The Inigo Montoya Method For Building a Blog Community

Some years ago a friend and I debated (and I use the term loosely) whether The Princess Bride or Empire Strikes Back has the best big screen bit about fathers. It was a silly discussion and one that we never did finish but that is ok because this is one of those posts where I get to wag my finger in your face and tell you what social media is about.

People. Yep, social media is all about people. It is about building connections and communities between you and others. It is about developing relationships between folks who otherwise never would have met.  One of my favorite ways of building those connections is to use movies and music.

Earlier this week I asked people to share their 5 favorite movies/musicians and books. I wasn’t surprised to see it blow up. Not everyone commented but more than a few people have camped out on that post and read the answers that people left. It is not surprising because it is light fare and it is fun. And it sets a tone that makes it warm and inviting for people to comment and interact with others.

That is the kind of community that I want. That is the sort of thing that I am trying to develop and it is why earlier today I threw out the Tweet below.


Hello, My name is Inigo Montoya

All day long people have replied with various quotes and comments about The Princess Bride. I love it. Not just because I love the movie but because every time someone says “No more rhymes and I mean it” I know that they have extended their hand out and are waiting for me to shake it and say hi. I love it because the people are what make this blog something more than just a place to practice my writing. Sure, if you are among the 17 long time readers you know that I am going to write whether you read this or not. I don’t need the comments. I don’t blog for validation.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want them. I want them because I learn from others. I want them because an audience of one grows dull after a while. I want them because if I can build the community I hope for it takes me one step closer to creating an environment that leads to becoming a full time writer. I want them because I network with you and together we help each other.

When I let our friend Inigo race through here searching for the six fingered man I help you understand more about me and what I like which in turn helps you figure out if you want to be here. I have goals and a plan that I am working on and this all fits into that.

Yesterday was NicheAmnestyday and quite a few bloggers took advantage of it and took time to share sides that don’t always come out on their blogs. I enjoyed it. It was fun to learn about them and to see the “human” side in ways that aren’t always displayed.  I still see blogging as a journey and an adventure. If you are a geek like me you’ll appreciate it when I say that I can’t decide if I want to be Frodo, Aragorn, Harry or Dumbledore. Depends on the day and the mood. Sometimes I prefer to be Edison, Faraday or Salk.

But what I know for certain is that it is nice to have people join me along the way and in addition to your comments I would be grateful for you to become a fan of my Facebook page. There is no prize for doing so. No decoder ring, blue chip stamps or 8×10 glossies. I’d pick on Marcus and promise that he would show off some Patrick Swayze dance moves but that wouldn’t be fair. But before I let you go I’d suggest you point and click your way over to Jayme’s post about being a big/little blogger and to Janet’s post about letting go to have.

Just remember that The Beatles weren’t just spouting words when they said:

And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make


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  1. TheJackB July 28, 2011 at 10:17 am

    @Leon Cheaper By the Dozen is good but in my eyes, not as much fun as The Princess Bride. That generated a cultural revolution of sorts. Thus speaketh the Social Media Sage. Cue thunder and lightning soundtrack. 😉

  2. Leon July 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

    G’Day Jack,

    Clearly John Falcetto and I share the same good taste in films. I haven’t seen “The Princess Bride” either. Until now, I’d never even heard of it. You youngsters don’t understand that when you live in exotic wonderlands like John and I, you don’t need every filmic fad to stimulate you.

    Anyway, I always fancied Clifton Webb’s father role in “Cheaper By The Dozen.”

    Now he had fun.



  3. TheJackB July 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

    @subWOW The man in black would be proud of you.

  4. subWOW July 28, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Tru dat! (Your tweet)

    We quote from Princess Bride to each other in our house.

  5. Marcus_Sheridan July 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    @DannyBrown ‘Krull’….WOW, now that’s a classic to DB, well done!! 😉

  6. Marcus_Sheridan July 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    @John FalchettoDang JF, what’s wrong with you man, they didn’t have VCRs in those mountains you were living in??? 😉

  7. Marcus_Sheridan July 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Jack, The Princess Bride is easily in my Top 10 list of all time—thus this post was a top 10 as well. :))))


  8. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    @marianne.worley You should watch it. I think that you’ll really like it and then you’ll see why we all get goofy with the quotes.

  9. marianne.worley July 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    OK, I’ve worked up my courage to come back and comment…gulp, I’ve never seen the Princess Bride. Uh-oh, gotta go!

  10. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    @John Falchetto John, you’re missing out. The Princess Bride is a fabulous movie filled with fun, wit and warmth. Unfortunately they aren’t paying me for that strong endorsement, but that is ok because I enjoy the movie that much. 🙂

  11. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    @Kristen @ Motherese I can only speak for me but I NEED the mix. I can’t be all serious all the time any more than be silly all day. Although if I had to pick silly would win- I am really good at it.

    You are right about Dirty Dancing- lots of people can quote that. We might even be able to convince @theSalesLion to make an appearance.

  12. John Falchetto July 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I think thesaleslion should absolutely show us some Dirty Dancing moves including the lift. I never saw the Princess Bride so I am a bit lost to comment about it, will go and watch it first.

