Why I Need To Write Stories and Publish Them Publicly

I have struggled with why I need to publish stories publicly on my blogs over the last year. After stepping back from social media, killing Twitter, and limiting my work storytelling to LinkedIn, and personal to Facebook and Instagram I was left with the question once again—why do I publish my stories on my blogs? It is all so wrapped up in my performance as both Kin Lane and API Evangelist, as well as the social media movement of the last 15 years, I struggle with unwinding it all. However, I finally have settled on an acceptable narrative for why I need to publish API stories to API Evangelist, journal my life on Kin Lane, and play with images on Algorotoscope, and fictional stories on my Alternate Kin Lane—it is me.

My online identity is a big part of who I am. Soon after finding some success with API Evangelist I noticed how strong the tractor beam was to move to other platforms like Posterous, Tumblr, Medium, as well as operate via social media instead of using open standards like Atom or RSS. I consciously invested in Kin Lane and API Evangelist to retain “value” and “meaning” in what I was doing, and it paid off. My writing on API Evangelist resulted in some very successful storytelling, and has landed me several lucrative gigs along the way. My two domains play an important role in who I am online, but also offline. It isn’t just vanity. It isn’t just a desire to be read. It is my space. It is my voice. It is where I have the most control online in this digital world. These domains are more me than Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ever will be. kinlane.com, apievangelist.com, and my other suite of domains are my digital self.

I feel successful within my domain. I don’t have an editor or filters within my domain. I get to publish whatever images, videos, and text I want. I get to organize my domains exactly as I want, even if that means they end up a little untidy. I like when my stories get read, and I like it if people notice my images, but it is more important that I just produce and publish these things. I also get to go back and decide what gets deleted and removed, and which domains go away. I like this. It gives me a sense of control over my digital self (in a time where I am unsure). I like telling stories. I like for people to be able to find me online. I enjoy people knowing what I am up to in a self-service way. You just type in my name and explore what I am up to. Page views and likes don’t matter, it is just about sharing my view of the world via my digital channels, and contributing in my own positive way to the online realm.

I still share stories from API Evangelist on LinkedIn, and occasionally a Kin Lane story on Facebook. I still share photos and images of my life on Facebook and Instagram, and now some on Threads. I don’t care about scale or things going viral. I don’t have to be consistent. I keep many stories in my notebook. My site is easily navigable using the headers within a site, and the footers across my sites. I like this. I am getting better at cleaning up and organizing these domains and giving regular attention to each area. I am thinking about expanding on my Alternate Kin Lane to further incentivize my fictional writing. I am even thinking about setting up a monthly newsletter to provide a digest of it all. I am not worried about readership or advertising, I am just looking to document my view of things, and give me some targets and constraints to work within when it comes to producing stories and images.

I write and publish stories to my domain to tell stories and project myself into the digital realm. I write and publish stories to influence my little corner of the web. I want to be the web I enjoy seeing and I think I will continue building sections of my sites that accomplish things once done by commercial or free platforms. I think I will keep publishing images to Instagram, but continue to invest in my own image API, as well as my own video API. I will build these things as API Commons, and augment my Jekyll powered website with super powers enabled by these APIs. I have a lot of content, data, images, timelines, videos, and other rich information I have curated over the years. When you combine this with what I am doing with APIs.io, there is a wealth of information available across my domains, that I used to produce stories, contribute to open source projects, and just make available for others to remix and reuse my ideas in their own work—as this is what the web is all about in my mind, not necessarily the version we end up living with today.