Are We Human or Are We Bloggers?
Someone remarked yesterday about the amount of times I reveal things in my writing and tweets that are, well, less than aggrandizing. Actually, her exact words were “have you no shame? lol”.
Shame? Hmm, while I don’t post pictures of myself drunk, or in my boxers, I do write things that others might think are self-depreciating. Things like mistakes I make, failings, bad habits, and the fact I am jealous that my brother is tall, slim and an excellent guitar player, while I am short, chubby, and can play one chord. Badly.
I think the way we communicate online gets to the heart of what we believe the medium is meant to be …
Blogs are about human conversation. We are not writing for broadsheet newspapers, this is not an academic thesis. We are people first, bloggers second.
Yes, I make money through building trust in my capability to help businesses via giving away fabulously useful information, but admitting failings does not work against that. In fact, I believe it helps.
There is a key word in the previous scentence – can you spot it?
Ah-ha, yup, there it is. “Trust”.
People like to do business with people, particularly in service or coaching type scenarios where they will work closely together. Showing you are a real person behind the screen is a way to build a connection, which leads to more trust.
Also I think in particular mistakes, problems, and how we deal with them, is valuable content. Wouldn’t you rather learn from another person’s mistake rather than have to make the mistake yourself?
I don’t hold with this idea that we have to present a perfect facade in our writing. If anything I believe being an imperfect, but three dimensional person can only add rather than take away.
What do you think?
Chris is a professional blogger and internet marketing consultant. You can get more of his blogging tips, internet marketing advice and copywriting articles and a FREE ebook just by subscribing at chrisg.com
I completely agree and it seems there’s a real art to revealing just enough of your personality through your writing. Blogging is no different to any other form of communication and it’s always useful to remember that you’re writing for real people, not page views etc. Nice post – thanks.
I’ve always felt this way. If we come across as perfect, we lose our personality, which is riddled with imperfection. Like you said, people connect with people, not with a perfect presentation of a person. Eric.
It’s being a errant, lowly human being that makes blogs interesting. Otherwise they should go read technical manuals or something on coding..LOL. and, I like the use of slang and misspellings too. It feels nice and down home.
The power of social media and freedom of speech. If you wrote something else you might have never got her attention.
“That which is most personal is most universal.” I don’t remember who said it, but I remember what was said.
Although I try to keep my reviews “article-like”, I do let my humorous attitude peek through every once in awhile. My readers like the fact that I am a “real person” and never above answering ANY of their questions. I love that you stated “people first, bloggers second”. That will never change for me. Thank you for the article!
I for one don’t want to read about perfect people–because I don’t like being lied to. Of course, there is such a thing as TMI, and what’s too much depends on the context, but being transparent not only builds your readers’ trust in you, but helps us learn to trust ourselves in spite of our shortcomings.
Seldom that I read such kind of post. While most so-called gurus and experts telling us what to do achieve success in blogging, only a few discuss about failure.
The blogosphere as I am seeing it is now full of imperfection, but no one tells us what not to do. They don’t to forget that great invertors of our time failed more than a thousand times before they completed their experiments.
In fact, some bloggers spend longer hours to perfect the grammar, spelling, etc. But unfortunately, they forget to check something – is their content trustworthy?
Thanks for being honest.
Congrats for the title Chris – really caught my eyes. I’m a newbie blogger, but like many of us I have so many things to share. Who can judge what is good for you ? The perfect recipe does not exist, but everyone has his own audience which understands the same language like you. So if it’s about what to do or not to do – will work for the specific target.
And hey we have such an amazing library collection and connections through web that anything is possible. The world is flat !
Yes, I am definitely drawn to those blogs where people speak to me and talk as persons. If I wanted something with no personality, I might seek out a textbook. :-)
Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! I guess we can all happily go along being perfectly imperfect ;)
You’re so perfectly messed up, it’s inspiring!
P.S. Playing one chord badly got Iggy Pop pretty far.
@John – Heh, I have progressed to 3.5 badly formed chords now – I can almost play a tune!