How 3,000 Sycophants Made One Man A Better Blogger
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.”
I try not to take myself and or life too seriously. That is becauseÂ life is meant to be loved, lived and laughed through. Â Were I to go back a week or two I might say that this post is tied into the three words that are discussed over here.
Love, live and laugh or laugh, live and love is my motto for 2012 and beyond. Really it has been part and parcel of me for quite some time but I have only been aware of it for a short time.
Self awareness is a double edged sword. It is the thing that can help propel us forward so that we focus on building a plan to meet our goals and overcome our fears.
It is also the same thing that can prevent us from being successful or should we say lack of self awareness.
Within the blogosphere we sometimes misinterpret our worth, value and success because we view comments as a sort of currency. A lack of comments is sometimes seen as a sign that no one values what we say.
But the opposite can be true too.
Sometimes too many comments make us think that our words have more weight than they do. That is because some bloggers allow their heads to swell based solely upon the lack of criticism and complaint they receive.
It reminds me of Ozymandias:
“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
I blog because I love to write. This is how I vent and how learn more about myself, who I am, who I was and who I want to be. I blog because I want to turn this story into a book.
My community is important to me. I would do this all without you. I would do it because Â I can’t keep the words inside me. I have tales to tell and stories to share.
But that is a much poorer way of doing it. The best bloggers imbue their words with personality and passion. That doesn’t mean that they can’t take pride in their work or incorporate it in some fashion but if your goal is to promote yourself you musn’t forget about your community.
Your community matters far more than you may measure or recognize.
I just hope that I remember my own words and my own advice because one day I may be in a position where I have achieved much and I don’t want to pretend that it happened solely on my own.
Jayme Soulati January 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm
OK, I just had to litter myself all over your blog. I have nothing to say; you said it all very well. Thanks for changing that headline; no one should ask what it was supposed to be.
I won’t tell that person thanks for making themselves fodder here.
Jack January 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm
You get credit for the name change. Don’t go and spend it all in one place.
Jayme Soulati January 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm
:p (in case you can’t read emoticons, that’s my tongue…at you.)
Kelly K January 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm
It is good to be reminded comments are everything. I do admit that if they are silent, sometimes I wonder if anyone is listening, and then my writing inner voice kicks into gear.
But comments are not everything. Sometimes it’s finding the one person who has been through what you have and suddenly the world feels a little better.
I’m glad you’re finding a good balance.
Jack January 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm
I haven’t any patience for some of the bloggers who seem to think that a well populated comment section means they’re special.
The egos of some of them is just irksome to me.
But I will agree that sometimes it is nice to know that people are listening.
Kristen January 18, 2012 at 8:22 am
Really thought-provoking post, Jack.
I really like what Bill D. said in his response: “This can be your business platform, but it still is about community and some level of engagement. For those that feel they are above that, good luck.”
I’m still newish to blogging and am very new to the world of freelance writing, but I get squeamish when I start hearing too much about “building your platform,” even while I recognize that it is many people’s realities now. I recently read the advice to divide your blog readers into mentors and fans and then court the mentors and basically ignore the fans.
I know I’m naive and clueless when it comes to social media, but it all makes my stomach turn.
Jack January 18, 2012 at 10:23 am
It is a dynamic environment with flexible guidelines. I find it challenging and irritating in many ways.
My blog has been the source of business for me and I am grateful for that.
That includes writing jobs as well as the brand ambassador and reviews that have come through here.
It certainly is a platform that I use to promote myself but the manner and method is something that I try to be careful about.
Social media is about people. Business is about people. I try to operate based upon that.
That means that I try to be kind to others and treat them the way that I want to be treated.
I look at my stats and see lots of different people coming here from different places.
There are company names that I recognize and others that I don’t. I don’t know if the person on the blog is the CEO, janitor or some one else.
Any one of them might be the person that can help me so I try to be nice.
And I figure that might help them be nice to someone else, spread the love and it is good for everyone.
It might not work every time and I might not always get it right, but I try.
Bill Dorman January 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm
I hear ya, and I certainly know some of them. And I will take it a step further; they don’t appreciate the community they have because they are always looking a rung higher.
I won’t lie, I got in and thought you had to be everywhere and do this and do that; writing was secondary, it was my ticket to the party. Now that I am away from the hamster wheel I am really enjoying the writing part. Having a community that responds to it is definitely a bonus and much appreciated.
It’s funny you write this, because I was thinking of a post along the same lines and I was going to title it ‘When did you decided to become a green booger’…..
