the blog is dead, long live the substack
It’s been a long, wild ride with this blog, and at this point, I’ve kept it up partially because I still very much enjoy putting my thoughts in a publicly scrutable format, and partially because at this point, it seems weird not to keep doing it. But at the same time, I have to acknowledge that I just haven’t kept up with the changes in how to best create, market, and deliver content. All the things that made the first five years of WoWT a smash hit with millions of views no longer work because the algorithms and environment that helped boost it have changed.
It was great to get tsunamis of traffic through Google and various social media aggregators, but the loss of critical RSS readers, the lower emphasis of Google News, and the death of once huge and popular blogging networks as they either went out of business or were acquired and turned into regular columns in established media outlets, coupled with greater pay-for-play squeezes from social media platforms, mean that the game has radically changed. And as fewer and fewer people could find it or got notifications of new posts, I, to be frank, lost my focus.
Instead of sticking to my guns and the main themes of the blog — skeptical transhumanism and science education — and started doing both too much and not enough. I looked for topics which would attract as many people as possible in as many fields as possible, a classic mistake since it just turns this space into an IFLS clone, albeit with a more opinionated twist. Looking back, at it though, that undercurrent of skeptical transhumanist and future-oriented commentary never left, it was just relegated to the backset, the footnotes, and the conclusions.
Finding a way forward took a lot of time, thought, and experiments. Slowly, what equipment one needs for a podcast, what works and what doesn’t today, and why, and hot to leverage old strengths in a new landscape started to come into focus. There was just one problem: since all those experiments were public, the cohesive message and theme were far too diluted to just make a pivot and move forward with newly acquired knowledge and toolkits. It was time to do something different. To branch out. To start over. In a way.
For the past four months, WoWT has been running on a Substack with a new URL and slightly updated branding. All the new writing and new features will live there, and while this blog will remain online for the foreseeable future, it will be frozen in amber, used as source for links. A few posts were brough over as part of the newsletter setup. Another 35 or so will be remixed, updated, and published in the near future since they’re still relevant, still need to be followed up, but in need of new information and tactical edits. The rest? They can just live on here.
So, if you ended up on this blog, read something you liked, and are now wondering where to find more, great news. It’s coming. Just subscribe to the Substack, and stay tuned. A return to this blog’s roots is coming, as is more weird content with a skeptical take and an eye toward the future. It just won’t be here, exactly.