I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve launched a project I’ve been working on for the last couple of months.
For Your Consideration
Things to Ponder and Enjoy
For Your Consideration is my attempt to re-think how we interact with information on the Internet. The net has long encouraged habits I’ve considered negatives; the belief was that you had to post frequently to keep your audience entertained has lead to a mentality of often and fast instead of thoughtful and good. Financial models were built about generating lots of pageviews and throwing advertising in the reader’s face, so revenue generation was in conflict with creating longer, better-researched and more thoughtful pieces of content.
Curation has been a go-to word around the Internet for a couple of years and I’ve long been fascinated with the idea, but far too often, curation been turned into “let me post links to stuff I found” without thought or context. In many cases, these attempts at curation have added to the noise rather than reduced it.
I’ve been experimenting in small ways with creating a way to share things in a way that created a high-signal/low-noise environment. None of the experiments I tried ever felt to me like it was the solution I was looking for, but they did help me understand what was possible and what might work.
For Your Consideration is my attempt at implementing what I think is a way to share in that high-signal environment. We’ll find together how well it works.
The Goal of For Your Consideration
My goal of For Your Consideration is to slow down, focus on good and interesting things, give it context. Good food is better than fast food. Good links are better than fast links. If you want fast, there are places that’ll give it to you. Good things will still be good after those fast things are forgotten for the next one.
I want For Your Consideration to be interesting but not controversial. It’s going to have an opinion, but I want to avoid having an attitude. I want to find things that you will find interesting, and give them to you in a way that allows you to look at them without being in a hurry to the next thing.
For Your Consideration is one posting per day, seven days a week. One item per day.This restriction gives me the time to do the research and put the item in context where necessary. It means you don’t have to worry about being overloaded by so many things that you have to skim past them. I think it’s important that both the publisher and the reader break the “gotta get through it all” mentality that’s dominated the internet mindset the last few years.
By restricting myself to one item a day, I have to make choices. That forces me to become a filter and choose the best content for the audience. By limiting it to one item a day, I allow you the time to be able to find out why I felt it was worth your time. I hope that by slowing down, we may see fewer things, but those things we do see will mean more and impact our lives more.
Most days will be one link to one thing. Occasionally I’ll post a longer pieces with multiple items on a single topic or a review of something I think you’ll be interested in. I don’t promise to never be topical. I don’t promise not to have an opinion. I do promise that the primary goal is to post things that are interesting and not to promote any ideology.
You can read more about how I plan to share content — and what content won’t be shared here — in the FYC Manifesto.
Getting involved with For Your Consideration
You can subscribe to For Your Consideration in various ways, and you should choose the one most convenient for you.
To help make For Your Consideration successful I’ll need a little help. Here’s how you can help:
Help me get the word out. Tell your friends about it. Encourage people to try it and follow FYC.
When you see interesting content on FYC, share it with your friends.
If you run across something you think should be published on FYC, submit it to me. You can do that by emailing the information to email@example.com, or by sending it along to the FYC Raw Feed on Twitter.
The For Your Consideration Raw Feed on Twitter
One of the goals of FYC is to limit the number of items that we publish on the site, which forces me to make choices about what the most interesting items are. Some of you will probably want to at least skim all of the candidates whether or not they make the cut for publication. For those that want that I’ve set up a special twitter feed at https://twitter.com/CollatingLife. That is, literally, the in-box for FYC, and everything I find that I might decide to turn into an item on FYC gets posted there, so you can monitor the inbox as well. I seem to be posting 1 to 7 items a day on average, so even that feed isn’t going to be overwhelming.
I think it would be an interesting experiment to turn the selection of items for FYC into a crowdsourced operation with commentary selected from the community at large, but that will have to wait for a future generation of the site.
Defining Success with For Your Consideration
One thing I think is crucial when you launch something like this is to have some way to judge whether it’s succeeding or not. If it isn’t, you need to either improve it or shut it down. If it is, you look for ways to invest in it and make it better. You can’t do that if you don’t know what success means.
To me success is going to be defined not by how many people subscribe and follow the site, but by how often you feel material is worthy of being shared to your friends and contacts. The better job I do at curation, the more often that content should be interesting enough to pass along. I’d love your feedback on what kind of content we should do more of and what kind of content is less interesting, but my primary way of determining that is going to be how often things get passed around and shared.
And the cost?
It’s free. I plan on this always being a free service. There are a couple of Amazon affiliate ads on the site. I’d be much appreciative if once in a while you decide to buy something through them so Amazon pays me some affiliate fees, but only if you feel the service is worth it. The nice thing about Amazon affiliate is that it costs you zero, so it’s a tip jar that’s free to you, since 100% of what you pay is spent on the item you’re getting, and I get a couple of percent from Amazon for brokering the sale. My goal is simple: I’d like this site to pay its bills. Anything beyond that is gravy.
The Amazon affiliate model is, to me, the least painful and least intrusive advertising model I can use. Nothing is ever going to pop up over the content, pop under the content, lock you out of the content, or annoy the crap out of you to donate before letting you see the content. I’d like to think that lack of annoyance would be worth an occasional dollar in the tip jar, and for now, Amazon is where the tip jar lives…
Welcome! I’m hope you find this site interesting. If you do, subscribe and tell your friends. If you don’t… Tell me, so I can improve it. Over the next few weeks I’ll write some pieces on the research and thinking that went into the site and why I made some of the decisions I made. Hopefully you’ll find that interesting as well.