What Gets You Worked Up Enough To Blog About It?

Filed as Features on February 7, 2007 10:44 pm

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Writing this weekly column for the Blog Herald has been a new challenge for me — I’m not used to blogging “on demand.” On my own blog, Publishing 2.0, I just waiting until something gets me sufficiently worked up that the blog post practically writes itself. Because of that dynamic, I also have a pile of unfinished posts that just petered out — if the momentum runs out, I typically find the post wasn’t worthwhile anyway. I’ve also gone days without posting because nothing got me sufficiently worked up (in the old days they used to call it writers block).

So I had to write this column today, and nothing really topical for the Blog Herald had me stirred — so what to do? Well, for one thing I can raise the core issue of blogging motivation, and ask the pointed question — what gets you worked up enough to blog about it? I can also posit for comments and reaction that the best blogging comes from the gut (although it’s also well informed by the brain).

Beyond that, I’m going to take the liberty of running through a number of brief items that got me worked up today, any one of which could have been a full blown blog post, but the point is to explore what the seed of a good post looks like. So here goes.


Steve Jobs And The Church Of DRM

If there was a TechMeme for Catholic theology, the view after a major papal pronouncement would probably look the same as TechMeme did after Steve Jobs came out against digital rights management (DRM). Kudos to Rex Hammock for recognizing the theological undertones to the whole DRM debate.

“Entering a conversation in order to influence it is almost always a corrupting influence on the conversation.”

Thus spoke David Weinberger, Cluetrain founding father, in an interview with Jeff Jarvis for Beet TV — is it possible that corporate communications and transparent conversations will never mix? Is everything emanating from a corporate entity destined to be “artificial” rather than “authentic”? You might call this the Weinberger Uncertainty Principle.

New Media Still Not Ready For Wall Street

News Corp’s quarterly earnings press release contained not a single mention of Fox Interactive Media or MySpace (hat tip to Staci Kramer at PaidContent, who also noticed this). If one of the new media leaders among traditional media companies can’t demonstrate the impact of new media on the bottom line, what does this portend for everyone else?

Barry Diller, honest media exec

From his Media Summit keynote:

Future of YouTube: I have no clue. They have a big audience…it is ridiculous

and

User-gen content: We come up with these terms which don’t mean anything. Almost everything we do has some form of user interactivity…user is part of the active process. We should not all be crazy over this

Why can’t more media executives cut through the crap like this?

First, Fix The Brand
From Jason Calacanis’ iMedia Brand Summit keynote:

The entire room laughed out loud when Calacanis asked if they knew whether or not their brand was loved while introducing the idea that — if a brand is interested in leveraging user-generated video — the answer had better be a firm yes. Cable companies, cell phone service providers and Calacanis’ former employer, AOL, would have a hard time driving good results, he said, with user-generated video, since at least some consumers would create brand-damaging content.

As Chevy Tahoe infamously learned when it put users in control of advertising, everything that’s wrong with your brand will immediately have an “authentic” consumer voice. Word of mouth has always worked best when you just make great products (see Apple). Giving “users” a platform to create marketing messages for your brand is a gimmick, not a marketing strategy.

Well, now, that feels better. When something gets you worked up, blogging can provide much needed relief. I find the best posts typically start with cage rattling and then take just enough time to step back and think things through, but without losing the momentum. (I will confess to having done more than a few posts where I blogged first and asked questions later, only to regret it in retrospect.)

Bottom line: blog your passion. And if nothing gets you worked up, you have to ask yourself — why am I standing on this soapbox?

Scott Karp gets all bent out of shape at Publishing 2.0.

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  1. Blog Herald Column: What Gets You Worked Up Enough To Blog About It? » Publishing 2.0February 7, 2007 at 10:53 pm
  2. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on February 8, 2007 at 12:20 am
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    Wow! That’s a lot of motivation to get worked up about crammed into a post about trying to get worked up. ;-)

    I find the bigger challenge is choosing between what really makes me want to rant, and the content my blog needs. Often what I really want to rant about is inappropriate for my blogs. So I have to leave the ranting on those subjects to others. Doesn’t stop the want, but it does direct the focus to keep me on track.

  3. By Scott Karp posted on February 8, 2007 at 1:06 am
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    Lorelle, excellent point on the flip side of the coin. I wanted to do a long rant on all of the topics above, but realized none of them would be appropriate for the Blog Herald, at least not in depth, so this was my fix, for this week at least. That said, I think blogging gives licenses to change it up once and a while and surprise readers — as long as you don’t abuse the privilege

  4. By john cass posted on February 8, 2007 at 2:23 am
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    Maybe we should turn David’s comment on its head, what if some companies enter the conversation to be influenced by their customers? After isn’t that what marketing is really all about understanding what your customer’s needs and wants are?

    In researching Macromedia a few years ago for a study, it quickly became apparent from chatting with product managers that blogging was a way to use marketing to build better products. Yet in the process of getting feedback and to helping to build a better product, customers turned from being just customers to become evangelists for Macromedia. Companies might want to influence others to buy, but really unless companies understand that the real results in online conversations come from listening to the customer and allowing their participation in product development they will not really garner the full benefits of revolutionary ideas expressed in book such as the cluetrain manifesto.