Hamster Wheels.

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Is it just me, or are my fellow bloggers also weary of the hamster wheel of self-promotion and social media content marketing?

Having a personal brand is all the rage these days.  Meanwhile Buffer, a tool similar to Hootsuite, reminds me each week that I haven’t “buffered” any tweets or Facebook posts to push people to my blog content.  Other bloggers – including my favorite reads like John Spencer and Michael Doyle  and Pernille Ripp – tweet merrily what they’re reading and saying and thinking.

My friends John Ellis and Joffre the Giant (who’s even rocking a Patreon campaign) and Erin Russ are writing amazing posts about their lives and thoughts.

And I struggle to get more than two sentences to rub together once I get home from work.  Or so it seems this year.

I got my start in blogging on Xanga back in the merry 2005, back when blogging audiences were scattered among a wider variety of platforms, some centered on different kinds of audiences and purposes.  You could post poetry on Pathetic, indulge in diary entries and gossip on LiveJournal, write stories on Xanga, be a “real” blogger on Blogspot or Blogger.  Communities on each platform tended to be a little closer since the audiences were smaller.

And I knew a good 20-30 people right here in the Upstate who were all writing and sharing on the Xanga platform, so conversation erupted all the time.  People got mad, wrote diatribes, gossiped, and occasionally connected or learned or challenged me to change my views radically.

I really liked that world a few years ago when a small, tight clutch of readers logged into Xanga once in a while to see what the others had said, thought about it, said a few things in response, and carried on with life.  It wasn’t all-consuming like Facebook later became; we weren’t all glued to smartphone screens and unable to carry on uninterrupted conversations.

The hamster wheel of personal branding, tweeting, social media content marketing – it’s wearing me out.

I don’t need to feel guilty because I don’t write 3x a week or have time to unravel every stray thought into a post.

I don’t want to jump all over myself because the Teaching Redemptively blog doesn’t get a lot of love or content, despite my honest desire to fill a huge gap in the conversation about how the Gospel should be forming educational practice.  But it does seem foolish to let months go by without investing time and thought into my primary research/content field.

And I wish I didn’t feel sad that the big shiny world of WordPress means fewer comments, more commodification, less connection. But it does. At least for me.

Sorry for the downer.  It’s September.



  1. Totally get what you are saying. Social media adds a lot of pressure. if you can’t come up with something to say, or worse, if nobody seems to care about what you have to say, it can be a big letdown.


    1. And it’s silly because really, what does it matter? I write to think. It’s nice to get feedback and interaction, but complex ideas usually get worked out better in conversation over coffee. So I don’t know why social media demands our attention like it is.

      Tyranny of the “urgent.” Meh.


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