The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Last Blog Standing


In an interview with Laura Owen Hazard for NiemanLab, Jason Kottke talks about 20 years of and the future of blogging:

Personally, I think I felt a lot worse about it maybe three, four years ago. I was like, crap, what am I going to do here? I can see where this is going, I can see that more and more people are going to go to Facebook, and to mobile, and to all of these social apps and stuff like that, and there’s going to be less and less of a space in there for blogs like mine. I can’t churn out 60 things a day and play that social game where you use the shotgun approach to spit stuff out there and see what sticks. I’ve got to do four, five, six things that are good, really good. Since then, though, I’ve sort of come to terms with that. I’m like: Okay, if I can just keep going it, just keep doing it, it will work itself out somehow. I don’t know why I think that, but I kind of do.

This might be a bit inside-baseball if you’re just here for the book covers and don’t care about blogging, but Kottke was one of the original inspirations for The Casual Optimist and so I tend to pay attention to what Jason has to say on the subject. I’m glad that he has found a way to make it work for him.

I’ve also been thinking more about the future of this blog over the past year or so. I’ve never done it for money (which is lucky because it’s never really been an option!), but I’m a slow writer at the best of times (too many thoughts in my head as a rule), and I’ve found myself blogging less and less in recent months.

And then The Casual Optimist turns 10 this year, which seems like… something. Is it finally time to call it quits? I don’t know…   

For some reason all this reminds me of this Onion article from a few years ago: Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life:

I can’t stress this enough: Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. Because the bottom line is that life is short, and you owe it to yourself to spend the majority of it giving yourself wholly and completely to something you absolutely hate, and 20 minutes here and there doing what you feel you were put on this earth to do.


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  1. Keep blogging! You’ve got at least one permanent fan. And this whole “last blog standing” thing is probably a hyperbolic.

  2. I would be quite sad if you quit!

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