free html hit counter A Mea Culpa - John Battelle's Search Blog

A Mea Culpa

By - August 10, 2005

SearchblogKind readers have contacted me of late asking if I’m perhaps a bit overworked, as the analysis and timeliness of this site has suffered in recent months. Is it the new company or preparations for Web 2.0? The fact that the book is pretty much finished? Summer doldrums? Or perhaps a case of blog burnout?

Truth is, it’s most of that, plus a bit more (save the burnout part – I have never not wanted to work on this site). First off, let me apologize for the shorter posts, and the paucity of analysis of late. While I didn’t plan on it, Searchblog turned from a way to communicate with a few hundred folks about a book I was authoring to a nearly full time job. Trouble was, I already have a few other full time (or nearly so) jobs, including Web 2.0 and the new company I am now starting. It’s real work to write a good site, even when you have the support of an entire community. It needs at least a few hours a day, if not more. Just responding to the PR requests, along with doing original reporting, can take up to half a day.

When you can’t give your site that kind of time, it’s immediately evident. Many authors I’ve spoken with – in particular those who author sites in their “free time” and have a day job – are feeling pushed to the limits, and are searching for a way to do what they love full time. This is why I’m starting FM – to provide what I hope will be an infrastructure and support system that will allow our authors to make a real living doing what they do best.

Unfortunately, to start FM and get Web 2.0 pulled together, and not sacrifice family (I’ve done that before, and don’t plan to again), something has to give. Of late, it’s been this site.

I plan to refocus my efforts and try to do more here (maybe instead of trying to cover all the news, I will just drill down on one or two items a day, for example), but I may fail more than I succeed, as the book tour is coming up, and Web 2.0 will dominate after that. Once the book tour is complete, Web 2 is over, and the initial start up phase of FM has passed, I’ll have more time to focus on doing what I love here. In the meanwhile, please accept my apologies. I view the conversation here as central to my work life, and when it suffers, I feel it as much as (I hope) you do.

If you have any input or ideas for me, please keep sending them my way. Thanks.

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11 thoughts on “A Mea Culpa

  1. I don’t know how you find the time to do everything. My blog postings suffer too whenever things get hectic, and I go through the dilemma of posting nothing, or just link stuff. I look forward to more great analysis of the industry…

  2. Niall says:

    “Unfortunately, to start FM and get Web 2.0 pulled together, and not sacrifice family…”

    Sounds like you have your priorities straight to me! Thanks for sharing your posts with us, and I’m looking forward to the book.

  3. Hey, a little Battelle is better than no Battelle at all. We understand you’re doing what you can.

  4. Why don’t you invite guests to take the helm of your blog for a week at a time?

  5. Jason says:

    While I’m sad to get less searchblog, I’m thrilled to see another respected player join the “support the blogger” vertical.

    You should give the site to Rafat Ali or Om Malik to run!

    Hope you’re having an amazing summer.

    best j

  6. Hashim says:

    two solutions:

    1. start a linkblog where you offer one sentence thoughts on the daily stuff while doing longer form posting here

    2. invite trusted guest authors to post

  7. Jon Henshaw says:

    I didn’t know your blog sucked until you pointed it out.

    Seriously though, short entries or long entries are all good to me. I appreciate your thoughts on the industry whenver I can get them.

  8. I hadn’t noticed. I support you keeping your priorities straight and I’m glad you will continue to keep this site going. I always appreciate your insights and I am looking ofrward to your book.

  9. Kevin Burton says:

    My $0.02…

    1. Offer to sell the Searchblog to someone that you trust can maintain it.

    2. Invite more authors into the Searchblog and then set back and just become a contributor.

  10. Sacha says:

    The only advice I can think of is this: don’t hunt too hard for material. Your best, most passionate and compelling posts are those in which you tackle a topic that you want to write about rather than one you feel obligated to. You know what interests you. Stick with that.

    Like most advice, that’s just a reminder of something you already know, I’m sure. Good luck. Searchblog remains a lovely read.

  11. You’ve got the priorities nailed…do not sweat it…fewer analytical pieces rather than something on all the news is better, IMHO…good post.