Owning vs. Orbital

Online identity and ownership have been proliferating my thoughts of late. The surge of networks, platforms, mediums and context has shifted from a singular experience to a veritable sea of content afloat, hoping to rear in a big catch. As content generators, we are fish looking to swim from a pond to the ocean.

Having published various forms of content on my own sites for many years and more recently a bit on other sites, there’s a bit of experimentation here.

Things to think about, each affected by the preceding item:

  1. The shape of the content.
    By this I mean the form of the content. Is it an anecdote, a story, a narrative or something more instructional?
  2. The context of the content.
    Is it personal? Or is it informational? Business-driven? What is the narrative that drives the creation of this content?
  3. The audience that the content deserves to be consumed by, ideally.
    Who is your ideal consumer? For whom do you create?
  4. Who owns it?
    This is newer. Authors can now give away their creations. Authors can share and let others use their work. We freely allow forking, modifying, amending and subtracting. We get to make things better through pathways unknown. We have a level of collaboration driven by technological tools that allow us to work together, separately and then together again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I don’t have an answer yet. In fact, I don’t think this question should be answered for you — it’s certainly one, that like a shoe, will fit after trial and error. If it fits, keep on walking.

I tweeted a few thoughts on this earlier today, and some thoughtful articles resurfaced. I’ve read all of these before, but they’re worth reading again to contemplate. They hit points from one extreme to the other, with coverage also on the middle ground.

  1. Own Your Identity, Marco Arment
  2. Orbital Content, Cameron Koczon
  3. The End of History and the Last Website, Robin Sloan


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