I’ve started jotting down the ideas I have for blog posts in Things, which is not a groundbreaking idea, but I actually want to fulfill some of the promises I’ve made myself and wrote about last week. One of the promises is to blog a bit more – say, once a week – and this is one of those posts.
So far this year, the biggest change in my everyday intake of information is the “newness” of the stuff I read. I’ve removed almost everything resembling news sites in my Google Reader, and started focusing a lot more on crafted blog posts as well as visual blogs about architecture and interior design. Now, when I flip through the items in Google Reader, I rest more; I spend a bit more time reading every blog post than I did before, and I appreciate the ones that are well-written a whole lot more (plus I get to look at nice photos of people’s homes).
It’s a change that has already happened in other aspects, without me thinking about the pretty obvious connection. I don’t listen to music on CDs and I don’t watch movies on DVDs anymore – I stream it from my iPhone, Mac or a hard disk plugged into my tv (an absolutely beautiful feature), and I do it because it’s easier.
It also means that I tend to rush through it without thinking about what I listen to, or sometimes even what I watch (unless it’s The Wire which is the best series I’ve ever watched – more on that in another blog post).
So, the other day I put on a vinyl, sat down and studied the cover, sleeve, lyrics, artwork. The whole package. And I thought about how much work had gone into making the album – it was so more than the music. It was a complete experience.
An experience I actually want to pay for – and that’s the rub.
The other day, we had a long, and heated, discussion on “Bølgen“, a Danish magazine published and maintained by Bjarne Tveskov on Google Wave, about the future of newspapers. I argue that the problem with newspapers lie in the name; it’s news. On paper. Paper is slow. News are fast. They are mutually exclusive now.
Where did I learn about the earthquake in Haiti? Twitter. Where do I keep getting the latest updates about it? Yes. Twitter. It’s too fast for even the newspaper’s websites, so why do they even keep on fighting the battle? (Oh yeah, advertising. Forgot about that.)
If I want something on paper, it needs to be something more than yesterday’s news, because I won’t appreciate it – nor pay for it.
Make me a weekly magazine in Google Wave, curated by a guy I like to follow on his blog, Twitter-profile etc. and I’ll gladly pay for it. Which I did. Same goes for Daring Fireball; I love that blog and read it religiously, so when John Gruber printed a new round of t-shirts, I bought two. Panic also made a new t-shirt with the leaf from Coda embroidered – bought one of those as well. Mikkel Malmberg releases an EP every year around Christmas and I happily paid for that as well.
It’s the stuff that I feel is of the highest quality, and relevance, I want to pay for. It’s the stuff that I know people cared about creating that I can truly appreciate, and are willing to pay for; whether it’s a magazine in Google Wave, a well-written blog, a piece of software, an iPhone app, an album on 220g luxury vinyl with included poster signed by the band etc.
Create value for me by giving me an experience, and I’d be happy to pay for it. Try to keep up with every startup in the world, give me yesterday’s news, pour gallons of water on the rumor mill or cover every ridiculous celebrity’s latest steps, and I’ll take my money with me elsewhere.
Update: To those of you who want to see what I read in Google Reader, you can follow my shared items at 2kg.dk/shared and/or see the whole list of feeds I subscribe to at marks.dk/greader.
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