Matt Gemmell

My book Raw Materials is out now!

A collection of personal essays, with exclusive content and author's notes.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Building an audience

Blog & Writing 4 min read

For some reason, people often ask me how I built my audience.

There are far better people to ask. They have more followers. They have more readers. They maybe have more of an active strategy. Maybe you should seek their advice instead.

But I do get asked that question, so I thought I’d at least try to formulate an answer, for posterity.

Sci-Fi

Personal 4 min read

I’m not sure I’d have made it through my teenage years without Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I’d get home from high school – which required a half-hour train journey across the city – at around 4:50 PM, and my grandmother would always have dinner just about ready. I’d take my plate, relocate to the living room, and switch on the TV.

We didn’t eat dinner together as a family; my father was gone by that point, and my mother taught in the evenings at her dance school, which was attached to the house. I’d see her occasionally, but not really until nine or ten o’clock at night, and then only briefly.

Dinnertime, for me, was all about Star Trek.

Respect Metrics

Blog & Tech 13 min read

I’m obsessed with the idea of duly respecting those who read my work. Other people, with their own lives and deadlines and priorities, investing some time – and focus – in my words. There are endless other things they could be doing, yet briefly, they’re here.

The same is true for the people who read your work. I’d like to talk about some of the ways you can design your site to give readers the respect they deserve.

Bailing

Personal 9 min read

We don’t talk much about money, do we? It’s a tricky subject.

How much do you have? How much do I have? We don’t discuss it. The question is rude. But why?

Well, because you might have less than I do, and you might feel sensitive about that. There might be embarrassment, or shame, or envy involved – and those are dangerous emotions. Resentment can creep in. It’s understandable.

Distractions

Tech 6 min read

In our house, there’s a device in almost every room - and that’s without counting the ones that move around with us.

They have various different form factors, and those shapes create expectations about how we’ll interact with them, and whether they’ll accompany us or wait for our return. They also govern how we want to be distracted.

I think there’s a hierarchy of computing devices, from desktop to laptop, then tablet, phone, and finally wearable. You can throw in multiple sub-categories there, and perhaps e-readers, but those are the main ones. Wearables are still very new, of course, and we’re working out what exactly they mean for us. I’ve recently had an eye-opening experience in that regard.

Junctions

Personal 6 min read

Have I ever told you how I got here?

You already know bits and pieces, certainly - I remember talking to you about some of it. Just the very basics. But there’s quite a bit more, as you’d expect.

We have some time right now, don’t we? Then let me tell you about my path - the one I’m standing at the head of. Every moment before now, leading up to the present.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go back the whole way. We can start in the year 1995. You won’t even need many details.