Publishing Channels

“Create what you want and let people get it where they go.”

That’s something I’ve been telling myself lately. So what exactly does that mean?

Well, the second part “let people get it where they go” is similar to the common advice to “meet customers where they are.” Meeting customers where they are is about appealing to them in the places where they are already spending their time online, though it applies offline in the physical world as well. You’re not trying to get them to go to a new place. You’re simply meeting them where they are. I’m aligned with this strategy, mostly.

But if you change the word “customers” to “people”, the saying “meet people where they are” is understood to have a different meaning. Meeting people where they are is about compromise. It’s not about meeting people where they are in a literal sense in terms of the digital place or website or channel where they already spend some time. It’s about meeting them where they are in terms of their tastes and preferences and desires. This, I am not aligned with.

That’s where the first part of my first sentence comes in — “create what you want”. That’s what I want to do — to create what I want. That might seem obvious, that I want to do what I want. But a lot of people actually don’t do what they want. Why not? Because they prioritize their want to do what the customer wants. They want to meet people where they are. I want to create what I want and let people get it where they go. There’s a difference. It seems like a nuanced difference, but it’s not. It changes everything you do because you are doing it unapologetically for you, not for some customer, imaginary or otherwise.

This difference in approaches changes both what you do and how you do it. That makes sense because it all stems from this fundamental difference in why you’re doing it — for you, because it’s what you want to do. For me, I like blogging and podcasting, to a lesser degree tweeting, and more recently have been making some digital art. With all of these things, I do what I want. I write about whatever I want. I don’t restrain myself to a particular subject or niche that I recognize could more effectively build an audience. The same is true for podcasting — no niche. I just talk to whoever I want about whatever I want. I also produce the podcast the way that I want. That means minimal editing, post-production, marketing, and all that. I tweet what I want and I make the digital art that I want. And I do all of this pseudonymously, even though I know I would probably have a larger following if I showed my face and shared my name. Both build trust and likability, but pseudonymity is my preferred approach for operating on the internet. So that’s the general overview on what I do and how I do it. Now how about where I share it?

For a long time, I posted my blogs on a Wordpress website, my podcasts on Apple and Spotify, and I tweeted on Twitter, as one does. More recently, I’ve made an effort to meet people where they are practically, but not preferentially — to “let people get it where they go” but not to “meet people where they are”, if you can recall the difference as I described it. Logistically, this means I am sharing my blogs, podcasts, tweets, and digital art on multiple platforms, which is normal in some contexts, but unusual in others. For example, it is normal to publish podcasts across Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and more, and I publish mine there as well as elsewhere and on my podcast website. It is less usual to publish blogs in multiple places, but that is what I have started to do in an effort to let people read my writing wherever they go, wherever they are, wherever they like. 

For years, I resisted moving from my Wordpress website to Substack because I felt Substack was for newsletters and what I write is not a newsletter. But this stubbornness, while grounded in fact, was preventing people from being able to serendipitously stumble upon my writing, as the internet is inclined to enable. Substacks are much more easily discoverable than Wordpress websites because people who like to read people’s writing are already on Substack where Wordpress does not have a comparable network effect. So I switched to Substack earlier this year, but not to Substack only. Now, when I write, I publish on Substack and Paragraph, a Substack-like website for people interested in crypto and web3. On Substack, supporters can choose to do a paid subscription to support my work (though everything I write is available to free subscribers all the same). On Paragraph, supporters can collect my blog posts by minting them onchain (for crypto people). They can do that for free except for the platform fee of .000777 ETH (~$2.71). A little less than half of that goes to me. In addition to Substack and Paragraph, I sometimes take a screenshot of the full blog post and publish it on Twitter and/or Warpcast as a “screenshot essay”. I’ll also share the Paragraph post on Warpcast as what I call an “inframe onchain essay” or “IOE” (don’t worry if you have no idea what I’m talking about here). For those who don't know Warpcast, it is roughly a Twitter-like social network for crypto people with crypto elements involved. I generally try to cross-post my tweets there as casts and vice versa, except for when the content of the tweet or cast is less relevant on the other platform, which has increasingly become the case for some of the more crypto-native content I have been posting on Warpcast.

Lastly, I am starting to make more of an effort to publish all of my content onchain — blogs, podcasts, art, or otherwise. I am posting my podcasts on where people can mint them just like my blog posts on Paragraph (for free with the small fee of which a share goes to me). In addition to posting my blogs on Paragraph, which puts them onchain, I am planning to start publishing those blogs as screenshot essays onchain via Zora, the same place I am publishing my digital art, for people who might prefer that to the Paragraph posts, or stumble upon it on Zora where they might not otherwise have found it on Paragraph.

So why am I doing all of this? It’s more useful to start with the opposite question — why not? The main reasons why I would not to do this would be if it added a material amount of time to my processes — especially if it added so much logistical work that it discouraged me from doing the actual thing — writing, podcasting, etc.. But the fact is it doesn’t. So long as I setup a system where I can pop open a folder of bookmarks titled “Publish Blog” or “Publish Podcast”, it’s just copying and pasting across a few different websites and filling in some simple information fields that are pretty much the same across all of them. For tweeting and casting, it’s as simple as copying and pasting a tweet from Twitter and casting it on Warpcast or vice versa. There are even some apps that can be used to do this automatically, in one click, though I’m not using them because it hasn’t made sense for me to cross-post in every case, and the manual approach has emerged for me organically and been easy enough. The other reason not to do this would be if it in any way compromised my work — that is, what I do or how or why I do it — but, again, it doesn’t. I’m not meeting people where they are. I’m creating what I want and letting people get it where they go.

In closing, if you want to follow some of my work, and you don’t know where to start because of all of the different channels I’ve mentioned, don’t worry about it. The whole point is that I am going to do what I do and you can just continue to do what you do and, if I’m doing it right, you’ll see me there. Just look for the blue dot.

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