Two things on the internet that I consistently like are NeimanLab and Kottke.org. The former is Harvard’s journalism foundation and its associated blog. They consistently publish thought-provoking lessons from media pioneers. If there’s an interesting online publishing model being tried, Neiman Labs will profile it. Kottke is one of the original old school blogs. Jason highlights things that are interesting to him and by and large, most of the posts happen to be interesting to me. He’s also one of the few breakout blogging stars who has kept going.
So today Neiman Labs posted an interview with Jason Kottke. Of course I like it.
There are a few things that Jason has done that I find remarkable. One is that he’s threaded an almost impossible path that has held back the centrifugal forces of the modern internet. He never went big and he never went small. By big, I mean he never tried to ramp his site up to become a media empire. No venture capitalist money, no clickbait headlines, no pivot to video or other trendy media chimera. He also didn’t go small: his blog has never been a confessional. While that traffic when to Facebook, his kind of curated links and thoughts is something that still works best as a blog.
Although I don’t blog myself too much anymore, I do think a lot about media models for Friends Journal. Its reliance on non-professional opinion writing prefigured blogs. It’s a fully digital magazine now, even as it continues as a print magazine. The membership model Kottke talks about (and Neiman Labs frequently profiles) is a likely one for us going into the long term.