Blogging: Jail or Entertainment

via The Guardian:

It became clear to me, right there, that things had changed. I was not equipped to play on this new turf — all my investment and effort had burned up. I was devastated.

Blogs were gold and bloggers were rock stars back in 2008 when I was arrested. … I could empower or embarrass anyone I wanted. I felt like a monarch.

But I can’t close my eyes to what’s happening: a loss of intellectual power and diversity. In the past, the web was powerful and serious enough to land me in jail. Today it feels like little more than entertainment.

Although this article is a bit old I thought of it this past week as I met with young college students and shared with them my thoughts, opinions, and perspectives on entrepreneurship and business building. They also asked me extensively about writing and blogging and sharing thoughts publicly online.

Things are changing rapidly but that has always been the case. What I feel Hossein Derakhshan has missed or a perspective that he and I do not share is the fact that I have an immutable motivation when it comes to my writing and publishing.

I write for me, first, and everyone else a very distant second (if at all). If others do find value in what I write then I’m happy about that, elated. But I do not lose anything if no one ever showed up.

Perhaps this is because I see my writing efforts as a form of art and art is always deeply personal. Some have been able to convert their art into monetized forms while others never feel the pressure to do that.

Art will always be art and sometimes it’s also a utility. It’s up to you.