This was my first week of daily blogging, so I thought I’d spend a moment to explain what I’m doing and why.
Very few weblogs do any kind of original research on a daily basis. Most either spend their time repurposing (or just linking to) original research from mainstream media or other sources, or they do commentary and analysis. Their most important role is as information filters, distilling everything going on in the world relevant to their audience and presenting only the good stuff. Finding a great filter is insanely valuable, but at the end of the day, does Waxy Links add anything new to the conversation?
So I’m going to try an experiment this year: publish something original on Waxy.org, every weekday. Not my opinions about news (opinions are cheap) and not just glorified linkblogging, but something new: original research, investigative journalism, information visualization, digitizing dead media, live reporting, or interviews. I’ll also be releasing new applications, interactive web toys, and social software throughout the year, because as much as I love journalism, I love coding just as much.
I don’t know exactly what I’ll do yet, and I don’t have many expectations. I also don’t expect it’ll drive a huge amount of traffic (or money), but I’m pretty sure it’ll be more fun than the alternatives.
This week, I wrote five stories. On Monday, I tracked a silly meme to its source and interviewed the creator, revealing some information that’s never been mentioned online before. Tuesday, I debunked one net legend’s personal ad with solid (and bizarre) evidence that I searched for, and published another that’s never been seen on the web. Wednesday, I exposed a deceptive campaign to lift a respected newspaper’s search engine rankings using social media websites. Thursday, I updated the developing story by interviewing representatives from the newspaper and its consulting firm, and interviewed several community founders about their policies regarding the practice. And today, I posted the MP3s of a rare, geeky album to the web for the first time.
So, a mix of hard and (extremely) soft news. But each story, I hope, added something completely new to the web that wasn’t there before.
That’s it. I hope you stick around. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.