After coming across too many people recently who asked why I don’t post to my blog more often, I have realised that “being too busy” wasn’t really a good enough excuse.
In my defense I would like to quote the honourable Jimmy Guterman, a online journalist (and former Industry Standard staffer) who actually knows what he’s talking about:
“Words written since May 2001 that have appeared on my weblog: 71,642. Words written since May 2001 that have appeared in a published novel: 0”
I also seem to be linked to by a bunch of people whom I respect quite a lot, so it seems a shame to not repay their courtesy by actually creating some damn content!
For mbites officionados (and, admittedly, there aren’t that many of you), mbites started out back in 2002 as a daily email newsletter. It’s aim was to be a ‘heads-up’ for media people (particularly digital media) on the day’s news.
It linked to a lot of newspapers and online magazines. It was a kind of blog, but in email format. I had been involved in the Media Grok email back at the Standard – let’s say it was something of a tribute to that.
At that point in time I was pretty slow picking up on the whole blog thing. mbites.co.uk consisted simply of an email box with the words subscribe/unsubscribe next to it. Pretty minimalist.
After years of writing about the Web for New Media Age and the Industry Standard, I was, at the time, pretty fed up with the Web, to be blunt.
It seemed email, and owning people’s email addresses, seemed the only viable way forward for online publishing. RSS and blogs had yet to really make any impact in publishing terms.
Distribution, which is the problem that RSS solved, was still an issue to grapple with – email seemed the best way forward. Not long after I started the newsletter though, with the excellent help of John Handelaar over at userfrenzy.com, I launched a proper site.
You see, it had seemed slightly insane to produce all that content, every day, and not have any kind of archive to show for it, or get any other kind of traffic than email subscriptions.
But in 2003 I stopped the daily email newsletter. It had been a great experiment, but one newsletter does not a business make. And believe me, it is very, very tough running a daily comment and opinion newsletter without the resources of a media company behind you (ask Jimmy, who launched and later closed MediaUnspun, a MediaGrok lookalike).
The site had problems too. The early days of blogging were all very chummy, but quickly the porn people got involved and mbites was hit by a flurry of comment spam which my humble Geeklog software could not cope with.
That rather put me of the whole thing, I must say (yes, I know I should have used Movable Type, but someone has to rebel). But I’m toying with the idea of reviving it all somehow. Either on this site, as a blog-style venture, or actually doing the email again. (I will hunt down an old ‘mbites Daily’ newsletter and add it to the bottom of this post to show people what it used to be like).
If you have any strong opinions either way, or even ones that aren’t strong, let me know at mike AT mbites.com. The feedback would be handy. Thanks.