This can be your business platform, but it still is about community and some level of engagement. For those that feel they are above that, good luck.
Jack January 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm
I have said it before and I’ll say it again- you get it in a way that many don’t.
Some of those more popular people are riding a wave and when it crests they are going to fall….hard.
Jayme Soulati January 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm
Wait, I just read that rung thing over at my house!! What are you doin’ repeatin’ comments are are we all blogging in an echo chamber??!!
Jack January 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm
Helloooooooo, helloooo, helloooooo
Jayme Soulati January 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm
Where the flip is my like button?
Deena Fischer January 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm
I write because I love it. I write because I have something to say. I write to exorcise my own demons (and I hope to help others to do the same). But I’d write even if no one were reading.
That said, I love when someone leaves a comment (or more often an email due to the nature of my blog)and tells me that I helped them (even a little bit) or that I made them laugh (which, to me, is even better).
Does that make me narcissistic? Um…Probably.
Is it a reason to keep going? Hell yes.
And so I shall…
Jack January 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm
I am biased, but the blogs I like best are usually written by the people who write because they can’t conceive of not doing so.
When the words are bursting out of you it makes a huge difference.
Stan Faryna January 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm
If 3,000 sychophants don’t also retweet, share, and carry you on their praise to triumph, who needs ’em? [grin]
We can walk there on our own two legs – just fine. And, perhaps, faster.
Jack January 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm
There is a lot of pleasure in finding our way up the hillside on our own.
Jayme Soulati January 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm
Hi, Stan; where ya been?
Dina January 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm
I have to admit that I am one of those bloggers that feels a little disappointed when I only have a few comments on a post, especially if it’s a post I felt strongly about. It definitely makes me think that I didn’t express myself clearly enough for people to really get it so they just click away without adding their thoughts.
Jack January 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm
It is always nice to get comments but some people mistake their importance and value.
Adrienne January 17, 2012 at 7:43 am
I feel the same way too Jack, I’ll write even if no one shows up. Heck, I was doing that a year and a half before anyone did show up now that I think about it. 🙂
I like that you are you and share your thoughts about things whether we agree or not. Hey, that’s what makes this place so cool.
Fame, huh! I guess that would be nice. Maybe?
Jack January 17, 2012 at 10:32 am
I wrestle with the idea of being famous. I am not real certain that I would want it. Might have to blog about this one.
Danny Brown January 17, 2012 at 5:47 am
Okay, I am REALLY curious which blogger brought this on. 🙂
Wise words, mate – Internet fame is no fame at all. Shame so many forget that.
Jack January 17, 2012 at 9:27 am
I could provide you with a list of bloggers who are responsible for this post.
Several of them would be dumbfounded to find their names listed here, but it is not my responsibility to let them know that they are behaving like an ass.
I won’t lie and say that I didn’t think about it, been a while since I got involved in a flame war.
Got more important stuff to do like pick the fuzz out of my toenails or clean the toilets.
Would have been fun. 😉
Jayme Soulati January 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm
I think you have those descriptors all wrong, especially when addressing Danny — that’s “douchecanoe” and “asshat” or some such jamokin’ word.
Julie January 17, 2012 at 5:06 am
Maybe we do it because we have to, in order to fulfill our mission.
It really IS important to some people to be comment rich, or just rich. And they leave it there, because it is enough for them.
For the rest of us, it’s more of a winding path, the forest around us growing richer as the animals appear and the leaves change and flowers blossom…because the richnes lies in the journey.
Fame, I think, has nothing to do with it, except maybe it allows us to get our message out to more souls who need to understand it.
Jack January 17, 2012 at 9:23 am
I hear what you are saying, but this post is directed more at those who fail to recognize that the emperor has no clothes.
Jens P. Berget January 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm
I feel the same thing. I want to keep writing, and that’s the reason why I do what I’m doing, but I love comments as well. I don’t need many of them, I just want some feedback that people read what I write and that they either enjoy it, or feel that I need to write it in a completely different way.. most people are too nice, so I don’t get much criticism (I’d love to get more, because all I want to do is to become a better writer).
I haven’t read about your book yet, but that’s what I’m going to do right now 🙂
Jack January 16, 2012 at 11:59 pm
Comments are nice but I think that some people let them go to their heads. They aren’t currency and they don’t mean that someone is a good or bad writer.
Some times there is no rhyme or reason to this blogging thing.
Jens P. Berget January 17, 2012 at 1:38 am
That’s exactly why I’m having a problem seeing blogging as a business.