This past weekend, in preparation for VoxPopNJ’s next workshop “Social Media for Creative People”, I sat at my computer actively avoiding the blank Powerpoint slides before me. I checked my email, commented on Facebook, listened to @CraigMahoney’s newest podcast, and sent way too many tweets, including a few to my favorite Brit, @microedge. A talented web developer, @microedge recently decided to tweet at only three points throughout the day; British restraint at its best. So when he sent a tweet to me, I paid attention.
@microedge took it a step further when he responded, “He would create plays as blogs so you would have to read them to the end.” The more I thought about that comment, the more I realized it’s true.
What makes a reader stick with a blog post to the end? What changes that reader from a frustrated freshman in high school assigned to read Romeo and Juliet into a paying patron in a movie theater riveted by Leo and Claire? Is it the medium or the message?
I do some of my best thinking in my car and those Powerpoint slides weren’t making themselves, so I took a drive over to the library to pick up a book I had on hold. During the invasion of our snowy overloads earlier this month, I was approached by @liz_lynch for inclusion in one of her blog posts. Curious about who she was, I checked her Twitter profile, discovered she wrote a book entitled Smart Networking, and, being a broke owner of a startup, I reserved it at the library.
A nice slim volume with practical advice for both online and offline business networking, @liz_lynch’s chapter about blogging contained two points that come close to answering my query about Shakespeare:
Blogs show your personality and authenticity.
Shakespeare’s personality isn’t well documented, but as an English major and sometime teacher, I’m confident that he’d be a lot like @craigmahoney – brilliant, baudy, and bitter. Shakespeare’s observations on politics, romance, and sports (remember all that fencing) coupled with his reputation at least according to Wikipedia as the “the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist” would make even Arianna Huffington take pause!
I’m no Shakespeare, but I am opinionated and have a decent sense of humor. I don’t tout myself as an authority on blogging and other forms of networking online simply because I believe my efforts speak for me…and does the internet really need another “social networking guru”? Online communication and networking is a passion of mine, and I’ve met many interesting, knowledgeable and influential people using the tools available online including blogs. I teach what I love, and as a teacher I hope my students (whoever they are) walk away knowing more than they did before I started.
I also tell a damn good story!
The Powerpoint slides are finally done, and Mr. Shakespeare, @craigmahoney, & @microedge will be a large part of my presentation on blogging next Saturday. Personality and authenticity serve us well in just about everything we do – this week, keep that in mind as you communicate in any medium. As Shakespeare might say today:
All the internet’s a blog,
And all the men and women merely writers;
They have their personality and their authenticity,
And one man in his time writes many posts,
with comments always welcome.