trenchant.org

by adam mathes
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Opting Out of the Ad Supported Like Economy, 2012 Final Report

Context

In 2012 I decided I would publish to trenchant.org every day. I also wrote a little program called ekko and analyzed 11 years worth of my personal publishing across the web.

That analysis led me to realize we all get The Internet We Deserve, and to try and cease my posting to ad supported personal publishing services.

Midway through 2012 I wrote a progress report: Opting Out of the Ad Supported Like Economy Progress Report.

2012

Here’s some data about how the whole of 2012 looked in terms of publishing across services.

After writing that piece I quit posting to Tumblr, Google Reader, and Delicious. (Other things not noted in the graph but discussed previously: quitting Path and Instagram.)

I signed up for Pinboard which I’ve been using quite happily, and continue to post regularly to mlkshk.

My Flickr usage has pretty much died off, and with the community dead there I wonder if I should just post things here exclusively and let the Pro account expire.

My Twitter usage has increased. I am very conflicted about that because I do feel I gain a lot from using that service, but the costs are simply too high. More on that this year as I attempt to change my behavior.

Consistent Daily

What I’m most proud of is the consistent publishing to this site.

Reversing the multi-year trend of making the site’s “daily” moniker less and less accurate, I published every weekday.

I’d like to report on how this impacted traffic and readership but I don’t actually know. It may not have mattered much.

After doing this for a more than a decade I just don’t focus on that. I’m not doing this to be a web celebrity (although I used to think it was almost inevitable) and the small changes in traffic aren’t worth paying attention to.

I removed Google Analytics and have a small self-hosted stats tool that I can use to run analysis but I mostly use it to check referrers once in a while and compile year end stats.

Consumption

The analysis and changes in 2012 were mostly about production, not consumption. This year I’m planning to apply some of this same analysis to how and what I consume and make adjustments. Both on the web and beyond.

The beginnings of that are in place with my switch from Google Reader to my custom built RSS reader.

Conclusion

I feel much better about how and where I focus my creative efforts online at the start of 2013 than I did at the start of 2012.

I thought it would be significantly harder to adjust my behavior than it turned out to be.

Services like instagram and tumblr just aren’t essential to my online life. Giving them up was more liberating than constricting as it gave me more time for the projects I did care about.