The missing link

June 01, 2011

It’s been two interesting weeks. I needed a break from all the linking and commenting on the tech circle’s everyday news in order to reconsider what it is that I’m doing here, really. I felt that most of the energy that I was putting into this site went into trivial things, instead of being focused on the topics that I feel are most important. That’s the reason why for the last 15 days there have been no new links on the site.

It’s not like there hasn’t been anything going on lately. If we think back for a moment and consider only Apple-related news, between Lodsys' threats to independent iOS developers, the rumors of a new iPhone (or not) in June, the Mac Malware Apocalypse and the imminent announcement of iCloud and iOS 5, there has been plenty of movement to keep the site freshly updated every day. As you see, the lack of content is not the point I’m trying to make. In fact, it’s rather the opposite.

Links are great of course, I’m not denying that. They’re a convenient way to voice my opinion on the latest topics on the Internet, and they can be a great source of information for the casual reader. For as long as Analog Senses is published, links will continue to be a part of it. The problem is, they were becoming a disproportionately big part of the site. I had gotten into the habit of publishing somewhere between 3 and 6 links per day, which are enough to reasonably cover most of the daily news in the tech community. However, the amount of time I needed to devote to it every day in order to find the best pieces to link to had recently started to get out of control. That would be perfectly OK if I felt that those links are the main thing contributing to the overall quality of the site, but as I’ll explain in a moment, I don’t believe that to be the case.

Unfortunately, my days only have 24 hours, and so the amount of time that I’m able to put into publishing this site every day is limited. I don’t do this as my full-time gig, nor do I want to. I love my job, and I’m determined to excel at it and build an honest career doing what I love. Given that, whenever I choose to spend my time here trying to stay on top of what’s going on, I’m inevitably choosing not to write something original instead, something true to myself, that could hopefully contribute to the greater conversation going on in the Internet.

Sure, I have published a number of articles in the last few months, and I’m actually quite proud of how some of them turned out, but somehow I couldn’t help but feel that my voice was getting lost among the links, and I needed to take a step back. I was beginning to wonder if those 3, 4 articles couldn’t have been 6, 7 or even 8 had I not been too busy linking to half the Internet. It’s clear to me that the answer is yes, there would surely have been more articles that way. And lately I’ve come to realize that I’m not OK with that.

I’m not in the linking business. I enjoy them occasionally, but that’s not where my heart is. There are plenty of sites that do it much better than I ever could, so let them do it. It all became clear after considering my options: I could continue trying to be a poor man’s version of John Gruber or Shawn Blanc[1. I know that both John and Shawn do a heck of a lot more than just posting links, and I’m not implying that the links are the main feature of their sites. I merely cite them as examples because they have been able to find a perfect balance between links and original content that I’m still trying to figure out.] , or I could leave them to do what they do best, and focus on raising my own voice instead. I’m confident I can create a much better site that way, one that hopefully many people can enjoy by itself. The kind of site that I would like to read, and that I hope you would like to read, too.

However, if you enjoy the links, fear not: they will not disappear. They will simply be more focused, more appropriate to the greater idea of Analog Senses, if you will. That probably means there will be fewer of them, and that is expected. But the ones that do appear will have a powerful reason for being there.

Starting today, the ship is changing course. You may argue that it’s not a radical change, but it’s a change nonetheless. And every little change can alter everything.