Categories
In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook Rethinking the Internet

Why I Keep Coming Back to Blogging

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

This is part of one of the blog chains here, titled “Rethinking the Internet” but instead of using numbered titles, I have decided to continue with unique ones.

If you’re someone who writes or reads online, you know that newsletters are the hot trend for a while. While I totally understand why it’s so popular and fits better for different ideas and projects (like the one I do with NewsLabTurkey and Tuhaf Gelecek), I never managed to write my personal one regularly. I could explain why with many different reasons —not being able to plan, can’t find new things to write regularly, being over-critical of my writing, having too much work in my hand— but after reading Cory Doctorow’s recent piece “Memex Method” I know why I couldn’t write a regular newsletter: because what I actually want to do is blogging.

Since I started using internet regularly, I always had blogs. It’s my natural state of being online —even though I spend way too much time on Twitter. I feel comfortable writing for my blog and enjoy the experience in general. I can work on my half-baked ideas without much pressure, because now everyone expects newsletters to be fully finished ideas and articles. Although it’s an understandable expectation, not really what I want to do.

Quoting from Cory, this is what I prefer doing:

“Blogging isn’t just a way to organize your research — it’s a way to do research for a book or essay or story or speech you don’t even know you want to write yet. It’s a way to discover what your future books and essays and stories and speeches will be about.”

This is especially important if you consider the fact that almost all of the work I do can be summed up as “reading, researching, taking notes and writing stuff”. I know some people prefer to call what Cory describes as blogging “digital gardens” but I’m having a hard time to understand why it’s not just called blogging. For my personal practice people usually describe as digital garden are either blogging but more linked together or how I use my private Roam Research graph for. There’s a good chance I might be missing something too.

Returning back to newsletter and blog thing, Dan Hon wrote about Cory’s piece on his newsletter and said something important: “But a blog post would be different. Medium posts are different. The setting is different. The place is different. The context is different.” This is quite important because what I couldn’t manage that newsletter keep going is mainly because I wasn’t doing something unique for that setting but instead trying to blog with a newsletter. That’s why I felt limited, not really fitting.


And of course there’s the thing about making an income out of your online writing. Right now creating a paid newsletter is the easiest way to almost anyone online but because I can’t create a Stripe account that’s not an option for me. I have a Patreon that’s been going on for a really long time but because I couldn’t figure out how to use that and a newsletter together, it never really took off. But if I decide to go with a blogging focused writing, I can make more use out of it and make sure people supporting me can have something more visible in their hands. For example, I can simply turn any post here patron-only and people supporting my work can read it with one click.

What I’m trying to say —both to you and myself— is that blogging is my real home online and I’m going to be using here more actively from now on. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with the newsletter but I’m thinking about turning that into a semi-regular announcement channel about the work and blogging I’m doing. Or maybe I will come up with an exciting experiment in the future.

Let’s end this with another quote from Cory about why blogging is important for anyone who’s job is similar to mine and his:

“There’s another way that blogging makes my writing better: writing every day makes it easier to write every day.”

PS. I’ve recently updated my RSS Reader page here if anyone is interested in that.

Categories
Blogchains In English Not Defteri | Notebook Rethinking the Internet

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 7

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

On most of what people call “the internet” I’m somewhere between lurker and behind the locked accounts. I want to draw more solid lines on that but maybe what I need is just going with the flow and seeing where it’s going to take me.

What I’m actually thinking about lately is actually my newsletter. I want to go back writing it and making it one of my regular online presence but I’m not really sure about the shape and the frame I want to put on it.

I already took some steps on the infrastructure side of it (which I have explained why in detail on the draft of the first new issue which still waiting me to finish it for, I don’t know, two weeks?). But I still don’t really know what I want that newsletter to be. Sure, keeping people up to date in a way that’s much readable and accessible than Twitter and maybe adding links to things I enjoyed and want other people to see. But what else? Are these enough to write a newsletter?

Probably one thing that’s blocking me to plan this whole thing is I’m still not sure what I’m going to put in this blog. Because I still don’t have a solid idea for one of them, it feels impossible to shape the other. Where’s the line between the blog and the newsletter? I know many people have this line drawn long time ago but when I was writing the newsletter I wasn’t blogging so I used that format pretty much similar to how I blog. Now I’m making those two my main online places so I have to do the hard work.

This is probably the moment I should plan a format for the newsletter. I still don’t know what it’s going to be but the only way to find out is to experiment. In the meantime, this blog is where I’ll be.

