Whither Flutterby, one year later?

I don't know if this is just the spring blues or what, so take nothing mentioned in here as imminent. Columbine recently expressed similar feelings about Mouthorgan , so it could be something in the air, but I figured I'd throw this out to the world and see what comes back.

Whither the web log portions of Flutterby? It's been just over a year since the Newwwsboy Perl scripts started harvesting choice bits of e-mail to the Flutterby.com domain to build what started out as expanded bookmark storage and a place to stash some of the longer messages I wrote for various mailing lists. In that time I've gone from a couple of occasional readers to a bit over a hundred who check in every day.

It's a little pretentious to ask the question. Good tools always change the environment that they were created to work in, and Flutterby is no different, but tools also need to be used and guided or they don't produce anything.

As I look back over the year and the effort I've put into the site it's clear that the goals have changed, from being a place to forward the occasional mail to a mechanism to build the Dan Lyke brand. I've started thinking about the kinds of links I put up here, self-censoring myself occasionally, becoming aware of my audience...

...and as such a mechanism it's not entirely clear that it's a reasonable return on investment.

My life in general is pretty complex, and it's time for some triage. Leave the things that are going to die and nurture the ones that'll grow.

So: whither, or wither?

I've found the sites that fill the void I was looking at when I started this endeavor, so it's not like this is some tremendous unique brainstorm that'll run away with me. More and more I find myself relying on them to point out the good stuff anyway, and incestuous metamedia is boring (even though it's often successful).

It's obvious that if Flutterby is going to grow faster than 100 users a year it either needs collaborators or more automation. I'm working on a content aggregator for web log publishers interested in syndicating via XML, but it's getting a big "ho hum" from several corners, and I'm not sure it really ends up being all that different from what Nibelung is headed towards.

On the other side comes bringing in other contributors, but Memepool and others are already doing that, and I find I prefer the single contributor sites.

The other option is that I start updating Flutterby less, but try to write more essays and longer pieces. But then I don't know that this'll then be anything but yet another journal, and yuppie angst isn't pretty.

Just some thoughts, no conclusions, hoping that if I put something down on phosphor it'll make things clearer.

Wednesday, March 24th, 1999 danlyke@flutterby.com