Before blogs, writers could delusionally imagine great things about who was reading them:

If you look at the traffic statistics for any newsish website you’ll see that people are reading when they’re supposed to be at work. Which means they’re multitasking. Which means they want short items.

This reminds me that something I’ve come to understand in my years in the business is that probably the greatest privilege that writers for traditional magazines have is that nobody has any idea who’s reading them...

But if you think about how magazines actually work, it’s really not like that. I subscribe to The New Yorker because it’s a great magazine. But do I read every article that’s in every issue of the New Yorker? Of course not... But in print, nobody can really tell what’s being read or when or why or by whom. You just know that the gestalt is selling. Which gives editors and writers a lot of flexibility in terms of what they put into the gestalt. Which is fun because in my experience people get into writing and editing periodicals primarily because they enjoy doing it rather than because they’re genuinely interested in being responsible fiduciary agents of profit-maximizing shareholders.

On the web, there’s much less wiggle room and much less room for self-deception...

Frankly, I kind of like the idea of thousands of people tuning out at work to read just the first 100 words of what I write here. It's my pathetic way of sticking to the Man.

Read the feed: