After they’d reported on the most recent corrections, they summarized that section of the show by saying:
We’ll do our part to keep screwing up to give you something to write about.
I’m sure they heard my laughter all the way to their studios.
Honestly, I can’t say when I’ve heard a better description of blogging.
Think about it.
Someone screws up. It gets blogged about.
Someone screws up on their blog, you comment and you might even blog about it.
You screw up on your blog, they will tell you. Or someone might blog about your screw up.
Screw ups start conversations. They give people something to write about.
John Dvorak has no problem with a mistake or two in a post spelling, using it as an excuse for interaction. “Feedback is feedback.”
I’m not advocating screwing up in order to get comments or attention. What I am saying is think before you leap up in defense of that blog post you just wrote, whether to stand up for the message you wanted to convey or the misspelled word or grammar gaf.
If what you said incites them to write something down in response, shouldn’t you take a moment to honor that. To recognize the effort that they made to say something. To start a dialog?
On The Media tracks news stories on journalists and the media. They understand that things get messed up in the reporting. Not all of the facts are consistently and thoroughly checked, and sometimes you have to go with what you have, even if you try your best to verify all truths.
So what do you do when you mess up? Admit you did and understand that the big picture is that someone noticed. When they notice, you know they are paying attention.
The Magic of the Comment
Remember when you started your first blog? The wait for a comment was painful. For most, that first comment was spam. In a twisted way, even that was welcome. Blogs are supposed to be about interaction, right? Until the interaction gets rolling, it’s a very dry desert for sharing.
When someone tells you that there is toilet paper attached to your shoe, or you have food in your teeth, aren’t you grateful? Embarrassed, yes. Frustrated by not knowing how long it’s been there, but so thankful that someone told you so you can take action to fix things. When someone pays attention enough to tell you that you misspelled a word or messed up a link, it’s a step in the right direction for some form of exchange. Be grateful.
We experts in blogging often talk about how important it is to give people linkable content, blog posts worth linking to. When you screw up, that’s another motivation for people to link to you.
So screw up well. :D