Ever since I started blogging a couple of years ago, there has been a question nagging me that I can’t seem to shake. “What is your blog about?” It came back again when the subject of this years Nevada Interactive Media Summit came up. I attended last year and had a great time. I learned a lot, met a ton of interesting and friendly people. But, when it came around this year, I decided to skip it. Why? It has to do with what we might call, “the rules of engagement.“
Marketing people, as well as others, can tell us all about the importance of staying focused, to set a goal and work towards it. If you’re going to sell shoes on the internet, then By Jove sell shoes on the internet. Never let a day go by when you’re not blogging about shoes. Get on Twitter and tweet about shoes. Start a Facebook Shoe Fan Club. Join a shoe forum. It’s all shoes all the time, 24/7. “Need a shoe? I’m your man.J”
But bloggers aren’t selling anything, so why would we need to limit ourselves? For bloggers, this sort of thing seems just plain wrong. It brings out the worst of all possible tyrants; the tyrant of the self. It represents the conscious choice of a free individual to confine himself, to stamp a label on his own forehead and willingly enter a box, never to come out again.
The ability to have disparate interests is a common human trait. If the internet were a true reflection of humanity, there would be very few goal oriented, single focus blogs. It seems that bloggers have adopted a set of rules that don’t necessarily apply to us. We have accepted a strategy that encourages self limitation. Even if you think you are marketing yourself, surely your product is greater than a single dimension.
So, taking it to the other extreme then, what would an unhinged eccentric’s blog be like? Y’know, some guy let’s say, oh I dunno, a jet boat racing court stenographer with a bee-keeping hobby, who rides a Harley, wears brown shoes with dark suites, listens to Black Sabbath and has an H.O. train diorama set-up in his basement. What would his blog strategy be? Would those of us who are only a half bubble off center, find it useful?
At first, I thought a kind of anti-brand was the answer. But, it turns out that an anti-brand is still a type of brand. The deliberate lack of a strategy is still a strategy. Is there no escape from the yoke of the tyrant? Even if you set about to purposely make your blog a chaotic whirlwind of meaningless futility, the whirlwind would be your strategy and futility would be your brand.
What is needed is a method of random subject selection. It would be like being lost in a maze with each dead-end representing a different subject. True, entering a maze with the deliberate intention of becoming lost is a strategy, but once inside, aimless wandering can take place. Once the aimlessness is achieved, the randomness of the dead-ends (new subjects) become possible.
The human mind seems to insist on making plans. Reaching the apex of randomly scattered, diffuse nebulosity won’t be easy. I’m still working on it. In the mean-time, my next post will likely be about the same damn thing my last post was about.