Why I'm posting less frequently

Writing BlockWhen I first started blogging, I listened to advice that told me I should post at least daily and ideally more than once per day. As well, I was told that short posts are much better than long posts.

In the past half year, I’ve started to stray from this course. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I may fail to post on some days or even several days. And without doubt, most of my posts, are creeping up in length.

Why am I changing my ways?

Well, the first reason is based in how I select the blogs and posts that I make time to read. There is simply too much information out there that I would like to read and not enough time to read it all. So, I have to practise a form of triage on my subscriptions. I’ve realized that the blogs that I am most likely to unsubscribe from are those that have too many “me too” or trite posts.

There is a place for the quick one liner and simple observations: Twitter. I look there for quick pointers to interesting things. But I expect the blogs I read to provide something more profound.

This leads me to the second and more important reason I now post less frequently.
It’s become clear that the quality of my postings, not their frequency, drives both subscriptions and links to my blog. (How’s that for burying the lead?) I’ve realized that people are not reading me for the latest news. I believe they’re reading me in the hope that I will offer a distinct and thoughtful perspective on a topic they care about.

I can be offline for several days and return with a thoughtful original post – and what happens? The visits to my site will immediately jump back to the level they were at before I took my break. Of course, if I return with a “me-too” post, something which merely parrots things I’ve hear in the echo chamber, the audience will not engage.

So, seeing this, I’ve decided to post less often, to write only when I have something original to say. It may not be profound. But if it reflects my perspective in an honest and clear way, I know that the people who read my blog will return and continue the conversation with me.

UPDATE: Chris Moore skewers me for posting about not writing trivial posts. A good reminder that what’s important to one person carries little weight with another. :-)

Talking to Chris Heuer about Social Media Club

Chris Heuer by Dave WinerChris Heuer launched Social Media Club just over a year ago to bring together people who care about social media to share, learn and connect with one another. Since then, Social Media Club has evolved and now has several active chapters across the U.S.

I caught up with Chris at this year’s Gnomedex for a quick chat about Social Media Club. Chris talked about the second year of local chapter activities getting underway as well as the first SMC-sponsored Social Media Workshop.

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* Thanks to scriptingnews / Dave Winer for the picture of Chris.

Other related content:

MyRagan bans Social Media Club – posts one, two, three, four 

BlogOrlando – the Social Media Conference

Robert Scoble on Social Media

Jeremy Wright on blogging

"White hat" social marketing

White hat social media marketingI believe that the greatest potential for social media lies in our ability to use it to find others who share our interests and form communities with them. And I think the public relations and marketing community should be helping clients to understand how to enter into mutually beneficial long term relationships with online communities.This focus on long term community building which offers real benefits to all participants is what I call “white hat” social marketing.

Unfortunately, some marketers seem intent on using the new medium for old tricks. I am distressed at how often I hear conference presentations or read blog posts where it seems the primary intent is to use social media to achieve a short-term increase in conversions for online commerce.

Black Hat social media marketingEven worse are those who coach others to mine the information we enter in social networks to generate marketing databases (“cause they know that the information will be used when they volunteer to enter it”) or post corporate marketing videos under the guise of consumer generated media (“they’ll find out eventually.”)

Such practices put at risk the trust and transparency that are essential to social media. They also fly in the face of the culture of generosity that drives the vast majority of citizen content creators.

For me, this is “black hat” social marketing.

I believe that the new norms of social media are being defined by this tension between the value set that is based on generosity, transparency, authenticity and community vs. those that are defined by the desire to generate short-term advantage and a marketing mindset that relates to the citizens as an audience to be acted upon and manipulated.Michael Seaton

So, it was a real pleasure for me to read Michael Seaton‘s post on The Symbiotic Nature of the Social Web. Michael is the Director, Digital Marketing at Scotia Bank and the creator and host of The Money Clip podcast.
Reflecting on recent social web initiatives by Canada’s banks, Michael says:

…the benchmark for social web success is (in my mind at least) the sustainability of communities and the level of interaction and involvement they build. Or, said another way, it is the degree to which they are engineered to foster a symbiotic relationship with their audience on behalf of the brand.

When designed to be mutually beneficial and transparent, corporate social web initiatives have a chance to exercise full potential for both brands and consumers that participate within them. That is the sweet spot.

…the starting point has to take into consideration ways to enable individuals to do something outside the typical interactions between citizen & brand. This means going beyond the everyday experience, being unique and compelling while also providing utility. Viewing the social web as an opportunity to simply broadcast a message will not likely produce anything worthwhile.

