Via e-mail, Cory asks:
You consolidated a good number of sites into your personal site, Foldedspace. Why did you choose that route? Was it just easier to maintain one site than many, or did you find a lot of overlap in what you wrote? I’m just starting to blog again, but I have a good four different subjects I’d like to write about, and I’m trying to decide whether to separate them into distinct sites or keep them together, as you have.
This is a great question.
When I originally set up my blog empire, I thought it would be fun to have several niche blogs. In a way, it was. Around various parts of the Internet, I had:
- Animal Intelligence, a blog about animal intelligence
- Bibliophilic, my blog about books
- Comic Strip Library, a comic-strip blog that I never actually started
- Four Color Comics, a blog about comics
- Get Fit Slowly, the health and fitness blog I co-authored with my friend, Mac
- Get Green Slowly, my blog about environmentalism (which never got beyond domain registration)
- Get Rich Slowly, my main money blog
- Money Hacks, my other money blog
- Oak Grove Crossing, the group blog I was going to start with friends to write about our neighborhood.
- Spiral Bound, my stillborn blog about paper and notebooks (yes, really)
- Success Daily, a stillborn blog about success topics
- Tech Lust, a gadget blog that never got going
- Vintage Pop, my blog about U.S. popular culture from before 1950.
I’m not the only one who has this blog addiction. My friend Jim Wang (from Bargaineering) is perhaps the worst of the lot. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he has dozens of blogs. I keep finding new ones.
But with every blog, there’s a certain “overhead” of attention required, and I found that as my personal finance blog grew and grew, I had less time to devote to each of my many niche sites. They fell dormant. They stagnated.
Perhaps worse, this site (in its foldedspace.org form), which had once boasted a small but close community, also fell into disuse. At one time, I wrote at Foldedspace nearly every day, and we had many lively conversations here on a variety of topics. As I fragmented my writing into many little niches, that went away.
Eventually I realized that I was doing myself a disservice. I wanted to write about this other stuff, about animal intelligence and comic books and fitness, but having separate blogs for each topic was just too much of a barrier, both for me and for potential readers. A couple of months ago, I came to the conclusion that it was time to reclaim the diaspora, to bring the children back to their ancestral homeland. I wanted to resurrect Foldedspace and to use it to feature all of my non-financial writing.
My big worry about re-merging everything was: Would anyone read this Frankenstein monster of a site? It occurred to me that it didn’t matter. I don’t write these other blogs for an audience, really. I write them for me. If there is no audience for a Foldedspace that explores a hodge-podge of subjects, that’s fine. I’m at least writing for myself and for a few close friends.
So I made the move. I cut back to two blogs: Get Rich Slowly and Foldedspace.
From the standpoint of maximizing audience and maximizing revenue, this probably makes little sense. But Foldedspace doesn’t need to yield either of these things for me to be happy. (In fact, I’ve removed all ads from the jdroth.com version of Foldedspace.) It just needs to be a spot where I can write about cats and comic books, and about blogs and bicycles.
This is a very long answer, and I don’t think it really addresses Cory’s question. For me, it made sense to combine everything into one blog. For Cory, it may not. All I know is that since I made this move a few weeks ago, I feel invigorated. I’m excited about writing again. It feels great to have Foldedspace operational once more.