Posts Tagged 'blogging'

Now that we’ve met…

Hey wait ! Come back! Yeah you, the one that just read my blog. Who are you? What were you looking for? How did you find me and will you be coming back? And why didn’t you say hello?

It is not as if we are complete strangers anymore, you read my words. We just “met”.

It would be different if say we were in the street, say in a public square and you were looking around to meet someone. You had someone in mind, but was it me? There are people everywhere, surrounding us. Faces in a crowd don’t have keyword bubbles above their heads, nor is there a live action “search” option to find out what we might have in common, not to mention whether I might be dangerous. But we did meet, in a safe place. On my blog.

But you left without saying anything. Nothing at all. Was I not who you thought I might be? After reading maybe the first paragraph, did you just move on? Was I boring? Or maybe not the subject matter you were looking for. And what exactly were you looking for? I’d love to know.

You might have been looking for a job candidate. I could be that. I work hard, and am always looking for an opportunity that would enrich both myself and my employer. And if that’s the case, I probably failed the first interview. Which is unfortunate, because I never got to know you. We never had a conversation.

Maybe you just followed a link on my Twitter or Instagram pages, email signature or any other number of social media sites where I am present. If so, I’d love to know what I said, linked to or posted about that motivated you to go that one step further to read my blog. Even if you don’t like my blog.

There is no implied agreement in social media that you reply to what anyone says. If however we were face to face and I said something, I would expect a response. And you probably would say something, unless I was a raving lunatic and you felt the need to just run as fast as you could in the other direction. In hindsight a raving lunatic would probably get more response in social media venues than in public which is evidenced by the comments sections of many blogs.

Truth be told, I could find out how you found me, how long you stayed and where you went when you left. But honestly, that does not interest me. It’s not enough for me. I’d prefer we start a conversation. After all, you did hear what I just said didn’t you?

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Getting back: The Value of Warming Up

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Being a recreational cyclist for nearly my whole life, I know better after being off the bike for more than 3 weeks, than to jump on and turn out a 60 mile spin. The results would be disastrous. It’s not that I wouldn’t finish the ride, but rather that in the end I would be so physically drained that I would be reluctant to get back on any time soon.

And it is with this in mind that I restart my blog with a quick spin around the neighborhood. Just getting the wheels under me so to speak. I’ll avoid the steepest hills and the more technical descents. Just concentrate on feeling the road, being aware of my surroundings and getting the feeling back.

Writing takes practice, lots of it. And just as I find myself 3 weeks from my last ride, I face the keyboard with weakened writing skills. The ideas are there. I have three unfinished blog posts to show for it. But I was so anxious to write that perfect post without stretching first, that I went nowhere. I read blogs about blogging. I scoured the Internet for the latest trends in social media and technology. I “followed” “thought leaders”. I rekindled my relationship with Twitter and subsequently found myself doubting that I had anything worthwhile to add to the conversation. That would be akin to jumping to the front of a pace line in The Tour de France and being disappointed that you couldn’t keep up.

The array of tools that we have to disseminate all our thoughts and ideas instantaneously to thousands if not millions has created billions of pages of information at our fingertips. And there are a myriad of tools available to help direct people to us. But unless we have something compelling to say, it doesn’t matter how many people we reach.

In a recent interview, Jim Messina, the man behind President Obama’s re-election campaign was asked about the technology heavy, social media and metric driven tactics that were employed during the 2012 election. Nobody had ever amassed so much data on the voters and utilized it so widely. Yet what stuck with me after reading wide-eyed at all the technological wizardry was this simple coda. 

“You can build a whole suite of analytics… but it all comes back to the campaign, it all comes back to having a message that matters,” Messina said.

That’s it. The message is what matters. Without well thought out and compelling content, a blog is just more words sent out into the digital ether. Okay, the legs are warmed up, and I can feel the rhythm of my cadence again. Think I’ll turn around and head home. Don’t want to push too hard the first day back, because even though my all carbon-fiber bike is one of the best that money can buy, in the end, it doesn’t go anywhere without me as the drive-train. 


As Bill Tweets

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