From Full to 300 In A Single Generation

I’ve been thinking about the Net these past few weeks and how it has changed in the over 25 years I’ve been writing online.

My first website was registered on October 15, 1997.

A European-trained head gardener (that man had forgotten more than I knew) and I were chatting about the Net and how he didn’t think it was possible to explain complicated garden procedures in 1000 words or less. (note: 1000 words was the Google-recommended length of post back then)

I agreed with him but it was my job to try.

Twenty-five years later, I’m that guy and you now only have 300 words or a one-minute video.

From books and full magazine articles to 300 words in a generation.

This – by the way – isn’t a complaint. It’s an observation about how things change. And how those of us who create for a living have to constantly adapt or ….

Rough Notes On My Future View Of Creating Content

I’m feeling very much an endangered dinosaur species this morning as I make notes, review the latest on my online trends, and fiddle with getting the intravenous coffee hook up working.  Creating anything isn’t on the top of my mind until my caffeine stream has been replenished.

Here’s a personal take on the non-fiction content world. 

  • Online text notes – like the majority of my websites – aren’t quite dead. But they are an endangered species. 
  • Video and audio will continue to grow in popularity and displace more and more text.
  • YouTube and Facebook are the two biggest content delivery systems.

The short version of this impact is creators can make videos and upload them to both Youtube and Facebook rather than maintaining individual websites. Or, the content can be linked to a creator’s website but the main viewing will be done on Youtube and Facebook.

Personal websites will increasingly become backwaters in the information highway we’ve created.

For the immediate future, these personal websites will survive as reflections of the creators personality and as a home base to collect emails for a newsletter, but the financials have already shifted to YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon. And the writer-reader relationship will shift there if it hasn’t already.

While I can create notes and how-to posts reasonably quickly to meet seasonal questions a video takes three to four times longer to produce. 

And because I live out on an island, I can make and drink a pot of morning coffee in the time it takes to upload a video. 

Creators such as myself will adapt, remain a niche/cult or become irrelevant to crowd-sourced social media data.

And that my friends is where the net sits now. Imho.

What’s this mean for me? 

I can’t do it all. Nor do I want to anymore.

And this – the what, where and how much time –  is what I’m evaluating now.

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My guess – off the top of my head – is that Amazon ebooks will remain the most viable source of creator income for the immediate future. And it’s certainly my main creative focus at the moment.

I invite you to subscribe and follow along as I dissect the writing and creating worlds.

Short And Sweet Still Rules

Short and sweet is one of those double-edged sword things we think it’s really good for “other people” to learn.

Sigh…

I posted a story – a long story – about Fred and An Alligator.

  • The video I uploaded was long – about 16 minutes (speaking speed is approximately 100 words a minute) and it was too long as the stats were clear that nobody watched it right through to the end (at least until the date of this post.)
  • As it turns out, the majority of people didn’t read all the words in the complete story either as the “time on page” stats were far too short unless every one of you is a speed reader.

My guess is folks read the first paragraph or two and then scrolled to the bottom to read the ending.

So – it was a good lesson albeit a disappointing one.

Short and sweet still rules online

Onwards.

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