Lean 30: 1 – Keeping it Lean

Pamela Chan, BCFamily.ca/Editorial

Whether you call it burn out or a desire to go back to basics, there are an increasing number of online publishers who are questioning their reason for being a presence online.  Some people, like me, are in their 10th (or more) year of creating content while others are asking questions after a few years.

Here are some of the ideas that are being bandied about:

•  I don’t live a Pinterest perfect life with white backgrounds, gorgeous visuals and clean lines.

•  My days aren’t set up like photo shoots, with tidy parcels of moments and offerings for my family and me.

•  I’m not a brand.

•  My voice is my own and I want to keep it that way.

•  I want to rediscover my own voice.

•  I want to go back to the original reason why I decided to create content online.

•  I don’t want to monetize my site (anymore/very much/ever).

•  I want to find other ways to create financially rewarding partnerships with brands while maintaining my autonomy.

•  I want to write about what I want to write about – even if it’s not a tidy topic.

•  I don’t want to get distracted by others who are creating similar content.

•  I want to focus my efforts promoting my work on social media channels where my presence is respected and valued.

•  I don’t want to be sharing the same content as other people because we’ve all been asked by the same source to do so.

•  I feel like I need to take a break.

•  I feel stuck – like I need a new path.

While I do use themes called Daily Dish and Let’s Talk, I decided that I’d like to run a project called the Lean 30.

This project won’t involve:

•  uploading large, gorgeous photos. (Not that I always do that.  Do I do that normally?) One banner (see above) will do.

•  a copious amount of links;

• long posts (unlike this one which needs to be fleshed out);

•  a lot of research;

•  a lot of editing;

•  a lot of feet dragging and getting stuck; and,

•   worrying about the content’s accuracy and relevance.

It won’t involve speculation.  It won’t involve me commenting on something that is happening on the ground somewhere else – like in Afghanistan.  (Note to Tyler Brûlé.)  Not that I’ve ever tried to replicate the efforts of journalists. My professional background has involved working in teaching, administration and educational policy research positions.

You know, ‘Why is it important being there, when everyone has laptops today and can be there, sitting on their terrace, blogging about what has happened?’ And I was thinking, Really? Is it really the case? If you look at all those blogs, 95 per cent of it would be people reflecting on the actual images, comment and reporting by news agencies that are on the ground. (DumbFeather.com)

Online publishers read a lot. They’ve got their ear to the ground.  They’re networked and plugged in.  They wear other hats that are both professional and personal.  They hear and see what’s happening in their community.  They’re creating relevant content that’s directly connected to and reflecting their lived reality.

I’m committing to writing for 30 sessions about topics that, hopefully, can sometimes be a bit edgy but not scandalous or libelous. Just the occasional uncomfortable places and spaces (and sometimes toned down rants) that normally get brought up and dropped in quiet conversations.

Lean 30 List: BCFamily

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