This is a refreshingly progressive point of view from one of Canada’s leading marketers. I hope that others will pay attention.

UPDATE: Chris Moore has added his perspective on this issue.

Conversation with b5media's Jeremy Wright

I had a chance to talk with b5media‘s President, Jeremy Wright, when we were at Gnomedex.

Justin Kan by Laughing SquidWe opened the conversation with a discussion of b5media’s sponsorship of justin.tv’s cap. (Justin Kan auctioned the space on the front of his hat during his presentation at Gnomedex. Jeremy paid $750 to have b5media’s logo on Justin’s cap for a month.) Bottom line: This type of stunt generates buzz among opinion leaders and influentials.

Jeremy also discussed the potential for bloggers to make a living from their blogs. It’s possible, but to make a full-time living you have to work at it full-time.

Finally, I asked about b5media’s growth plans. Look for Jeremy to mention in the last minute of the video that he’s working on licensing the b5media platform and deals to provide b5media’s ads to other large blogs.

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Other related content:

Digging into b5media’s secrets

Blogging for Dollars

* Thanks to Laughing Squid / Scott Beale for the Photo of Justin in the b5media cap.

Linkworthy – Ma.gnolia, Gnomedex, Budget surprises

Why Ma.gnolia is one of my favorite social bookmarking tools

LinkworthyThomas Vander Wal’s post caused me to take a second look at Ma.gnolia as my preferred social bookmarking tool. Thomas says,

“In the past year or less [Ma.gnolia has] become more social in insanely helpful and kind ways. Not only does Ma.gnolia have groups that you can share bookmarks with but there is the ability to have discussions around the subject in those groups. Sharing with a group is insanely easy. Groups can be private if the manager wishes, which makes it a good test ground for businesses or other organizations to test the social bookmarking waters. I was not a huge fan of rating bookmarks as if I bookmarked something I am wanting to refind it, but in a more social context is has value for others to see the strength of my interest (normally 3 to 5 stars). One of my favorite social features is giving “thanks”, which is not a trigger for social gaming like Digg, but is an interpersonal expression of appreciation that really makes Ma.gnolia a friendly and positive social environment.”

Chris Pirillo reflects on Gnomedex past and future

I attended my Gnomedex for the first time this year. And like many others, I found it was a fantastic conference on the basis of the quality of the participants and the interactions in the hallways and lobbies. An eclectic group of smart, interesting people.

The experience in the conference proper was something different. It had some fantastic highs – Darren Barefoot, Guy Kawasaki, Gregg Spiridellis – mixed with some sessions that just didn’t cut it. So, a very uneven program.

Chris Pirillo (who has poured his heart and soul into giving people a great experience) has a very thoughtful post about this year’s conference and how to build on the experience to deliver a relevant, challenging conference next year. Chris’ intelligence in looking at the larger picture and his penchant for looking at things from a fresh perspective make me want to attend Gnomedex again next year. Even if you’ve never been to Gnomedex, link over to his post. I think the odds are that, when you do, you’ll find yourself subscribing to his feed. To read even a smattering of Pirillo makes you want to read more.

How to avoid budget over-runs

One of the worst experiences for both a creative firm and the client alike is to have a budget exceeded. It’s unpleasant to have to raise this with the client and definitely unpleasant to receive a call about this. The Canadian Marketing Blog offers some practical advice on how to lay the groundwork in advance to ensure that budgets don’t get blown away.

Robert Scoble on social media

Robert ScobleI had a chance at Gnomedex to ask Robert Scoble about his approach to the ecology of social media. How does he decide which social media to spend time with and what’s his current view about which tools are best for what functions.

Robert looks for the “doubling pennies,” the applications and sites that are growing rapidly and at an accelerating rate. His intent is to alert us to those hot spots. Right now, he sees Facebook as the most important of the new applications.

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By the way, I apologize for the lighting. I’m still learning how to take decent videos. But I hope that you agree that the quality of Robert’s content compensates for the crude production values.

Related items:

BlogOrlando – the social Social Media conference

blogorlandoIf you can make it to Orlando at the end of September, don’t miss BlogOrlando.

The second BlogOrlando is scheduled for September 27-28, with a day at Disney World September 29. Demonstrating that the gift economy is real, social media thought leader Josh Hallett is bringing together a list of speakers for this one day free conference that other conferences rarely match. Really. I’ve paid hundreds of dollars to hear a lineup of speakers with less to say than Josh is delivering in Florida for free. And Disney World the day after for the family!

