Loss Leaders

close up shot of toblerone chocolates
Photo by Safwan C K on Pexels.com

A couple of weeks ago someone on Reddit asked me to elaborate on my motivation for posting my Practically Paperless with Obsidian series. “Are you trying to make a course and sell it in the long run?” they wondered, “or build your brand.” My answer was fairly simple: (1) to document an experiment I was making with Obsidian, and (2) because it’s fun. I’m a writer and I like to write.

The Practically Paperless posts are the most popular posts on my blog since I started writing them last year, far outstripping all of the other posts I write. That said, they make up less than 1/7th of the posts I’ve written since I started the series. Sometimes, I’m a little bummed out by this. I wish as many people came to the blog to read all of the other posts I write.

In my more cynical moments, I think of my Practically Paperless posts (and my Going Paperless with Evernote posts) as loss leaders. They are fun to write, and they do help me work through my experiment of going practically paperless. But I’ve also been at this long enough where I know they will be more popular than my other posts. It is my hope that by putting these posts out there, people will come to the blog and discover all of the other stuff I’ve written and enjoy that just as much, if for nothing else than for its entertainment value. In other words, come for the Practically Paperless posts, and stay for the State Capitals and Other Trivia, or the improving education through biographies, or even my Vacation in the Golden Age posts.

Implied in the question on Reddit was that one would not be doing this if one was not out to make money somehow. What was my alterior motive? As regular readers of the blog know, I do this as a hobby, I do it for fun, and I specifically don’t montize what I do here. My alterior motive, if any, is to get people to read more of what I write. I am writer, after all, that’s what I do here. Indeed, I’ve been back to regular blog writing now for nearly 470 days, and I’ve published at least one post here on the blog each and every one of those days.

So if you are new to the blog, and especially if you arrived here through my Practically Paperless post, I’d urge you to check out what else I’ve written about over the years. There are more than 7,000 posts to choose from, and if you can’t decide where to begin, I put together a curated index to the blog that give a sampling of the wide variety of posts I’ve written here over the years.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

Written on March 29, 2022.

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  1. Jamie,
    I originally found your blog from your Evernote posts and have kept up with you and the blog since then. I’ve actually been tracking my reading since 2014 because of your own list. I’ve enjoyed the daily posts and the Obsidian posts, keep it up!

  2. It’s a good strategy. I found you years ago when you wrote some in depth posts about LastPass software that I found in a Google search and I’m still here…….

  3. I’m that guy. I started with the “Practically Paperless with Obsidian” series (although I don’t use Obsidian). After a few reads from the curated index list, I have been slowly working backward through the blog posts.

    You just about lost me on your Notes on The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer – Jamie Todd Rubin (jamierubin.net) post, and I made the following notation in my journal:

    Mr. Rubin then compares all this to Trump, which doesn’t surprise me; however, I find it interesting that authors often say things like ” They were to follow him blindly, as if he possessed a divine judgment, for the next four tempestuous years.” Not realizing that the tumultuous years were caused not by Trump alone but by false allegations of collusion and the resulting smear campaign led by Clinton and her campaign committee. Special Counsel John Durham finally brings these and other attacks to light. The resulting smear tactic has had their followers blindly making blanket statements and comparisons to Hitler and others, lynching in effigy their neighbors, friends, and co-workers who disagree. Such as the one outlined above.

    I understand this, too, is a blanket statement, so I’ll continue to enjoy your blog and reading your thoughts and insights, although I might disagree with some of them. You would also be incorrect if you assumed that I voted for Mr. Trump.


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