The last two years have felt like a wildfire. A fast-moving, all-consuming flame has swept through the world. Nothing is untouched. Everything has a burned taste and smell. The oxygen has been sucked out of the air and many beautiful things are now broken or gone or twisted and darkened beyond recognition.
It’s been difficult to write or even think about anything beyond the wildfire of the moment. Topics that used to bring joy and interest now seem very small when compared to our ongoing, neverending crisis. As a form of self-protection I’ve stepped back. For about six months, I removed Tweetbot and all other news-related apps, first from my phone, then even from my iPad. The return of that burned feeling when I reinstalled them this week is making me consider doing it all again.
The one app that always stayed, the unburnt garden in the middle of this disaster, is Reeder. My RSS feed has always felt much brighter and more manageable than other forms of news or social media, perhaps because it’s filled with thoughtful blogs like the one written by my old friend Gabe Weatherhead.
A few days ago, Gabe wrote an excellent article on the state of blogging in general and his own site in particular.
So much of what I enjoy reading is gone. Most of the friends I made over the years have given up the ghost on their blogs. Those that continue to scratch out the rare post here and there do so with less humor and less excitement. The generally benign group of sites left to write about the random weirdness of the world makes me feel less curious. When I search for answers on the internet most of the truly interesting stuff are hits from blogs that stopped publishing in 2014.
It does feel like some of the light has gone out of our little world. Without fuel or air, it’s hard to even light a match, not to mention a candle. Gabe isn’t giving up.
The only real option is reader support. Without direct reader support I just don’t have the motivation to do much here. That’s the truth. Now you know.
What’s going to happen?
Have you not learned anything? I’m very unmotivated but I’m also meticulous in my research. Nothing is going to change immediately. I will continue to post to Macdrifter and Hobo Signs while I figure out the sponsorship model and the technical implementation. If membership works and you don’t subscribe then you’ll just notice an increase in publishing at Macdrifter and maybe a small pain of guilt in your darkest of hearts.
Macdrifter (and more recently Gabe’s complementary site Hobo Signs) has been a consistent source of light for over a decade. Finding ways to keep doing what you love is a constant struggle, and I look forward to helping Gabe keep the lights on for a second decade.