Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Chance Redux
Seth Godin was kind enough to leave some comments, which I appreciate. I’ve heard him speak, and he’s provocative and quite good. I think “The Purple Cow” is his best work and I highly recommend it. (It’s within a couple of thousand copies in Amazon’s rankings behind “Million Dollar Consulting,” sorry, couldn’t resist!)
The fact that a few people whom I’ve never heard of have had “huge changes to their lives” doesn’t disprove my point that most blogs are crap. There will always be an exception. As Damon Runyon observed, “The race isn’t always to the swift and the fight isn’t always to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.” I’m sick to death of people claiming that they’ve sold 400,000 books with an Internet ad or have amassed property in 43 states with reverse financing. And you, too, can do this! If it were that easy, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Seth is a tad modest or perhaps disingenuous about not having a brand before his blog five or six years ago. He’s been writing well-received books, and maintaining a strong public image, as far as I know, since 1999, including co-publishing with Malcolm Gladwell, who doesn’t have a bad brand himself. His blog was based on a strong brand in my book. Methinks he’s revising chronology to try to justify a point.
“Or whatever….” doesn’t give me much to work with, in terms of the ancient argument that any critique of modern devices could have applied to the Stegosaurus, which leaves the telephone, Seth’s tangible example. The telephone provided interactive communication on a real time basis to the common person. If the point is that so does Twitter, okay, maybe, sort of. But my points, as I stressed, are about intelligent, effective mechanisms to market consulting (and other professional) services. The telephone is important for so doing, but not Twitter, which is a very low common denominator and isn’t vaguely attractive to powerful corporate buyers.
I’m not sure about the “all rights reserved” archaic comment, which seems to be an out-of-the-blue ad hominem attack for some reason, but my archaic lawyer, when he rouses himself in the castle keep, advises that it can’t hurt and often helps. To be clear and legal, any words written that are original are copyrighted and protected instantly upon publication, and don’t even need the ©, but almost all of us use it, archaically or not, including Seth.
Wikipedia can be useful, but isn’t a replacement for original sources or original thinking. There is no vetting of the credentials of contributors and although it is supposedly self-policing, it’s too easy to provide a revisionist history within its common denominator boundaries. Egalitarianism has its moments, but raising the bar isn’t one of them.
I’m glad Seth wrote, and I don’t usually respond to commentary on the blog, but this is a useful debate, abetted by someone whom I think has done some fine work. However, let’s not be blinded by the light (or pixels). We are still engaged basically in Gutenberg’s seminal invention of movable type. And as long as there is no barrier to entry in Internet commentary or devices, there is going to be a retreat to the lowest common denominator, not stratospheric new standards.
Wisely, Seth doesn’t seem to take umbrage with my sentiments that 99% of blogs are crap, and I’ll bet him a favorable citation in each of our next books that Twitter will fritter away in about a year or two.
I seem to have struck a nerve, which is why blogging with a brand behind you is really quite effective.
© Ye olde rights shalt be reserveth. Alan Weiss. MMVIII.