You know that post where I argued that as more viewer read via RSS the subscription model would favor the occasional thoughtful post rather than many random miniposts designed to drive traffic? Well, there was one bit I got wrong: I underestimated the ego reward of watching visitor stats climb during the day.
The problem with RSS is that there's no good way to track who's reading what. For full feeds like my own there's no need to click through and thus generate a page view. So there's a strong temptation for me to post more frequently to stir up more linkage and thus measurable traffic from outside the feed, even if that doesn't necessarily mean many more readers. Sad but true.
Unfortunately I'm in book-writing mode, which means that all ideas tend to spiral out into thousand-word essays, far too long for blog conventions. Plus it's hard to write an essay a day along with the book and my day job. Thus a policy reversal: until either my ego needs diminish or RSS readership becomes measurable, I'm going to try my hand at shorter posts that riff off of other people's thoughts--like, well, all the other bloggers.
Rather than using such ugly words as "derivative" or even "lazy", I'd like to spin this as an exuberant embrace of intellectual sampling. This is, after all, the Remix Age.