Wow! Almost 300 people replied to the survey, most pretty thoroughly, and gave me tons to think about. I’ll be digesting and acting on the feedback for a long time, but I wanted to share some of the biggest takeaways that I think readers will be most interested in.
First of all, I won’t be taking a break from blogging. I was feeling a bit burnt out on it, but having read everything that you sent me totally reinvigorated my drive to blog. It reminded me of both who I’m writing for and why I’m writing. I have about ten posts ideas that I’m now very excited to write, and I’m excited about the people who will be reading them.
Maybe the biggest thing I learned was the importance of community. I built Sett from the ground up specifically because I wanted more connection with my audience, but over time the spammers became relentless and I just didn’t want to spend my life fighting spammers, so I shut comments and the community section down. Many people said that they missed the community and comments, and many said that they wished they could connect more with other readers. At my live events people consistently rave about the other people they meet.
I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do, but I will create a subreddit, discord, slack, facebook group, or forum for everyone to meet in. It will either be free or very cheap and may be invite only. I’m going to think more about the best format and how to implement it, because my goal is for it to be a perpetual thing. If anyone has experience and strong suggestions, please get in touch.
One of my favorite communities is my good friend Noah Kagan’s youtube viewing community. Every week he does an “office hours” livestream where they all chat and interact with him. I was a guest a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I’m not sure that I’ll do it weekly, but I’m going to commit to doing it at least monthly for a year as long as 50 or more people show up to the first one.
The first Tea Time With Tynan will be March 14th 2021 at 12pm (keep in mind the night before is daylight savings). It’s going to be roughly communal-property themed, but I’ll take any sorts of questions and talk about whatever people are interested in. I think it’s really going to be a lot of fun, so please set a reminder and join.
I thought that I had a good handle on which topics people are most interested in, and I was right enough that people were generally happy with the post mix (though obviously this is very self-selecting because people who don’t like it have already left). However, I was absolutely stunned that people were so into posts about the island and communal real estate. I felt like those topics made big splashes but that people weren’t really interested in much follow-up, but I was totally wrong. I also shy away from writing about them sometimes because I don’t want to be seen as constantly trying to brag about having an island or something.
By far the most controversial topic is tea. It was one of very few topics that some portion of people requested to hear less about, but also one that many people asked for more of. One of the only other topics people asked for less of was “meta blogging posts”… like this one. So, sorry about that, guys.
When people ask me what my blog is about I sort of mumble out something like, “Oh, I write about whatever I want… habits and travel and stuff”, but I was surprised at how many people used very similar language to describe the blog. If I were to distill it down, people say the blog is about “Looking at a wider range of options and making independent decisions to live a better life” or something like that. I was thrilled to see that sort of language, because that’s really the impact I want to have.
The advice and criticism was also interesting. There some funny paradoxes like some people saying I spend too much money and others saying I don’t spend enough, some saying I’m too minimalist, others saying I’m not actually minimalist at all. Most people declined to give criticism, but of those who did, there was definitely a cluster of people worried about my environmental impact, and some saying that I came off as too smug or privileged sometimes. I have a post planned about privilege and am diving into environmental impact more before I respond to it, but I wanted acknowledge and say thank you for both pieces of feedback
I’m going to reread all of the survey answers again in one go and take notes for future blog posts. Thank you so much for being part of my blog, for reading, and for taking the time to respond. I’m really excited about blogging again and hope to chat with many of you in my livestream next week!
Photo is the Rocky Mountains from an airplane yesterday on my way to Hawaii.