Every time I read a post or news story about the death of blogging I roll my eyes and shake my head. Those headlines and stories are written by those who don’t understand and or those who like using linkbait to drive traffic.
That is because the ancient art of blogging began when man first drew pictures of animals inside caves. Humans are communal creatures and storytelling is a big part of how we build those communities.
The best bloggers understand that storytelling is the way to connect with the readers and to begin building a community. They don’t spend all of their time asking and answering questions about how long it takes to build a successful blog, how to generate comments or how long it takes to build a community.
They share stories and invite their readers to share their own as well. When used effectively social media brings people together in both unique and traditional ways. It is a useful tool for helping to capture and share a moment in time.
It is a sunny day in Los Angeles and I am with a group of the boys. It is the late nineties and our crew is a mix of newlyweds and grad students. We’re sitting outside watching girls on roller blades and swapping stories about life.
The singles guys are regaling us married folk with tales of their conquests and smart ass remarks about how our lives are over now.
“I went on an interview today. It was for a position selling cemetery plots.”
There is a short pause and then I receive a barrage of remarks about how it will be great to work with stiff and don’t catch a case of necrophilia. I have a witty response to every comment that I would share but sadly can no longer remember.
Or maybe I can remember but choose not to share those memories here. Selective memory is one of the benefits of the ancient days in which we didn’t record every thought in tweets, Facebook status updates and blog posts.
Blog Posts Don’t Always Have To Follow “The Rules”
If you want to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack you need to be willing to mix things up a little bit. You need to show your voice and your style and you need to do so without looking like your are trying to be different.
That is what I am trying to do here. I am trying to be different without working real hard. I am trying to share a few moments in time you can connect to and trying to make a couple of points.
I don’t expect everyone to get it or like it. I hope you do but you can’t please everyone. If you try to do that you will create a boring, sterile blog that no one besides your family will want to read.
I love my family and I know they will read whatever I write, but they aren’t the target audience here. Everyone else is. The goal is create something special. The goal is to build a community that will stand together and sing a song.
Watch the video below and you will see what I am talking about.
You just watched fans of the Liverpool Football Club sing You’ll Never Walk Alone. I don’t want to get into UK politics here because its inclusion in this post isn’t related to Hillsborough, not to mention it was used before the release of the report.
The point and purpose is to say this is the sort of communal experience and support that every brand/business wants and something that anyone who is trying to build a community wants to build.
Consider what it must be like to be in a stadium where more than 45,000 people are singing together. I have seen it happen sometimes at baseball or football games here in the states.
One my most vivid memories is from 1996 Olympics. I remember watching Michael Johnson win a gold medal and how so many of us sang along with Star Spangled Banner. It was awesome, but the Olympics aren’t a weekly event.
What I am talking about is building something more, something special and doing much of it with the tools that are provided by the ancient art of blogging.
This is the sort of community I want to build. The way to do it is to find things that people can relate to. It is by talking about homework never ends for parents and asking people to share their favorite movies.
What do you think? I would love to talk about it with you in the comments.