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Caturday

F*#& You! Friday – Blogging and Journalism

blogs aren't journalism

Bloggers aren’t journalists.

  • When a blogger accepts a gift as compensation and another gift to give away, that isn’t journalism.
  • When a blogger spews her or her point of view with no facts, that isn’t journalism.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a blogger’s perspective and opinions. Just don’t forget they’re not out for factual accuracy and have an agenda to fulfill.

Guest posts dilute personal blogs

brought to you by John Doe

I’ve been paying attention to a few personal blogs that have become less than personal.

In our world of constant publishing, we’re all playing a desperate game chasing Internet celebrity and a meaningless personal brand. I get that.

But what I don’t get is when every single post on your-name.com is a guest post from some no name hack. These posts claim to be written by some VP or CXO you’ve never heard of. Because someone’s title is supposed to lend them credibility.

Right.

In reality, we all know these guest posts were we written by a copywriter locked working from his or her apartment. The blogger is off hustling for money, and the rest of us are tired of reading content that has the appeal of a cold pile of vomit.

Is the personal blog the best place for a guest post? I don’t think so. I don’t run guest posts on here because of this very reason. I refuse to dilute myself for someone else’s glory.

What part of yourself are you willing to sacrifice for someone else’s Internet glory?

You don’t have to engage

No means no

Social media birthed a cult of engagement.

The engagement cult believes that no matter what, you need to respond to the mentions of your brand on social media.

  • Have a comment? Better respond to it.
  • Unfounded customer complaint on Twitter? Better answer it.
  • Shitty product review? Better acknowledge it.

And so on.

The problems of the world will be solved if we simply engage them head on with a half-hearted line of text.

But this isn’t true.

For many brands, the sheer volume of mentions across media, both social and otherwise, is just too much for them to respond to in any kind of reasonable fashion.

Other companies operate in a regulated industry. For them, they are extremely limited in what they can, and cannot say.

Imagine this: Someone is accusing your company of murder. But because of regulations, you can’t share any details of the situation with the accuser. What do you do?

The answers suddenly aren’t so simple.

And that’s where the cult of engagement falls apart. You can’t just acknowledge every problem away. Or sometimes, even when you do engage, you can’t solve every problem. Not everyone will be happy just because they got another reply on Twitter.

I believe in the power of the publisher. I believe that power carries responsibility.

But I don’t believe that communication solves every problem.

Acknowledgement is the first step. Dialogue follows that. But action is what truly solves problems.

Don’t try to impress me with your writing

I love to write

I am a terrible writer.

I use curse words. My paragraphs are two sentences. I almost always miss typos and grammar errors.

Still, for all my flaws, I hate how you write.

You try to impress complete strangers. You take too long to get to the point. Your Facebook posts are longer than War and Peace. You try to use long words to sound smarter than you are.

Ugh.

We live in a world of constant content. We birth millions of ideas, only to let them die within an instant.

Quality has fallen by the wayside for quantity. The only thing we can hope for is the serendipity that a post, an image or a video catches on.

That’s not to stop you from writing long content. Maybe you want that word to contain a few extra syllables. But what’s stopping you from sharing that one good idea right now?

Don’t let yourself get caught up in the intricacies of an idea and examples.

Write like nobody is reading.

Just push publish.

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“Back by popular demand”

If you scroll back through my posts for 2013 and the second half of 2012, you will probably notice that I was already kind of losing interest in blogging for the sake of blogging. Truth is, sometimes, even someone as outspoken as me just doesn’t have anything really all that pertinent to write about on a blog like this one, and though the discipline to carry on writing “content” day after day anyway is admirable in many ways, I found the exercise pretty much mired in futility.

I love this piece by Olivier Blanchard. It wraps up a lot of what I’ve been feeling about blogging lately. If you’re not reading the Brand Builder, you should be.

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Yahoo! acquires Tumblr

Is it just me, or does anyone else get concerned when the subheading of your press release is “Promises not to screw it up?”

All eyes are on you, Yahoo!

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LinkedIn Bans Users From Promoting Prostitution, Escort Services

Well, there goes my social networking strategy.