How big is your platform? or “What color is your parachute?” 50 years later.

I recently got this very positive email mail through a professional social media platform:

“:) .. your web site is treasure of great insights – I’m in my year two of my MBA journey and more and more I found myself checking historical and geopolitical “whereabouts” when reading the cases the profs. thrown on us .. I think it’s a/THE key  to fully understand what is happening “behind the scenes” of all/most they want us to do (evaluate equities or M&A deals, making recommendations, etc. etc. ) unfortunately it’s mostly omitted…

I was touched. The thing is, nobody goes to my website. I track visitors, and after accounting for bots, it’s only a handful of people every day.  The email drove home how rapidly changing the media landscape really is.

A little over three years ago, I set up the website to help support marketing and publicity for what I planned to be my next book on investing. What I thought was my best book heretofore came out in 2018 to…. utter silence. Media professionals drily pointed out that without a promotional platform, they were not surprised, no matter how good the book might have been.

So I set out to build such an eco-system for the next go around.  The web-site was launched….  Then I was told I needed to drive people to the website through LinkedIn posts, and Twitter posts. So I started taking LinkedIn seriously—previously I had listed myself as a juggler, which I am, rather than a finance professional, which I also am.  And I stuck my toe into the roiling, piranha-filled waters of Twitter.  Then I was told I needed a podcast, which I dutifully created. (Is there anyone out there without a podcast? Just wondering… )

I thought, great, I’m well on my way to having an platform that the publisher will want to see for the next book. Wrong. The publisher wants to see my Substack or Medium subscriber numbers… It turns out that they are the new gold standard for individual platforms. The goalposts had moved again.

I am drawing the line. For now, I am declining to set up a Medium or Substack account. I understand the benefits of aggregation and subscription. That is clearly the case on podcasts, where the vast majority of my listeners access the episodes through aggregated platforms such as iTunes or Spotify. Medium and Substack represent the same idea: a way for followers to easily access written content in an aggregated setting. I get it. But it is possible, thanks to Follow It, to be notified of changes to my website. Yes, I know, that’s not the same as having 10,000 subscribers on Medium or Substack. For now, however, I decline the opportunity to be Charlie Brown and have media-Lucy yank the ball away just as I’m ready to kick it through the goalposts.  Enough. I need to get back to writing.