"Like the great whale, retain, O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine own." — Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
You may have read my previous article on Boing Boing, Escaping the New Media Cargo Cult. Well, I take it back. To find out why, keep reading...
If you have knowledge and experience to share, your heart's desire is simply to find a decent audience and make a modest living at talking to it; meanwhile some schmuck who drinks Soylent 2.0 racks up a MASSIVE LIST HELL YEAH with slickly baited copy and bulleted tips he found on the first page of Google results.
One obvious response to this conundrum is to learn how to bait better.
Way down on the other end of this particular spectrum, you've got Matthew Butterick.
Polymathically — it's a word! — Butterick is an attorney, a typographer, and a programmer, among other things. I first discovered his work when he shared Typography for Lawyers, a fascinating primer on how to design stand-out legal documents. (While ostensibly for lawyers, it clearly applies to non-legal documents too.)
Later on, Butterick created an online book for a general audience: Practical Typography. I love it; it’s the first resource on typography that I've actually enjoyed reading. Hundreds of thousands of people have visited the site—hand-crafted by Butterick — to learn the difference between kerning and leading.
Nowadays, people creating content for mass consumption devote most of their attention to the marketing and monetization. After months of crafting the perfect newsletter drip campaign, it often seems like experts spend ten, maybe fifteen minutes tops whipping up the content people are supposed to buy at the end of the funnel. Read the rest