I took time the other day to visit some other blog sites, mostly of authors I enjoy reading--Tom Peters, Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin. Then I visited the Fast Company blog--Fast Company is the only magazine I read cover-to-cover every month. Then I found Mark Cuban's blog--Mark is a Pittsburgher bizillionaire who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. From there, I visited a few other sites and came to the conclusion that I am a bad blogger. Why, you may ask?
I don't spend nearly enough time reading and looking at other blogs. I don't know how these guys have time to do that. I suspect they have staff doing some of it, but certainly not all of it. These other sites are chock full of links to reports, other blogs, and places of interest related to their particular theme or topic matter. Their references to other sites stretch for at least one mile on either side of their written entries.
Then the graphics on most of the sites were pretty cool, cooler than mine. I like my blog, but it is definitely a meat-and-potatoes look, where some of the other blogs are champagne and caviar. They include graphs, colors, pictures and other neat touches that are absent from my blog.
I also noticed that some of the blogs get a large response under "remarks." My friend Bill Kinnon told me about the feedback to an entry he wrote on PowerPoint and Microsoft. Not only did he receive eight comments, but has also had a huge response to that entry as measured by daily visits to his blog. I know Bill doesn't have staff working on his site, yet his site oozes neat and interesting stuff. Way to go, Bill.
I've decided to try and do a better job linking you to other interesting stuff that's related to what I write about. At the same time, I came to the conclusion that my blog isn't for you. It's for me. It's my outlet to the world. It's my online journal of thoughts. It gives me a chance to experiment with putting my thoughts on paper--well, not on paper, but into cyberspace. I want to invite you into my world and, quite frankly, this blog is part of my world. It is part of who I am and all the things it doesn't have are part of who I am as well.
Years ago my son said this to me, "Dad, you're one of the funniest guys I know, but your writings aren't. They aren't you. They're way too serious. You should write funny stuff." Shortly after that, I was in London and a young man came up and said, "I think I'm to tell you that you are supposed to write more humorous stuff, along with satire."
I was intrigued by these comments, but they also scared me to death. I knew how to make people laugh in public, but I didn't think I could do that as a writer. This blog has given me a chance to experiment with that and the feedback has been pretty good. (Please note: It took me about three years to start doing what those two young men urged me to do.) I may be a bad blogger, but I'm a pretty good writer (funny too, don't you think?)
Have you thought about writing, painting, sculpting or even about blogging, but were a bit intimidated by the work of others? Then I have one word of advice--don't be (I guess that's really two words). Produce something for you and invite other people to come in and watch you as you do. All right, you're not a Hemingway or Faulkner. But they weren't you either. Bring your perspectives to the written world and even be willing to write badly in an effort to write well. You may be surprised at the following you attract as you overcome your fears and put your thoughts out there for the world to see.