Starting From Zero


As I’ve stated before, I started this project for personal reasons. I switched Analytics Off to remove the temptation to perpetually check pageviews. It felt liberating (it still does). I’m writing for myself – the pay off is internal – and attempting to ‘measure’ against external benchmarks felt like it would lead to unnecessary distractions.

Yesterday, I added some additional copy to the footer of the article exploring the benefits of starting with content and adopting a POSH approach to markup. The change was small – seven words, a mere 244 characters – but it felt uncomfortable:

Feel free to follow <a href="http://twitter.com/fehler" title="A writer, designer and educator based in Belfast, described by Adrian Shaughnessy, writing for Creative Review, as, “A William Morris for the digital age.”">@fehler</a> for updates.

I felt a little uneasy adding a link to Twitter, even nestled in a <small> element, and I kept switching back and forth, deleting it and reinstating it – undo, redo – weighing up the pros and cons of including it, in my mind.

A part of me argued that it might be useful to signpost readers towards Twitter, where I’d be posting updates as I publish lengthier articles. A part of me argued that this was dangerously close to looking like a play for followers (something I’ve always found off-putting).

I’ve removed it. Just like the decision to switch analytics off, it feels better to keep followers out of the equation, when the focus should be on content, pure and simple.

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