions about what I was looking at and then try to explain it from first principles. That method required collecting hundreds of contemporary culture references, which I could collect by simply being on the ground and noticing lots of things.

Exposing yourself to different environments, different ideas and different medium by other people is a great way to spark creativity and I love how Toby puts its in this quote.

From Jim Nielsen’s interview what really got me interested in checking out his blog was this quote:

My blogging doesn’t feel “original” or “creative” to me. I blog because I read other people’s blogs and I want to internalize what they said by restating it myself. When I read, watch, or listen to something from someone else that piques my interest, I write it down then add my proverbial two cents.

His views on monetizing his blog also resonated strongly with me:

That said, I grew up in an era when people blogged about web stuff for free and I benefited immensely from their work so I feel a kind of obligation to pay it forward. Thank you blogger peeps from days of yore.

I’m not against people monetizing their blogs but I feel the same way Jim does about the value of learning from each other’s open posts and paying it forward to the next reader.

From last week’s interview with Chris Coyier one of the quotes that resonated with me was this:

I have no idea how many times it’s been redesigned over the years! It’s my 8th design since I’ve been properly versioning my WordPress theme, but surely a few before that. And honestly: not enough. Redesigning your personal website is one of life’s great pleasures.

One of the best things about personal projects and your own digital home in the Internet is that you get to do whatever you want with it.

If you’re interested in finding new blogs and hearing about the bloggers and their thoughts behind those blogs, I recommend checking out People and Blogs.

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