October 24, 2017

Searching For Clarity

This image summarizes this blog nicely.

What is this blog about? Sometimes I don't even know.  Is this a simple living blog? Nature blog? Minimalist blog? Anti-capitalist, or pro-do-your-own-thing blog? How does one tell?

I could look at my label cloud for some ideas, or read and do an analysis of all 1350 post that I have written since 2008. There is another way, and it is quite fun. I am talking about looking at the search words people use.

On the Internet, people are always searching for something.

Using this method, I can see how this blog might differ from the 300 million other blogs out there. This gives me some idea of the focus here, at least from the perspective of search engine algorithms.

Looking at the search words that lead here never fails to surprise me. I am pleased to be associated with the concepts and ideas given in this snapshot of Not Buying Anything.

The following are examples of the most popular searches that landed people at this blog instead of the 299,999,999 other ones on offer these days.

Search Terms That Brought Readers To Not Buying Anything:

  • Are you open to the miraculous?
  • Alternatives to working.
  • Peace.
  • Contentedness.
  • How is advertising based on illusion?
  • A simplified life: tactical tools for intentional living.
  • Ascetic lifestyle.
  • Austere living.
  • Do with less so they'll have enough.
  • Extreme frugal living.
  • Hoarders.
  • Homemade refried beans.
  • Consumerism is killing the earth.

When I look at these searches, it gives me an idea of what I am doing over time on my blog, just in case I feel like I am floundering, or have lost focus.

I think I am on the right track, according to my intended purpose, which has been laid out in our Vision Statement, as well as our Simple Living Manifesto.

One thing I can say for sure - we here at Not Buying Anything are definitely open to the miraculous. We have to be, because it is going to take something akin to a miracle for humanity to get through the coming decades successfully.

It is satisfying to see that "peace" is one of the most popular search terms. I also like "homemade refried beans", as if they are the secret ingredient to making the world a better place.

Are you open to the miraculous? How about to refried beans? World peace? You can find it all right here, whatever here is.


  1. Perfect. This blog (and one other) are literally the only things that stop me from disconnecting from the internet completely. The world is full of madness and mass consumerism and the internet can fuel them both. Logging on here though makes me feel that at least there are some other people out there who appreciate quietness, nature and the joy of having Enough. And refried beans of course :)

    1. Karen,

      We want this to be a simple, loving refuge from the madness. Ironic that, as you say, the medium is also the largest purveyor of madness. And shopping. And hate.

      We will strive to keep you away from the madness, and connected to this community of simple living, joyous humans who know when enough is enough.

  2. Well Sir, whatever it is you are doing I am all for it. I too love the home made refried beans search bringing all who dare that much closer to your wit and wisdom. You and Linda both have enriched my life in ways I canna begin to describe...well, you mostly but Linda... somewhere out there in time and fucking with us all in her playful way. Can we make her a saint? Seriously though, I beg recognition for her and her courage and her curiosity. Can I use her in a story? And you too? But alas, you two are already a story unique and wonderful. All best. Love, Michael

    1. Michael,

      We are glad you are with us. Come for the refried beans, stay for the love. And courage. And curiosity. Happy to have you part of our story.

  3. Anonymous10/25/2017

    "There are many paths to the Dao" as the saying goes. The best blog on the net. A rare place where anti consumerism mixes with peace. Of course these a well trodden roads throughout history and everyone finds their own way.

    1. Alex,

      Thanks for making this a better place for us all. You have inspired Linda and I to once again cut caffeine. In addition to that we are also changing other habits and routines. We are always trying different, hopefully better, methods of wayfaring.

    2. Anonymous10/28/2017

      Definitely feel a lot better without caffeine. Much better quality of sleep that's deeper and more refreshing. Less cortisol equals less stress. People appear shocked when they find out, so it is not for everyone. It is freeing when you don't have to keep trying to find the next caffeine fix and this gives you more energy. It isn't easy to give up and I still get the occasional strong craving, but this reducing over time.

  4. Hi Gregg,
    How did I find you? I think I typed in simple, frugal living and here you are. I do love to read your gentle words about the impending doom of this consumer society, trouble is we are all affected in some way no matter how simple we live our lives. We are all on the same earth, consumer or not, what will be left? Have a lovely day.

    1. Fiona,

      With so many blogs, including simple living blogs, out there, I am continually amazed that anyone finds their way here. But maybe it isn't so unusual - I think that the group that has assembled here over the past several years has done so more meaningfully, rather than randomly.

      Universal forces bring us together.

      It is probably inevitable, given the connectivity of the internet and computers that readers and blogs find each other. If we were physically in a large crowd, chance are we would eventually all end up in the same place eventually, laughing and sharing stories and experiences. Like we do here.

      We love the philosophy of your "Stay Home Instead" blog ( https://stayhomeinstead.blogspot.ca ). We enjoy a super simple, stay at home lifestyle ourselves. Home life is the foundation of civilization, and people vastly underestimate its importance.

      They also underestimate the satisfaction that can be had from a simple, home-based lifestyle.

  5. I found Not Buying Anything via a comment that Gregg wrote on another blog about living simple or something similar. Unlike NBA, that blog didn't stay around long.

    This is the most sincere blog I've ever read. Gregg and Linda are real humans living true to the core what they write about. It would be hard for me to title it because like life itself, it has many angles and levels and it is so comprehensive. In my years of following, I've seen about every emotion expressed and every aspect of living with less and how meaningful a simple life can be.

    Gregg and Linda and the people who comment are respectful, honoring our humanness and encouraging to all. It is a place of belonging no matter where you are on the life's path. It's a place of genuine empathy and celebration. One thing is for certain the words spoken here are in alignment with my deepest values. And most any article I read in archive still applies today. This blog is a classic.

    I'm forever grateful for Gregg and Linda, their steadfast commitment to a freely share their wisdom and and for how it has guided my life.

    1. Terri,

      You have been with us from very early on, and we are grateful for that. We are so glad we have become enmeshed in each others stories. In this crazy world, it is connections like ours that keep us going.

      You are so right about "the people who comment". What an amazing group of people, from all around the world. It is an amazing thing that has changed life for the better for Linda and me. Thanks for being an early adopter, and steadfast supporter. We appreciate it deeply.

  6. Anonymous10/26/2017

    Oh, yes! I found you guys with a "not buying anything" search about six years ago and an SO GLAD I did. I agree with Alex, the best blog. Period. Well, at least for me. Here's to many, many more years of the NBA community. We are wonderful!! -Erin

    1. Erin,

      Wow. Six years. When life flows like it has for Linda and me (since adopting a simpler life), time loses its relevance, and meaning. It all becomes one continuous, glorious experience.

      Until you stop to think about it. Or look in a mirror. Or see friends you haven't seen in a while.

      I agree wholeheartedly - "We are wonderful!" Yes! Thank you Erin, and everyone that shares here. And those of you who don't. Yet.

  7. As an early follower, I've come to love and rely on the community here at NBA. It's a place of encouragement, practical advice and a bit of humor along the way. It's been an invaluable resource and place to meet up with like minded folks.

    Thanks Linda and Gregg for keeping this all going.


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