W. James Au of New World Notes: I’ve been a professional writer for over two decades. My Metaverse news and culture blog, New World Notes, began as an online journal I wrote as the official embedded journalist in Second Life, as a contractor for Linden Lab, the startup which created the virtual world.
After I left that role to write my first book, The Making of Second Life (HarperCollins), I started publishing New World Notes independently -- in part as preparation for my next book, Making a Metaverse That Matters. (Wiley).
What are some of the challenges you face as a content creator?
W. James Au: Finding enough time to blog in between client work and now, meeting my book deadlines!
What are some digital publications that you follow?
Kottke.org (the OG blogger)
Techmeme.com (the OG tech blog aggregator)
Pros and cons
What do you like most about creating digital content?
W. James Au: I’m fortunate to have been writing about the Metaverse from a first-person perspective since 2003, and it’s still exciting to write about its latest creative evolution -- and just as important, the people who drive them.
What do you dislike most about creating digital content?
W. James Au: The logistics of putting up blog posts can still be a slog, especially since promoting them on social media platforms takes about as much time and is as necessary.
What inspires you to keep writing?
W. James Au: My readers, and the hope that my writing is helping the direction of the Metaverse evolve in a socially positive way.
Why did you decide to syndicate your content with Newstex?
W. James Au: Since many of my posts are widely shared beyond my regular readership, I am interested in working with Newstex on adding syndication as another revenue stream. Even more key, I’m hopeful Newstex can grow the distribution of my content.
What do you think are the benefits of syndicating your content through Newstex?
W. James Au: Advertising and direct sponsorship revenue is inconsistent and often not very substantial. Syndication is another worthwhile revenue stream to consider!
What are the top 3 tips you can give to others wanting to develop successful digital publications?
W. James Au: Consistency: You don’t necessarily have to write every day, but “train” your readers to expect (and deliver) a regular schedule of content so they keep coming back.
Connections: Reach out to as many interesting people as possible, ask questions, ask follow-ups, help them when you can, and they’ll become invaluable resources for your content.
Quality control: When you run an independent blog or website, perfection is crucial for establishing yourself as a reputable outlet. Always watch for misspellings and grammatical errors, and transparently make factual corrections when necessary.
Where do you see your publication in 5 years?
W. James Au: Hopefully it will be part of the great phase in the Metaverse’s development. My ultimate goal is for New World Notes to become the New York Times of the Metaverse!
What has been your proudest achievement as a content creator?
W. James Au: My main books, The Making of Second Life and Making a Metaverse That Matters.