If you are interested in learning more about this great conference, watch this video interview I conducted with Josh when our paths crossed at Gnomedex earlier this month.

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I plan to be attend and I know I’ll learn a lot and have spend some time with great people. So, you know I’m sincere about this. If you are anywhere near Orlando at the end of September, don’t miss BlogOrlando!

Oh, and did I mention that registration is free? Thank you Josh Hallett for putting your experience and network to use to benefit Florida and anyone who can attend or read about this great event!

Related items:

Canadians on the Power 150 Next 100

AdAge Power150 from Tod Andrelik

Last week, I wrote about the Canadian marketing, public relations and media bloggers who appear in the AdAge Power 150. Dino Demopoulos left a comment on that post pointing out that there are several other Canadian blogs moving up toward that ranking – including his own blog, Chroma, at #151.

Lists like this are very valuable for allowing us to discover new and up and coming voices. So, to help this, I’d like to point to the hard charging Canadians who appear in the Power 150 “Next 100.”

I hope that you’ll invest five minutes clicking over to some of these blogs. If you do, I’m sure you’ll find new and engaging voices. And when you do, subscribe and join the conversation with them.

  • Chroma: Dino Demopoulos brings his perspective as a planner and communications strategist to media, culture digital lifestyle and marketing.
  • Buzz Canuck: Sean Moffitt explores all things connected to Word Of Mouth marketing. Practical. Intelligent. Leading edge. Sean’s part of my daily must-read list.
  • Common Sense PR: Eric Eggertson demonstrates that you can see a long way from the vantage of Saskatchewan as he writes about the latest developments in business communications. A b5media blog.
  • PR Works: David Jones, half of the Inside PR podcast team with Terry Fallis, is always trenchant, funny and irreverant in his comments on public relations and marketing. (Disclosure: David is a former colleague at Thornley Fallis.)
  • Student PR: Chris Clarke first started writing his blog while studying PR at Fanshawe College. It was pretty good. In fact, good enough that it caught the attention of the gang at Thornley Fallis. We hired Chris on the strength of the insight his posts showed.
  • Transmission: Mark Goren puts a human face on his Montreal-based marketing agency’s blog.
  • Social Media Group: Maggie Fox writes and podcasts about social media and marketing on her company blog. She joins Kate Trgovac as the second ranking female blogger on the list.
  • The Client Side: Michael Seaton looks at marketing from his perch as Director, Digital Marketing at one of Canada’s major banks, ScotiaBank. Michael has been a champion of new media in corporate Canada and he`s one of Canada`s leading Digerati.
  • Canadian Marketing Blog: The Canadian Marketing Association`s blog draws on contributions from a stellar cast of CMA members.
  • The New PR: Ryan Anderson looks at public relations in the online world from his position as marketing director for an interactive marketing firm.
  • Experience Planner: Calgary-based Information Architect Scott Weisbrod blogs about multi-channel customer experience, planning, design and management.
  • Praized: Sebastien Provencher brings a strong background in local search to his blog.
  • BPWrap: Barry Welford brings another Montreal voice to the party.

I said earlier that lists like this provide an opportunity to discover new voices. And in writing this post, I discovered some new blogs that I had not yet read. So, if my descriptions are a bit brief in a couple of instances, I apologize. But I’ve discovered and subscribed to all of these now and I’m looking forward to following each author through his/her voyage of discovery. I hope you’ll join me in this.

Linkworthy – BlogNation Canada, Publish2 and Blogscope

LinkworthyA set of links about start ups:

BlogNation Canada launches

Tris Hussey edits the new BlogNation Canada. There’s lots of interesting things going on in Canada Web community. So, Tris should have a steady stream of posts.

Publish2 Manifesto

Scott Karp announces his new venture, Publish2, “a social network and 2.0 platform … which aims to put journalists at the center of news on the web by creating a journalist-powered news aggregator.” Grounded in the belief that humans make better news judgments than humans, who better to make these judgments than journalists, including practitioners drawn from old and new media. Should be interesting.

A look at Blogscope, a new measurement tool for blogs

Jeremiah Owyang looks at Blogscope, an “analysis and visualization tool for blogosphere which is being developed as a research prototype at the University of Toronto.” In Jeremiah’s view, “The most interesting thing about BlogScope is that it’s feature set is available for free, so if you work for Nielsen, Cymfony, Factiva or others, … you should pay attention.”