  13. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 11:43 am

    @Twinfamy I think that you are absolutely right about pop culture lending itself as a good tool for making friends. I used to kid around and say that if a woman didn’t appreciate The Princess Bride or Monty Python there was no point in dating because we would have nothing in common.

    I don’t believe that to be completely accurate, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that there is real truth in it either. That ability to use a line as you mention is very powerful.

    As for me, well I can’t remember if I took one side or another. It was one of those late night, had some drinks discussion in which the topic meanders all over the place and finishes where it originally started.

    But if I had to pick now it would be hard. Do I want to avenge my father and “honor” his memory or would it be better to see dad, “the personification of evil,’ redeem himself and save my life.

  14. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 11:37 am

    @wonderoftech Hi Carolyn. Thanks so much for coming over to visit, I appreciate it.

    I had to laugh at #NicheAmnesty because I am the guy that has no niche so this sort of stuff is perfect for me.

    Movies, music and books have been one of my “tools” for making friends for as long as I can remember so I figure that there is no reason not to use them here too.

  15. Kristen July 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

    As one of the people who saw your <i>Princess Bride</i> tweet yesterday, I’m happy to see this follow-up. One thing I really enjoy about blogs – and yours in particular – is the mix of serious topics with less serious ones. I doubt that most of us spend our lives on any one idea so it’s fun to see the variety that goes through someone’s head.

    And speaking of Patrick Swayze’s dance moves, another great Twitter test could involve mentioning <i>Dirty Dancing</i> quotes. I know a lot of people who can go on for quite awhile quoting that movie.

  16. Twinfamy July 27, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Jack, one of my favorites of yours in a while. Thanks!

    I think pop culture references naturally lend themselves to community-building, not only through social media, but in real life. For instance, you make friends with and date people who like the same things, have the same interests, quote the same movies. Online, the shared interest in a funny quote or adding the next line in a song lyric is an instant connection or “handshake” as you say. I also think they’re a great way of explaining our own experiences while blogging because if you take a movie or show everyone’s seen and make that analogy, people instantly “get it.” Also–because of their pop pervasiveness–they provide the possibility for humorous hyperboles, which I particularly LOVE to do on my own blog. (

    I’m curious–which side of the “screen fathering bit” debate were you on–Princess Bride or Empire? Can I assume from the post you’re after the six-fingered man rather than having an entire hand lopped off?

  17. wonderoftech July 27, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Thanks so much, Jack, for the shoutout! I feel honored to be “it” in your mind. 🙂

    I agree with you about community building. This week seems to be dedicated to that thanks to #NicheAmnesty and the connections that were (and still are being) made in the blogosphere.

    I haven’t tried mentioning Princess Bride in a blog title, but it sounds like a great idea. I love music and movies. I have become a fan of your Facebook page and look forward to reading more of your wonderful work!

    Cheers, Carolyn (livefyre uses my blog title instead of my name, lol)

  18. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 12:08 am

    @janetcallaway Hi Janet!

    Thank you for your kind words, I very much appreciate them. Blogging often makes me think of stew. As the blog author you could say that we are responsible for putting the majority of the main dish together, but the comments are the spices that make it truly special.

    They help add that something extra that make you want to not only finish the meal but lick the bowl clean.

    That quote I left is one of my favorites and in my experience the reason why many of us spend more time dreaming our lives than living our dreams. Or at least when it comes to me I would say that it is true. Your post was timely as I have been thinking about that topic quite a bit.

    Always good to see you here. Thank you again for your comments and support. I am off to check out the vanity URL.

  19. TheJackB July 27, 2011 at 12:02 am

    @DanCristo Hi Dan. Would love to see what you have to say. I’ll go check it out.

  20. DanCristo July 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Solid thoughts about community, Jack.

    I also was thinking about community building today. Check out my, “anit-community building” post –

  21. janetcallaway July 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Jack, I have no idea why that avatar is showing. It’s me, Janet, smiling, head tilted, lime green blouse.

  22. janetcallaway July 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Jack, aloha. You are building a great community. Your writing is amazing as are the responses to it. Though sometimes days are too hectic to comment, I always savor your posts and their comments.

    Thx for including me and the perfect Ralph Waldo Emerson quote you left. Quite honestly, Jack, my guess is that you are right about Marcus having some Patrick Swayze moves. He just seems like that type of person.

    Look forward to following this thread. Until later, aloha. Janet

    P.S. You have plenty of Likes on facebook, Jack, so you should get your “vanity” URL.

  23. TheJackB July 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    @DannyBrown I think that through the course of the conversation and the accompanying beverages we hit a few others as well. Haven’t seen Krull in years- but probably should have added it.

    Well, he and I are due for another sit down- so, we can rectify that.

  24. PhillipTusing July 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    @servantofchaos Ta. Missed that one, will look it up online.

  25. DannyBrown July 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Damn, but that’s a tough call – you couldn’t have run with Empire and Krull? 😉

    Love the analogy, mate, and I’m going to put the “Princess Bride / Twitter” equation to the test. 🙂

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