Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Cant you see
This is a land of confusion. – Genesis
I have never been one to tell you that your baby is ugly, but If your baby looks like Winston Churchill, I am not going to fawn over how cute he is.
There are a lot of new FIRE adherents out there. That is great. There are lots of new FIRE blogs out there and that is mostly good.
I am not even a FIRE OG, more of a FIRE guy you have seen around at the grocery store for a couple of years, but I need to vent a little about the proliferation of new blogs.
If you are reading the caption, I would gladly settle for Like Me and Give a Listen!
Here are some hard truths about current FIRE trends.
I think of our blogs as being one of three types. This is not all encompassing, but it makes sense to me;
- The PF Clearing House
People discover FIRE everyday. Some are way behind on the knowledge curve as far as the world of personal finance goes. They need all the help they can get. They might even need to start from Square One. This type of site speaks directly to them. Useful and broad in scope, but not for the person who is up to snuff on the usual stuff and looking for that next level info.
2. The Deep Dive
These blogs are useful because they take a topic and go all the way down. Spelling out in great detail the process and the minutia. The work these bloggers put in is always appreciated by the readers. When you see that topic, you click because you are expecting a certain caliber of info.
3. Personal Connections
We all become hard pressed for topics at some point. This blogger tries to relate a little bit of themselves in the post. As we follow them over the years we get to know them. Little windows into someone life who we relate to helps build this community up and makes articles about credit cards more interesting.
I know there are probably more categories that deserve to be mentioned but I am going to pivot now to vent and be mean about FIRE trends that bother me.
The websites that are there for new people to find so that they can learn about Basic Personal Finance are well established. You are not likely to bust into this market.
Stop thinking you are going to get rich off of your blog, you are not. You are spending a lot of time for some return yes, but you are mostly recycling content. These sites feel a little generic. The remora swimming with the big sharks serve a purpose, but only to a point.
Too many listicles and we will drive people away before they ever have time to acclimate and discover our valid pursuit.
The moment I realized that I had released a ‘shitpost‘, I felt bad and called it out for what is was. I reworked it a bit and keep it on my site now as a reminder of FIRE trends even I fall prey to.
So, if you can’t be Number #1 (The PF Clearing House) and you are not willing to be like #2 (The Deep Dive), at least try to be like #3(Personal Connection) and add a personal anecdote or a real world example to your content. It makes the all the difference.
We are starting to see some shade being through around our community on social media. This did not happen when they was not enough FIRE bloggers to fill a swimming pool.
My hope is that people who might be here because FIRE is trending and they think they can monetize for a quick buck will give up after awhile. I am certainly willing to wait out the storm. But the credibility and quality of our little corner of the internet universe suffers in the meantime.
Every time you try to sell me ED pills while I am trying to read about the top tens slang words for money, a PF angel loses her wings 🙁
Ask yourself are you contributing to the overall health and improvement of our community? Why are you here?
Now let’s get back to having some Pie and trying to change the world.
P.S. I think a good analogy for what I am trying to say about FIRE trends is happening right now on the Internet News Front. Some Click Bait title makes me scroll through page after page of near meaningless fluff. I end up quitting before I ever even get to the part of the story that made me click in the first place. This is by design, great design for ‘hits’, poor design for content. What was their purpose? To tell me something, or to get more views?
P.S.S. I had the perfect pic in mind for that last paragraph. But alas, nobody has created a screen shot of Jacob Reynolds playing a young George Kellogg in The Road to Wellville as he demands ‘Meat and Potatoes‘ at the table. Oh well, can’t win em’all I suppose.