Essays on Technology and Culture

Winding Down

It’s no fun anymore.

I got into blogging because I had a lot to say, and it was fun to put words on the internet. It was also fun to make the sites to put words on the internet. When I graduated High School, I asked my parents for one gift: a domain, and a year of web hosting. That was almost fifteen years ago, and it’s the best gift I ever received—though I’ve changed web hosts and registrars since.

Of course, you’ll notice that there aren’t fifteen years worth of posts on here. That’s because I have a tendency to burn my life’s work, sometimes to start a new life, sometimes to start a fire. I started, and restarted Sanspoint several times before settling on what you see today: blogging about technology and culture. It gave me seven years of solid content ideas, even if the volume was inconsistent.

But it’s no fun anymore. I’m burned out. Technology either infuriates me beyond the point of rational analysis and good writing, or it feels like a distraction from the bigger issues in the new political world. As Patrick Rothfuss put it so elegantly on Twitter: “When I was younger, I could run endlessly on rage. These days, it’s not sustainable for me. It clouds my reason. I burn out and shut down.” I’ve been feeling the same way, and now I’ve hit the “burn out and shut down” stage.

I can’t force the words to come when there’s nothing in the well, and while the well isn’t dry, it’s damned close. It takes far more effort to make the words come and put them on the screen than is worth the return I get from it. I don’t mean financial return, though I won’t deny that’s a factor. If Sanspoint were my full-time job, I could probably find it in me to push on a little further. How much further, though, I don’t know. I just know I’ve hit my limit.

So I’m not going to push any more.

I’m not giving up writing, let alone on Sanspoint, by any stretch, but I’m also not going to beat myself up for not writing. Since making that decision, I’ve felt better than I have in months—maybe years. It’s just a load off my back that I am more than happy to let go. Where I’m going, I don’t need it. I’m much more fulfilled in my new day job, working for one of the country’s premier performing arts organizations, and doing work that is meaningful, even in dark times like these. Instead of fighting elephants with thumbtacks, I’m making an impact in a different way for something I believe in.

I don’t make this decision lightly. I mentioned the financial incentive to continue writing earlier. Last year, I’d set out a goal of making Sanspoint a self-sufficient project. I came close, bringing in about $82, which is a bit over two-thirds of my hosting bill. The idea was that I’d have some kind of incentive structure beyond just regular content to entice sign-ups. (Never mind, of course, that regular content often failed to materialize anyway.) The only thing i came up with was a newsletter, which I’ve steadfastly produced for 25 issues. A couple were late, but it’s been way more consistent than anything on this site.

So, I’ve cancelled the whole $3.00 a month subscription offer for Sanspoint. The support page still has an option for free-will donations, but if I’m not promising regular updates, there’s no reason why you should give me money on a regular basis either. On top of that, I’m opening up the newsletter, officially, to anyone who wants it. I want to keep writing the newsletter around because writing the newsletter is much more fun than writing for the site. It’s a looser, freer format, with less constraints. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m rather proud of most of the stuff I’ve written here over the past seven years. Proud enough that I won’t set it on fire, literally or figuratively. I’ll write again when I have something of value to say that isn’t mere angry grumbling about the technology industry. I have some ideas, and when the words come, they’ll go up. And maybe I’ll explore some other media options too, in time. I won’t rule out anything.

But for now, I’m freeing myself of obligation, and it’s a very good feeling. I’ll see you all when I see you.

Support Comes With Benefits: The Untitled Sanspoint Newsletter Project

I write here for many reasons, not the least of which is because I can’t shut up about the things that interest me. For all you people out there, hemming and hawing about starting a blog, if people tell you to shut up about what interests you, that’s a clue to start.

Writing, however, doesn’t pay the bills—least of all the hosting bills. I’ve had the option available to become a supporter of my writing for a while, either as a $3.00 a month subscriber, or just with a one-time donation. My supporters have done so out of kindness and love, because I have had nothing to offer in return except my continued writing on this site. Until now.

I recently launched The Untitled Sanspoint Newsletter Project, a bi-weekly supporter newsletter. For anyone who supports my writing as a subscriber or a donor, you’ll get a newsletter in your inbox every two weeks with additional thoughts on technology and culture along with a selection of interesting links. You can preview the first issue here.

Right now, it’s on the honor system, but I trust my readers. You come to me instead of some of the bigger names in technology writing for my perspective and ideas. Or, because you’re hate-reading. Either/or. Your support will allow me to write more and keep the lights on, and in return, I will give you a piece of myself in your inbox.

I hope you’ll consider becoming a subscriber, or even a donor. Any amount of support gets you a subscription to the best darn email newsletter written by someone named Richard J. Anderson. [1] Plus, you get to feel smug that you’re supporting another independent technology writer in this competitive attention economy. Who could say no to that?

  1. If anyone knows of another newsletter written by someone named Richard J. Anderson, let me know, so I can go all Highlander on them.  ↩

Support Sanspoint with WePay

I’ve just switched Sanspoint subscriptions and donations from PayPal to WePay, so if you wanted to support the site without supporting the Evil Empire of PayPal, now you can!

Visit the Support page to get started. Subscriptions are $5 a month, and you can also make a free will donation of any amount. Subscribers and donors will get special goodies from me in the future that’ll be well worth the price, plus you help keep the lights on for this site and my hosting provider.

Supporting Sanspoint

I’ve been blogging for years, primarily because I can’t shut up about things. Sometimes this is to my disadvantage. Writing is my passion, but it’s a hard thing to be financially successful at. This site is an expense. Hosting costs, domain registration, and a lot of the software I use to create what you see costs money, and I think it’s time to see if I can make it back.

That’s why I’ve added the option to subscribe to Sanspoint. For $5 a month, you can support my writing. If you are uncomfortable with a subscription, you’re also welcome to make a donation, or purchase something from my Amazon wish list. While I currently have nothing to offer you in return except good will and more writing and links, I do plan to offer some goodies to my patrons in the future. I also do not plan to truncate my RSS feed if you don’t subscribe. I’m not a fan of that approach.

You’ll find buttons and links to do all of this on the “Support” page. I hope I can count on some of my readers to make this little project of mine a going concern. Currently, I am using PayPal (and pinching my nose while I do so), but if you have any suggestions for services that can help me do this better, please email me.

To all my regular readers, whether you’ll be subscribing, donating, or not, thank you. It’s good to know people are out there, and I’m not just yelling into the void.

The Official Sanspoint T-Shirt

shirtFrontBecause everyone else is doing it, I’ve created the official Sanspoint t-shirt on Teespring. Now you can have the logo of your tenth favorite technology blog on your chest for the low cost of fifteen dollars, American. (Plus shipping.)

After you’ve bought your shirt, and your Hypercritical shirt, and if you have anything left over, you can buy this one too. No promises it’ll be there by WWDC. No promises anyone will know what the hell your shirt means. I do, however, promise the sexy sp ligature from Mrs Eaves.

The official Sanspoint t-shirt. Accept no alternatives.[1]

Oh, Crush On Radio shirts also available.

  1. There aren’t any.  ↩