Yesterday, I got to thinking about voices on the web — and how there seem to be more writers than readers!
Five years ago, I was predicting a 50:1 student/teacher ratio here on the WWW. That only some bunch of people would obsessively write, but that a lot more people would obsessively read their own obscure favorites. Seems not to be the case.
Rather, daily web writers are by far the most ardent web explortal visitors. And, ardent web readership is science's best known predictor of starting one's own site. *grin*
I think we're up against The Chasm.
Images and music and novels and non-fiction each cross The Chasm all the time. To my knowledge, no web voice has ever done so — other than as a temporary result of multimedia cross promotion.
Innovators and Early Adopters don't always mind not "getting" everything, not feeling part of every ongoing party we visit. Innovators and Early Adopters, though, are used to our own indulgences in this medium, and we tend to excuse the same sort of thoughts in others.
On the other side of The Chasm, the less patient & less intrinsically motivated side, people want more than we're giving. They want more structure. They want more focus. They want more obvious & external reasons to be here. They want more professionalism (as opposed to simple craftsmanship).
Each website is its own product. Each website is its own marketing. If a writer changes either one, he necessarily messes with the other.
To cross The Chasm, the marketing has to change. But, for the most part, writers don't go around revoicing our self-publishing products, our own self-expressing sites.
This is why no blog will ever be as popular as PBS. Or even The Lovely Pragmaticism.
I, for one, am happy the way things are. Here in 2001, we have some very high feedback/reader ratios!