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Focus, Focus, Focus

© January 2008 Anthony Lawrence

This morning I was reading Successful-blog.com and noticed how so many people were talking about "focus".

I'd like to focus on that for a minute.

My on-line dictionary says "focus" is the concentration of attention or energy on something.

That certainly sounds like a good idea for bloggers, doesn't it? Concentrate your energies, focus on your niche, hammer away at your theme..

I can't do that.

Simply put, I'm just interested in too many things. More things than this site would indicate, because in spite of obvious contrary evidence, I do try to focus here.. but it's still a bit broad, isn't it?

I know that if I just wrote about one thing and one thing only, the site would be more popular. If I attract a few bloggers with articles like this, I'll soon scare 'em off with some post about Perl programming. If some Mac folks drop in because of a Mac OS X post, the next Linux post will send them scurrying and vice versa. Oh, and that darn SCO stuff: the Linux folks hate it for obvious reasons and the SCO folk aren't too happy when a lot of it tells them they better be planning on switching their OS real soon now..

Hey, at least I keep it vaguely computerish.. I don't go off on science and politics very often, right? Not much blabbing about diet and exercise either.. it could be even more scattered and confused..

But why would I tighten up my focus? To gain readership? I like the readers I have, thank you very much. They are an intelligent bunch who are also anything but one dimensional, they contribute great posts and articles (by the way, the Why Publish Here page has been updated recently). There may be less than a thousand regulars, but I'd rather have those thousand or so bright, articulate, interesting readers than half a million typical shallow, dull, fools.. thank you very much again.

Though half a million bright, articulate and so on would be nice, wouldn't it?

I did once try splitting up into sections.. once in a while you will come across a post here referencing "foo-web.com", "foo-mac.com" and "foo-self-employed.com". I gave that up.. I just didn't like having things separated like that. It kind of felt like the kids growing up and leaving home and I wasn't ready to let these "kids" go.. so I gathered them up and brought them back home - you can find them here under "/foo-web", "/foo-mac" and "/foo-self-employed".

So, as much as I understand and agree with focusing on your niche, and would always recommend that you should keep your blogging tightly constrained to your chosen subject matter, this is a case of "do as I say, not as I do". I'm weak and easily distracted, I flit around from place to place, but you should keep your eyes on the goal and your nose to the grindstone.

Or maybe not. Maybe you'd be happier if you just did what you feel like doing, if you just follow your muse wherever she may lead you. Isn't happiness the real goal anyway?

I think so. One thing I have never understood is people who will trade happiness for money. You know the story: somebody who works at a miserable job that they passionately hate because the money is good and someday, someday they'll be free and they'll spend that money on.. on what? On things to make them happy? Why not work at something that makes you happy now instead?

Yes, we all need money - some minimum amount, certainly. But if you have more than you need, what will you use it for? See the picture yet? I hope so..

Anyway, this place (blog, website, whatever you want to call it) will remain cheerfully scatter brained, jumping around from subject to subject as my fancy dictates. As usual, I welcome your contributions in comments or posts - see the "Why Publish Here" link above for more on that or just leave a comment.. we'll have it professionally dissected by rabid dogs in a jiffy - no, I'm kidding: this is almost always a friendly place.

Just the way I like it, thank you.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Fri Aug 28 11:53:40 2009: 6804   TonyLawrence

A year or so later and the "regulars" (or at least the RSS subscribers) are now over 2,000, but I'm still cheerfully scatterbrained and unfocused.

Fri Aug 28 14:40:17 2009: 6805   BrettLegree

Don't ever change it, either - that's exactly what I like about your site, variety, and intelligent people.

(Disclaimer: I am the definitive scatterbrain, interested in everything...)


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