Joi gets down to it in this post where he asks his readers, essentially, if we are as bored by the stuff he's writing as he is.
...I find myself struggling with this bloggers block more and more these days. I find myself hanging out on the IRC channel chatting about things that in the past I would be blogging about. I definitely feel like my blog is going edgy to broad and boring.
I forget if I've talked to Joi on the phone or not--I believe I have a couple of times? With Locke maybe? Or IRC-ed while phoning simultaneously? I don't quite remember. But I know I have enjoyed the Joi Ito multi-channel experience.
Allow me to digress.
Before I ever read Joi, I read lots of people writing about what he wrote. Joi this, Joi that, stealth disco, emergent democracy, and so on. I wondered who the hell is this guy? That's when I started reading him. And I did so mainly to analyze for myself the rapidly-changing motivations of bloggers as the shift from amateurs to professionals began in earnest--and the sucking up was elevated to a fine art.
After I followed the brown noses to his blog, I became a pretty regular reader of joi.ito. Because Joi has an interesting life. In a nutshell, that's what it is.
I like reading about where he goes, who he meets, and why it matters. I like that he gets inside places that most of us never will. He could have waited and just written all this stuff at 45 and called it a book. But instead he posts it like a follow-along song. Follow the bouncing Joi.
Joi's place also gets some of the more lively comments/discussion/feedback. It can turn into a hotbed of criticism for its author. And the constant nit-picking is taking its toll on Joi's voice.
...As I read criticisms in the comments and on other blogs about what I write, I have become increasingly sensitive about what I say here. The criticism is often valid. "Check your facts before you post." "Read before you write." "Don't be so self-obsessed." "That was stupid." "The tone of your post was offensive to me." "So this guy posts every time he's 'off' to somewhere new. Is he boasting about his travel?" I know it shouldn't, but these voices yap at me in my head and cause a kind of chilling effect. I fear that my jokes will be misinterpreted and the irony lost. I fear that someone will take offense. I fear that a post will sound boastful.
Been there--still there, without the fame. I wrestle with topics I'd like to go back and write about. But I don't. Partly because this isn't the place it was. Whereas we once hung on each other's every (third) word, now we aggregate, skim, skip, and let the tools do half the work.
For me, that has changed things. It's the difference between ripping steak apart with your hands and using a razor sharp knife. Some things should be a little messy.
I have no advice on getting over it--especially for someone as "watched" as Joi. If it were me, I'd go over and write on Gonzo Engaged, which was my first blog, our team blog, our outrageous blog, the blog where there is never ever a mistake because worst practices are best.
That's where I go when I lose my voice. For me, it's going home, it's going back to that net-place where I turned over the first rock. I have to go back in to come out. There, I'm reminded why I started this nonsense in the first place.
Joi, the following statements are not diametrically opposed: (A) I admire you for the work you have done in front of us. (B) You literally couldn't pay me enough to be Joi Ito.
But if you want me to add you to the Gonzo Engaged team, just drop me an email.
Don't worry. You can mess on the carpet over there. Everybody does. ;-)