Anyway, today's blog topic: this blog! How meta. (GAWD, I bet you knew I was going to say that. How meta? More like how predictable!)
Specifically, I'd like to respond to a common question I get: Margaret, why don't you make your blog look nice, buy a domain and get a proper URL?
To which I respond, it's complicated.
Basically, there's something alluring about things that are slightly unpolished. It's why film photos still look so cool next to digital. It's why Reddit, compared to Buzzfeed, is a breath of fresh air. An extreme example is this email newsletter Andy gets every week. It's not fancy. It's not designed on MailChimp. It's actually not even a newsletter; it's just an email. All it has are about ten links to interesting articles, videos and images that have cropped up on the Internet over the previous seven days. It's so simple and so unrefined, that it feels...nice, accessible, unpretentious, personal, never overwhelming.
Everybody can have a blog—a really snazzy, professional, beautiful blog. My marketing career has taken me deep into the cringeworthy world of "blogger outreach" and I've seen my fair share of bright 'n shiny blogs. They're modern and colorful with brilliant custom graphics (like a background made to look like notebook paper!). They've long dropped their unseemly URL suffixes. No .blogspot.coms or .wordpress.coms to be seen. They're gorgeous! GAW-GEOUS!
But I don't go in for all that because I have a hunch that people—you—like a bit of rough. You like this outdated, no frills design. You LOVE it. It gives the illusion that the writing is good. And the free URL makes it feel kind of underground.
I explained all this to my brother Max last week.
"That's a very hipster argument," he says.
"Yeah, it is," I say.
"Or maybe I'm just lazy."
AND THE PENNY DROPS. That's a bingo. Lazy. The true reason, at least 80% of it, is that I'm lazy.
Thanks for sticking with me through that. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post: I love Cracklin' Oat Bran so much, so why do I never buy it?
P.S. I just realized what makes something "hipster". It's when the spectrum of unpretentiousness comes full circle. It's when unpretentious goes so far that it becomes pretentious. Kind of like how, in politics, if you go to the left enough, you wind up on the right.