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Untapped

I have a huge collection of bookmarks. Some are organized into folders based on type, like blogs or podcasts. Most are thrown onto an ever growing queue that I fear is getting bigger faster than I can consume it. It’s almost futile at this point because every article I read spawns two or three more articles that I save for later reading.

While thinking about how to tackle this growing list of content, I noticed that many of the blogs are not that well-known. In fact, they may have just a few hundred readers at most. The perspectives I gain, however, are just as unique and thought-provoking as any article published in The Atlantic.

Alexander Sandberg’s short notes are great reminders for what matters most when working with others. Linus writes about where technology is going. He has also written some intriguing fiction. Ben refutes ideas commonly circulated in top universities. Jesse Li takes you on a narrative journey on software and its many voices. Hunor’s insights into product design on different timescales. Marius’s reflections being a traveler in 2020.

These writers share one thing in common: they are relatively insignificant compared to some of the bigger voices out there. They don’t have big followings, and hopefully you haven’t heard about any of them, otherwise this blog post might not make the cut.

It is only by collecting all those bookmarks, going from one document to another, that I luckily have stumbled across these writers.

The scariest part? I’ve shared a couple blogs above, but what about all the writing that I have not yet seen, simply because I would only find that writing by chance?

There might be another Odyssey out there that will never catch on, and will forever be forgotten.

I’ve been thinking about a search engine that somehow gives priority to hard to find yet high quality content. Not only because I’d like to find more of these lesser-known blogs, but also because recently I’ve noticed that web search results are full of increasingly shallow content.

For example, today a search on Google for “video editing software” gave me a blog post from Shopify(!), titled “The 12 Best Free Video Editing Software Programs in 2021”. I can see how store owners might benefit from doing their own video marketing, but at the end of the day, it’s a play at SEO to get the Shopify name in front of more people. There is nothing wrong with that, but for someone looking for deeper perspectives, these kinds of results overcrowd everything else.

This hypothetical search engine would filter out listicles and other content marketing. It would filter out names that are already super popular.

It would make it easier to find people who are sprinters, not experts.