How 3,000 Sycophants Made One Man A Better Blogger Part 2

Shakespeares "Puck"

Shakespeares “Puck” (Photo credit: dbking)

“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
that you have but slumber’d here,
While these visions disappear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream”
Puck’s Epilogue
A Midsummer Night’s Dream- Shakespeare

 Your old friend Jack is a simple dad blogger who doesn’t understand the ways of the world. He knows not what he speaks of in business or social media. This is proven to be true by the lack of comments and followers who frequent these parts.

That is two parts sarcasm and three parts rhubarb boiled in rum and sweetened with some sort of sugary something or other. Or maybe it is proof that I suck at math, beats me. I don’t care to think too hard about it.

I still don’t take myself or life too seriously. I still blog first for me and then for you without much thought about whether I post too frequently for some to keep up or if my content is too broad or too narrow.

Here is some of what I know about myself:

  1. I am forty-three and a father.
  2. Sometimes I still feel like I am on the outside looking in.
  3. I am intense. There is a fire that burns in my belly that has never gone out and probably won’t until I die.
  4. Some people like me and some hate me. There doesn’t tend to be much in the way of ambivalence about how people feel about me.
  5. I would prefer that people like me but I don’t care if they don’t. Not enough time in the day to worry about that.
  6. I am a contradiction and sometimes more self conscious than I would like to be.
Here is some of what I know about social media:
  1. Social media is about people, not platforms or tools.
  2. Not everyone reads what we write/tweet/blog/share.
  3. Some people don’t understand what we write/tweet/blog/share.
  4. People remember how you make them feel more than they remember what we write/tweet/blog/share.
  5. Some people tell you what to do because they only know one way to do it and are afraid to admit it.
Performance Saratov Puppet Theatre "Terem...

Performance Saratov Puppet Theatre “Teremok” «A Midsummer Night’s Dream» based on the play by William Shakespeare (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That photo makes me think of some of the blog communities that I have visited. One person speaks and everyone listens but almost no one says anything. At least that is one way of looking at it.

Another way is to say that the community can’t believe the crap this person is shoveling and they are preparing to respond to it.

My preference is to be a part of communities where people feel comfortable to disagree. I am not a sheep and am guilty of sometimes looking down at sheeple.

I will tell you if I disagree. I will try to be polite about it. Sometimes I will fail. I don’t like failing, especially when we are trying to have a discussion. People don’t like it when you make them feel stupid.

If you and your community fling crap at me I might take two handfuls and throw it back at you. If you are really nasty I might even try to rub it in your hair. Blame that on the Jack Reacher gene. 😉

It is not a particularly good trait, but age has helped to eliminate much of it.

How Do You Know?

When my children tell me something is a fact I ask them “How Do You Know?” It is not because I want to be adversarial but because in the Internet age it is critical to ask questions about what we are told is real.

Many people have a bad tendency to believe whatever they read. It is easy to construct a professional looking site and to populate it with content that sounds important.

But that doesn’t mean that it is real, truthful or accurate.

I want my children to take time to think about what they are being told and to figure out what is real. I don’t want them to be suckered intentionally or otherwise.

Some of the “big shots” are fighting to stay on top or trying like crazy to get there. They are throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks. Not a very smart way to go about things, but when people feel insecure they do things.

But what do I know about any of this. I am just a dad blogger who slings words for a living.

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  1. bdorman264 July 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    To me, and of course I had to make it about me, how you make people feel is the most important thing of all. I follow some people and they are damn good; I enjoy reading them quite a bit. However, they lack the give and take and they spend more time pushing than actively engaging; then they wonder why more people don’t stop by. They don’t make me feel bad, but I think they would be better served to spend some time on cultivating the relationships first and then if they get so popular they have to back it down at least they will have a base built. If their response is lack of time, then maybe they should cut their posting schedule to free up some time. HOWEVER, who am I to say? 
    I believe everything I read; this is the internet, nobody would print anything untrue or unsubstantiated. 
    The internet has created a whole plethora of experts however. Buyer beware…… 

    • TheJackB July 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

       @bdorman264 I think the lack of face-to-face contact sometimes hurts people because it makes it easy to forget that we are dealing with real people. Once that happens it becomes a real slippery slope.
      Cultivating relationships makes an enormous amount of sense. In my experience it is a great way to build the blog.

  2. Julie July 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Oh Lord.  First of all, you forced me (yes, you did!) to Google Jack Reacher.  Did you ever hear the story of how his name came about?  It’s on Wiki so I won’t claim it’s true, but nonetheless it is a great story.
    Sheeple, mud slinging, they can keep it all. 
    It always saddens me in a bittersweet kind of way when I have to tell my little guys that the thing they are so excited about from the back of a magazine or some internet game ad is not the wonderous object of their imagination.  It’s no fun being the fall guy, but better me than no one to tell them, I guess.
    (Other post: If you do spend any more time wandering about in cemeteries then please let me send you a little thing to say ahead of time.  There really are stories to be told and they really are sharing them with you, but you don’t want to bring any of them home with you.)

    • TheJackB July 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm

       @Julie | A Clear Sign
      Yep, I have seen that wiki. Fell into the Reacher novels earlier this year and have read about 11 of them. So much fun, love that guy.
      The mud slinging gets old quickly. When you are talking with people who have an open mind it is one thing but most of the time we simply aren’t. Kind of a sad commentary.
      It is no fun tearing down the innocence of our children, but at least we are kind about it. Or so I try to be.
      I have spent quite a bit of time in cemeteries. Not unusual at all for me to decide to go hang out with old friends or relatives. Sometimes I have wondered if they have chosen to hang out after hours.

  3. susansilver July 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I think you take the right approach, I am biased  though because it is the same I use.  I have changed the language on my blog from 3rd person to 1st. I see it more of “my journey” to understand all this stuff people sling at us.Then offer it in chunks readers can understand.
    I don’t think their is ever one right way to do things. We have to open our eyes and find out for ourselves by doing. 

    • TheJackB July 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Hi Susan,
      There definitely isn’t just one way to do this and how boring would it be if there was. There is no way to be all things to all people and even if there was I would question doing so.
      When we talk about our journey we open ourselves up and make it easier for people to relate and respond or so I think.

  4. susansilver July 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I think you take the right approach, I am biased  tough because it is the same I use.  I have changed the language on my blog from 3rd person to 1st. I see it more of “my journey” to understand all this stuff people sling at us. I try to offer the best I find in chunks readers can understand.
    I don’t think their is ever one right way to do things. We have to open our eyes and find out for ourselves by doing. 

  5. Hajra July 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Well, a lot of thoughts from that post. 
    As for not understanding what some people write. I read and I read it again and when I really don’t get it, I might not comment. But one post that doesn’t resonate with me will not stop me from coming back. But yes, if they write the same confusing thing again and again and I still don’t get it, I might not come back after all. There’s already too much confusion in real life to deal with online drama! 😉
    As for throwing crap at me, I recently wrote about people coming over and calling me a terrorist. I just overlook and keep doing my own thing (only after black listing them!) Their insecurities need a hiding place and my spam folder is where they are going.

    • TheJackB July 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      There are bloggers who lost me because I couldn’t follow or figure out what they were talking about. 
      I hear you about the drama, just not necessary. I don’t mind dissent but there is a line and when it turns into nothing but personal attacks I don’t bother. No reason for that kind of behavior.

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