What It Is
As the recently updated tagline on the masthead says, this is “an evolving space”. About 29 months ago I wrote this post, outlining what I thought this blog was about at that time.
Today I’m not really sure what this blog is, but I think it’s going to stay very true to what is has been for several generations and rebrandings; a place for me to put down on “paper” various ideas that don’t have a better home somewhere else.
To borrow from that 2014 post, I’d say you can expect to see me occasionally write about each of the following topics:
- television, movies and media culture
- personal introspection (I’d call it “lifestyles of urban american male” but it really not that academic)
- sports, maybe
- professional development (but not industry specific)
- whatever I’m reading and how it’s impacting my thought process at the time
Localism would have made the cut, but honestly, with my recent move to New York, I’m not sure how viable that is right now.
What It Isn’t
This is not Ryan Glass’s Digital Marketing Blog or an SEO Expert site.
It’s a bit hypocritical of me, because I love reading marketing sites that are written by one person and express terrific viewpoints and amounts of SEO knowledge, but that’s not what this is. If I’m being honest, I know I could not keep up a regular posting schedule on just one topic (see Rogue Pepper and LeetSauced for proof).
Also, for the last several years I worked in-house, so sharing our successful tactics was always iffy. (Someday I should tell more stories about the discussions we had to have to get clearance for me presenting at conferences.) Now that I’ve moved into the agency world, I’m not entirely sure the lay of the land on that, but think if I get the itch to share some insights, I’ll do better pitching as a guest post somewhere else, like the days when I contributed to Blooming Rock.
Ultimately, I don’t see this ever turning into a single-topic blog. I understand that will likely impact any ability to grow regular readers, but hopefully using it as a place for expression will attract it’s own type of audience. (Actually it would be lovely if I figured out how to publish separate RSS feeds to one hub site and could offer categorized subscriptions.)
But Aren’t You an SEO?
Shouldn’t there be more strategy to everything you do?
I know, a fair amount of what I’ve said above, and the eclectic nature of my post history seems to violently contradict my profession and what I know should be done for an optimal site. It may actually be because of that reason that I don’t try to apply strategy to this site.
“Writing had always been a safe and sane way for me to pour out my obsessiveness and recursive thinking.”
– John Green
As much as I enjoy my “craft” and the mix of (he)art and science that goes into it, this blog always has and seemingly always will serve primarily as a creative outlet for me to keep writing, not a portfolio or calling card for my skills in SEO.
Of course I’d like to rank for topics that I that I think I have a particularly salient opinion on, and may come back from time to time to optimize certain posts, but ultimately Relevant Wit is all about getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper somewhere so I can make more room for the next great idea.
Write When Inspired, Not When Required
I know I should have a consistent posting schedule if I want to grow subscribers, but that’s a bit like the days when I played MMOs, and we would grind out for better gear just for the sake of having the best gear to help us get the next round of better gear. In writing, as in competitive gaming, there is no “happily ever after”; the book doesn’t know how to end itself, it’s up to us to decide on a stopping point.
Writing to grow subscribers turns into more people to keep satisfied with regularly scheduled content, and while I have great admiration for people who do that, I have enough knowledge of self to recognize that my mental/creative engine runs best on a hodge-podge of inputs and inspirations, which means that sometimes I have a wave of “must write today” feelings and other times I’m in read/devour media mode. I appreciate that this can make me sound flighty, but I do believe that much of my success as both a manager/mentor and a marketer comes from taking in a variety of sources to best understand other humans, and that’s a messy process that doesn’t adhere well to a “post __ times per week” schedule.
Plus, there are plenty of times that my ideas don’t align with SEO “best practices”. Many of my old posts are an image with only a few words or no words at all. Back in 2009 – 2011 I was using this space much like a Tumblr site, and yet today I don’t want to remove those old posts or revise them because I think there is some amount of value in maintaining the evolution of my thoughts, my process and my own expressions. I’ll probably cringe at a bunch of stuff I wrote and shared back then, but as of today I’d rather just let it lie.
To borrow again from my previous thoughts on the matter: “there are already so many great resources doing a better job than I could on my own. Rather than try to compete, I’ll be looking towards opportunities to contribute or collaborate.”
Likewise, some of my favorite series aren’t great for SEO. I really like the “Tweet 140” idea, even though it’s never taken off or gotten traction from anyone who’s spoken to me about my writing, because I think it’s just enough room to add more to the initial idea, but restrictive enough that I have to be concise. I’ve found that I either write < 200 words or > 1,000 words when left to my own devises, which of course contradicts the modern rule that all pages should be at least 500 words.
Frankly, in this space, when I’ve exhausted a topic I’d rather leave it and come back weeks or years later if I’ve got something to update. One last note on “Tweet 140”, though, is an admission that I probably need to come up with a better name for it. It’s ironically confusing to share those posts via Twitter because it becomes unclear if the site is titled “Relevant Wit” or “Tweet 140”, and also because some weeks I have several tweets I’d like to elaborate on, and not many original posts to intersperse between them.
Ultimately, if you came here for one particular post and then wanted to see what this site is al about, I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. If you’ve been an on-and-off reader for a few years, thanks for sticking around with my on-and-off writing cadence and sometimes unfiltered maturation. Always feel free to drop me a line on twitter (@RyanGPHX for now) and let me know if you have any ideas for this space.