Three Years of Blogging. Really.

Breaking news! Today marks the third anniversary of my first blog post, and you probably don’t care. But that’s the beauty of a blog. People post even if no one cares. The past 1,095 days as a blogger will be remembered by me as both an enriching and challenging experience. One has to face the blank page (screen; I still miss typewriters) and the clock, and try to produce something that is not only readable, but informative and occasionally entertaining. For me, someone who likes to roam free, it has been helpful in forging a more formalized approach to my hobby of watching society and technology become one.

I like to watch things merge and converge, but most of all I like to watch things collide. You can call it a guy thing if you want. When I was a boy I would build model cars and then stage elaborate collisions. I would use flame to melt fenders and doors to make it look more realistic. I wish there had been digital cameras then. No one was harmed in the making of those scenes.

When something tries to occupy the same time and space as something else, it usually results in a release of energy. The result is always interesting and occasionally dangerous. And if you watch closely enough, perhaps even play it back in slow motion, it can reveal the mysteries of the past and open a window to the future.

So what have I learned these last three years? It’s hard to blog. Blogging is writing on deadline. More akin to journalism than manuscript writing. But it’s not who, what, when, where and why. It needs to be perspective, perhaps even controversial, but not insulting (so sensitive these humans). It’s humbling because there are so damn many great bloggers out there. But above all, it’s social.

Comments on my blog keep me going. Occasionally I’ll run into someone at an event or conference and they say, “Hey, I read your blog post about…” That’s like lighting up your synapses with extra epinephrine. No re-uptake inhibitors allowed. I’ve also co-blogged or cross-blogged with some friends, and although it’s more work, it is the best of all blogging experiences. Blogging, despite the fact it is done almost exclusively on your own, in a quiet, empty room, is actually one of the most social things you can do.

There is a very simple and true force of nature at work when you blog that gives credibility to the principle of the Oneness of LIfe and it’s Environment.

If you give freely on your blog, you will receive 10x in return.

Not everyone gets this yet. Especially people steeped in their business as it’s been in the past. For example, yesterday I was in a brainstorming meeting (yes another one) with some very smart people. On a flip chart someone wrote the following words, “What do you want to get out of Social Media?” That’s the wrong question. The right question is:

What are you prepared to share with your community through Social Media?

Give, share, be open, reveal yourself. If you do that, YOU will be happier about this blogging stuff. Forget everything else. Blow it up. Remember, technology is boring, information is useful and people are interesting. But relationships are fascinating. Oh, one more thing. When you blog, collide.

Image by: OnyxBlackman

Lessons Learned from Two Years of Blogging

“Today is my second anniversary of being a blogger,” he said, as the neon applause sign over his head lights up.


October 13, 2007 was the first day I set-up this WordPress blog. Social Media was growing fast and I wanted to learn more about it for business as well as personal reasons. I have always liked to write so it didn’t seem like that much of a stretch. Biggest challenge was what to write about. I felt it was important to have a theme, and so after dozens of tries I came up with “Tracking the convergence of society, media and technology.” A friend who now resides in California made her way back to my blog a couple of weeks ago. She tagged me and my writing with a label; postmodern. I feel it’s a fitting description that I want to spend more time pondering. Hey another idea for a post!

Looking back over these two years I’ve learned some things, I think. Here’s the short list of lessons learned.

  1. Blogging is hard. You get out of the blocks fast, but the longer you do it the tougher it becomes to maintain momentum. Don’t stop. You started for a reason.
  2. You become obsessed over the stats. I found myself clicking back to see if I gained any more readers in the last 10 seconds. This goes away over time with therapy sessions.
  3. There is a temptation to find a new theme or redesign every six months. Evolution is normal. Have at it as it’s your time. But people come for the content not for the design.
  4. Cadence is only mildly important. Believe it or not, no one is waiting for your every Monday, Wednesday and Friday  7:15 am post.
  5. Don’t manufacture posts to stay on a schedule. If you have nothing meaningful to say, you won’t say it and no one will read it. Save everyone the trouble. People can be harmed by careless posts.
  6. Read other bloggers you admire and learn from them. Style, topics, use of images and stats, etc. But don’t develop Blogger Envy.
  7. For the most part stick with your theme, but it’s not taboo to veer off-road once in a while.
  8. Challenge yourself to write better. If you put in the time you will improve, and it will show. Ask an editor to review your work occasionally.
  9. Stop obsessing about the stats. You’re not doing this for the fame or fortune. Really, you’re not.
  10. Above all, be passionate. Boring is boring. Don’t be boring.
Blogger Space
Here's my study, where most of my writing is done. Nice bright space.