All non-members of the site will have access to every post that members have access too, with one caveat: non-members won’t see those posts until seven days after I posted them.
Before I get to my actual point, I want to commend the crap out of Ben for 1) having the balls to try this and 2) putting the thought into it that he did (you should read his whole post, his approach is carefully crafted). I have a lot of love for those willing to try new business models, especially when they have a lot to lose. Ben’s built himself a solid audience; it will be a test to build a solid paying audience.
Much as the model and the move captured my attention, it wasn’t what I found myself thinking about afterwards. Ever since I read his post, I find myself considering something that is not nearly as risky, but may sound just as crazy. What if I applied Ben’s seven day delay to absolutely everything I read on the internet, especially the tech news that tends to grab excessively at my attention? I’ve been guilty of RSS and Instapaper overload for some time now, but it’s my primary source for news and education. While I don’t want to declare RSS bankruptcy, I do want to focus less on what’s current and more on what’s important.
When my Instapaper gets full or Reeder has a particularly heavy day, I find that I’m far more liberal with what I eliminate. What would have seemed urgent or important at the time seems unnecessary, especially once it has lapsed a few days. And when something seem less urgent, it become far easier to determine its importance. Ensuring that my feeds were no longer timely would shift my attention towards the things that matter.
Now Ben is well aware of this and it’s driving him to step up his game:
Before I wrap this up: the writing here is going to change. […] If my article or review won’t be as helpful in seven days as it is today, then it’s not worth posting at any point.
I am going to hold myself to a higher standard.
As a reader of The Brooks Review I find this to be an exciting prospect. I prefer Ben1 at his best rather than his most clever. Clever leads to page views, quality leads to subscribers. Since Ben will be focusing more on the latter, I’m assuming his writing will as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I know a seven day filter is excessive. A good pruning of my feed and a healthy dose of self control when sending things to Instapaper would likely do the trick. And considering I haven’t come up with a way to delay my feeds, that’s probably what will happen. But try as I might, I can’t stop thinking about the idea and the potential benefits of applying seven day filter to the things I see, consider and read.
How do you separate what’s current from what’s important?
And bloggers on a whole, for that matter. ↩