Categories
Blogchains In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook Rethinking the Internet

Rethinking How I Use Internet: 4

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Rethinking the Internet

Do you ever feel tired just by using internet, mostly the social media platforms?

Not sure when it started but I’m feeling tired every time I check social media in the way they designed. With algorithmic timeline, not filtered, filled with “personalized recommendations” and advertisement. Still not sure which part contributes that tiredness the most but when I check from the lists I’ve created or use my private accounts to see what people are up to, I can stay online more. In the first case, feeling of giving up everything related to internet comes fast.

I guess one of the main reason of this can be seen from this quote by Robin Sloan,

No reasonable human needs more than 10,000 other humans to read their words within twenty minutes of writing them.

Robin Sloan – platforms.fyi

Everything is too much on social media. Because that’s how they make money. You have to be bombarded with information you can’t really control all the time and you have to react to that information quickly. Otherwise no one will see you on these platforms. Algorithm starts to hate you and hides you under more and more ads. It doesn’t matter if your friend wants to hear from you, you have to please the algorithm first.

To please it, you have to be fast. You have to play by its rules and be prepared to react whatever it gives you. Otherwise, you’ll get buried.

And I think I want to be buried by the algorithm for a while. To rest and work slowly, not rushing to react all the stuff. Instead of feeling tired just because I want to hear from people I really want to, I prefer to be buried by it. Will be using those platforms lesser for a while, focusing my energy to the streams which I can control the speed of it. I’ll be watching and stopping by time to time, of course.

But if you really want to hear from me or talk to me, places like here or the secret channels will be your best shot.

Categories
Duyurular | Announcements In English İnternet Notları | Notes From Internet Not Defteri | Notebook

On Newsletters

Don’t know if this is a real thing but I might be addicted to newsletters. Maybe it’s something about the format itself or it’s just I’m mostly following people I really enjoy reading pretty much everything they write. But there might be something more about it.

Something about the newsletters makes it more sincere, makes me want to read it without any interruption and with all focused on. Even some books can’t get that much attention from me.

My guess, it’s related to relationship newsletters creates between writer and the reader/follower. It’s not like a social network follow. I don’t want to miss any installment or any sentence. I asked the writer to send me these anytime they wrote something. And send it directly to me. I guess it feels more direct than anything else because we feel our inboxes are our most private zones online and inviting someone to access there anytime they want to share something with us feels different than anything else.

And it feels kind of free and open, like blogs. You can do anything you want, any way you want. No one can limit what you can do or kick you out just because you tried something. It makes people become more interested in newsletters because they think it’s something new (it’s not) and blogs are dead (it’s not).


I was experimenting with the newsletter format for some time in Turkish and one of my 2016 resolutions (which I kept in my notebook and, honestly, a bit lazy to turn it into a blog post) was use this format more actively. I want to see what can I do with this format. Also I really want to gain the habit of writing regularly and more (especially in English) so creating an English newsletter too seemed like a good idea.

If you can read Turkish, my regular newsletter called Tuhaf Gelecek is out every Sunday evening (according to Turkey’s timezone, GMT+2) and you can subscribe here: http://tinyletter.com/tuhafgelecek

And if you can read English, my English newsletter experiment Weird and Deadly Interesting is here: http://tinyletter.com/weirdanddeadlyinteresting Hoping to send the first episode in this month and hope to make it regular soon.


On the name “Weird and Deadly Interesting”: For some time, I was thinking about how to describe what I’m interested as a writer and couldn’t find any short description for it. I was not focused on couple topics that have marketable names. I’m always an interdiscipliner, needs a bit weird, after the really interesting and dangerous. I never liked splitting the world into pieces which everyone acts like they’re not touching each other. I wanted to see and write about the world, as a whole. And when I looked at the world with these eyes, this name describes what I see.

I first heard the “deadly interesting” from Bruce Sterling, at one of his talks. And it hit me like a lightning. Maybe it’s somehow related to where I live, where I’m looking the world from. But when I added this to weird, it really summed up the world from my eyes.

Anyway, if you’re interested in receiving my English newsletter you can click here and subscribe.


As a bonus, I want to recommend some of my favourite newsletters which definitely worth inviting them in to your inbox. With no particular order:

If you have a newsletter or know a newsletter that you think I might be interested, feel free to recommend via email or just post a comment below.


Updated at 18:05:
Latest Orbital Operations Warren sent while I was finishing this, reminded couple more newsletters I already subscribed and also had some really good recommendations which I subscribed immediately. I added those to the list above.