A Victim Of Circumstances- Echo Chamber Effects


I march to the beat of a different drummer and my guy has no rhythm. Wouldn’t matter much if he did because it wouldn’t mean that I could sing or dance any better than I can now.

You need to know that because when we talk about social media marketing  you are going to see me roll my eyes at half of what is said. That is because after almost a decade of a blogging and about 14 years of helping companies figure out how to use the net I have a few opinions about things.

The number one and two rules are to have fun and to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing/saying.

The Echo Chamber

The blogosphere is cluttered, noisy and saturated a billion bloggers who love the idea of the Internet Gold Rush but very few of them are sharing anything interesting, novel or useful.

Some of that is because they are parroting what they hear elsewhere because they think/hope it will help them gain traffic and notoriety. That is not the sole reason for the content quality problem but it is a significant part of it.

You can add a few other things like not taking the time to find your blogging voice  and not spending enough time thinking about how to create compelling content.

My focal point isn’t on whether people only focus on white male bloggers but on coming up with good content and upon sustaining my effort.

Dancing Around The Storm

The storm is the clutter and noise in the blogosphere. It is the chaos that surrounds so much of this and the whining that comes from people who forget this takes hard work, effort and time, this being blogging.

Two of Mark Schaefer’s posts this week fall in line with what I am talking about: In praise of the naked business and Could too much tweeting cost you your job?


In praise of of the naked business provides an inside look at how Mark operates but not in the sense of him providing actionable tips you can use to become a Internet giant. No, it is a reminder of the person behind the blog. He talks about how he likes to work in a way that makes it clear he is human, no different than you or I.

And the next post provides another thought/reminder of the importance of how we treat other people because that impacts our professional and our personal lives.

It reminds me of when I first started working and learned that some people were treated differently in the work place because they were members of the family that owned the business or because they had the kind of charisma that made people like them.

I had expected to find a workplace where everyone was equal and your future was contingent upon the quality of your work. So I was very surprised when I found out that it wasn’t always like that.

A Victim Of Circumstances

Luck and timing are important. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. If you got into the space earlier, sustained your effort and kept going you might be among the more successful bloggers, or so some people argue.

Not me, because it doesn’t matter. I am not interested in being seen as a victim of circumstances.

It is not fair that some people produce crap that is lauded as being gold or that they are held up as examples of what we should aspire to be, but it doesn’t matter unless you let it.

This is about working on your game and focusing on sustaining your effort while accepting that you need to do something to make yourself interesting. There is no single road to success which is good because I am a firm believer in the Mark Twain quote below:

“You can’t reach old age by another man’s road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you.”
– 70th birthday speech, 1905

Find what makes you happy in this wacky blogosphere and find a way to incorporate it in your writing. When your passion and personality come through it will help you find like minded individuals who appreciate you.

Some of them will hire you and some will just join you for the journey, but you need both because one of the few critical elements for success here is to sustain your effort and those who walk with you will help do that.

Don’t forget to try to be likable occasionally too. People respond better to being nice than constantly flaming them.

What would you add?

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  1. Pingback: $5 Billion Reasons Why You Can't Buy Donald Trump's Toupee - Joshua Wilner

  2. Brian D. Meeks May 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

    You are right, there certainly is a lot of crap out there, but I find that the small circle of bloggers that I tend to visit on a regular basis, don’t produce any crap.

    Gini, Danny, Shonali, YOU, Jack, Bill, Jayme, Kaarina…and the list goes on…all produce well thought out posts. They are such good writers that I only needed to give you the first name.

    Cream rises to the top, leaders lead, and the good ones get noticed. Great post.

    • Josh May 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Brian,

      We visit most of the same people. I have to keep telling Jack not to steal my stuff, greedy bastard. 😉

      That crew you mentioned there is definitely good company to be in and you are a part of it for certain.

  3. Craig McBreen May 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I certainly enjoyed that post from Mark, and you’re right, it’s a nice reminder of the person behind the blog. He combines fun posts like the one mentioned with online marketing advice better than just about anyone out there.

    The blogosphere is wacky, kind of fickle and can be all consuming. If it’s taking up a rather large chunk of your life, you better enjoy your time here.

    • Josh May 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Craig,

      From an outside perspective he appears to be very accomplished and I like getting a look behind the scenes that doesn’t feel like it is spin and marketing.

      It reminds me of sort of a graphic story, here is the short version. A person I knew once walked into a restroom after a supermodel had been in there.

      They said they also ran out of there screaming because it smelled so foul. It turned a very beautiful woman into a “real person” for them.

      That is not a perfect comparison, but the point is there can be a benefit in building relationships when you let people see who you are.

  4. Tim Bonner May 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I agree with Mary, personal experiences are the way to go.

    Even if you’re writing about the same stuff as everybody else, you need to be yourself and give your honest opinion because that’s what makes it unique.

    • Josh May 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Hi Tim,

      Exactly. Our personal experiences are different and that impacts our impression and thoughts about things. It can be very valuable to hear what others say/think on things because of that.

  5. Kaarina Dillabough May 8, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Someone I admire once said: “Just write baby, just write” 😉 Wise words. Cheers! Kaarina

  6. Mary Stephenson May 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Josh

    And the truth is we can’t and shouldn’t compete. Hard to be yourself if you are constantly looking over your shoulder and making sure someone isn’t doing better than you. I have read lots of old hashed up ideas and I think well maybe the newbie hasn’t heard it before and gets something out of it, but for me, I am getting really bored with it.

    We can tell if you had the experience or are just redoing someone elses work, but poorly at that. Give me your personal experiences and I will read what you have to say.

    Do I hear an echo? For some yes!


    • Josh May 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Hi Mary,

      Personal experience is what makes blogging so powerful. It is where we get a chance to learn about someone and feel something for/about them. I think it is what distinguishes the human voice from some SEO garbage.

  7. jayme soulati May 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    What a great reminder that writing a blog is not like cheating on a test. You can’t look at your neighbor and write the same answer. Be unique, be remarkable…how? By being an authentic you.

    The best tip is to really ignore the popular bloggers and write your own stuff. Sometimes the blogs will be alike b/c there is breaking news and we owe it to a community to write on it.

    OK, I scored, I’m first. I’m done.

    • Josh May 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Hello Jayme,

      Voice is real and if you don’t develop your own style you are causing significant problems for yourself. People want to read something that sounds original.

      It can be the same topic that someone else covered, but if you don’t instill your voice you are just one more piece of noise.

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