The whole Jason thing has ignited a fair amount of debate about blogging. No question, he has every right to communicate to fewer folks but the cynic in me says that isn’t really his intent.
By creating an “exclusive” email list Jason is essentially attempting to make his content more valuable and perhaps – just perhaps – increase it’s impact and distribution. I don’t buy that creating a mailing list of 1,000 people will make it more personal.
He makes some valid points when it comes to the blogerati:
[...] while blogging is clearly booming, there has been a deep qualitative change in the nature of the ’sphere. There are so many folks involved in blogging today, and it’s moving at a much quicker pace thanks to “social accelerants” like TechMeme, digg, Friendfeed and Twitter. Folks are so desperate to be heard – and we all want to be heard that’s why we blog – that the effort put into being heard has eclipsed the actual hearing.
Bloggers spend more time digging, tweeting, and SEOing their posts than they do on the posts themselves. In the early days of blogging Peter Rojas, who was my blog professor, told me what was required to win at blogging: “show up every day.” In 2003 and 2004 that was the case. Today? What’s required is a team of social marketers to get your message out there, and a second one to manage the fall-out from whatever you’ve said.
I simply don’t buy that this is the motive for many bloggers – for the heat seeking blogerati, yes. For the majority, we enjoy our conversations with a much smaller sphere of folks. We don’t think about standing out. Even about content that much. We just think about the conversation and connecting.
Jason’s first email does point to a broader trend – a widening gap between the authentic blogger and the “plogger” (publisher as blogger). Different motives, approaches, and behaviors characterize each.
On a personal note, I’ll be sad to see Jason stop blogging. I enjoyed his blog and found all the tips and thoughts helpful in understanding more about Mahalo. I can’t help wondering if there isn’t something else going on here given the strong link between the blog and Mahalo?