Thursday, March 08, 2007

Blogging Philosophy

Skip this post if you’re not interested in complicated thoughts about the marketing of blogs :)

A recent comment from a new friend in blogosphere indicates that I may not be doing enough to market this blog. It’s funny, but I am one of those people who are immensely attracted to the concepts of branding and advertising (ethical and genuine campaigns only) and have invested a lot of time and effort in marketing and branding - for example - KM initiatives in my organization. But when it comes to my blog, I am not very keen to market it or brand it. I’d rather keep blogging like nothing mattered and let blog-readers enter this blog at their own risk. I don’t want to be sued for ‘over selling’ a crazy blog :) Amusingly enough, I had just started brewing something about my blogging philosophy when this comment was dropped on my blog. Here, I present you with the complete post that has been sort of re-brewed to suit the context that the comment brings in.

Live for a cause, not applause; Live to express, not impress.

I think this is the same as saying “Be yourself” because I believe that we are not intrinsically attracted to acknowledgement and fame. It is the society that we live in which intoxicates us with these qualities. Anyways, the people who are lucky enough to have retained the quality of intrinsic motivation would agree with the phrase above, whole heartedly. And the fact is that a person who lives for a cause is the one who will truly get applauded. And a person who lives to express rather than impress is the one who is truly impressive.

This is pretty much what I have intended my blogging philosophy to be like. Blog for a cause, not applause. Blog to express, not impress. There was a time when I did not dwell upon what my blog-readers might say or want before blogging my thoughts – because I knew nothing about my blog-readers and even whether there existed any, apart from my close friends. That, perhaps, made my posts sound extremely raw, honest, unfiltered and crazy. I did not consciously market my blog except for a couple of instances wherein I was eager to get feedback. But as I started getting attention from a handful of people who happened to visit my blog due to serendipitous endeavors, there were admittedly occasions when I had to think twice before expressing myself and I felt myself focus on what my blog-readers wanted as much as what I myself wanted to talk about. Now, this is akin to what we call a customer-centric approach. Nothing wrong about it, mind you. But, at times, it can stifle one’s inner voice a bit. Unless one has the maturity and intellect to draw a balance between the readers’ expectations and what one really wants to talk about. One ought to learn to take the feedback, queries, inputs et al and do with it what it deserves – see it as an encouragement, opportunity to think different etc. Even if one is temporarily affected and influenced by the attention one is getting and that is unfortunately hampering one’s natural style, if one is the intrinsically motivated types, time will certainly take one back to one’s original style.

All said and done, I’ve, admittedly, been fence-sitting when it comes to deciding between consciously marketing my blog versus not doing anything about getting more people into my blog due to such complications. I don’t want to consciously market my blog on the lines of a product with a huge branding and advertising budget. I am clear about that. I might mention it in some forums – as a part of my signature - mainly to quell my curiosity in terms of how many minds have similar views/ counter views and learn from those. At the same time, I realize that not inviting people actively does not help me tap into the potential knowledge that I would gain access to via feedback, comments, additional sources, and blog networks etc.

Whew! All this thinking about blog-marketing drains me somewhat. I don’t think I enjoy thinking about it too much. I think the best thing to do is to let the traffic come in naturally and at its own pace while leaving a few scattered messages about the blog in appropriate forums. Leaving comments on other blog-posts and linking to other blog-posts are two things that will improve one’s blog-network but that is something you ought to do only when you have a genuine opinion.

What’s your blogging philosophy? Is there something I can learn from you? :)

7 comments:

Arbit Orbit said...

I completely agree with you. I have thought of exactly this, in exactly the same sequence and come up with exactly the answers you have given yourself.

When i started blogging, I would post comments on other blogs as anonymous. I didn't want anybody invading this little space that is just me. I wanted to write the way my mind ticked and not because I had to be impressive enough to be read and revisited or even impressioned by a reader's expectations from me.


But gradually, I realised, comments in appropriate forums is just to reach out, express to and receive from like minded people. Your identity is yet anonymous, you yet write what you want but sometimes its nice to be addressed on your thoughts by a third party, who connects to you with just your thoughts. And that is pleasant.

Blogging is connecting with your inner thoughts, just the way you like it AND that never changes.

vinod said...

I'm Happy that my comments intensified u'r tohoughts abt "u'r blogging philosophy". U have stated all the points - pro's & cons of marketing and selling ur blog, pts noted. BUT one point sud be highlighted here is - u do comment on sites/blogs wer - u r getting impressed with the content of the blogs or urs' likin wer ever seen. How u get to know that u like something - either by 1) experiencing it(only when u dwell in many books r N/W more, ur experience grows) 2) by word of mouth 3) extensive campaining. The one whic lasts long in the mind is always 1, then comes 2 and 3. But to experience something in LIFE u need 3 first, 2 second and then only 1 comes - this is the case in most of the activities we do !!! So good things sud be spread either by you( u r doing it BUT increase it 4 good) or by ur readers(I did :)), r else WRITING THIS BLOG is of NO USE, it can be kept as a private diary, not everyone are intersted in searching - spoon feeding is akin in most of them, so it's nothing wrong in BLOWING UR HORN for good !! And even u will gain the wisdom of others by doing that.

Nimmy said...

arbit orbit,(BTW, would love to address you by your name if you are okay with sharing it :))
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts so elaborately! And it's cool to know that you went through some ditto thoughts! :o Wise people.... ;)

vinod,thanks again! :) your comments are so specific! always! and that speaks volumes about your thought-processes. Thanks for making me think through this topic....because I've been avoiding it for some time now. As for your comment on blogging not being of use without publicity, it is a good point, but I don't completely agree! ;). Some posts are complete in themselves without any comments. But comments may still help me understand how the world looks at it, if you know what I mean!

Arbit Orbit said...

I am tempted to write my name to personalise our comments and discussions as I like our interactions and I kinda connect with you on most stuff that we dish out but would still resist for an Arbit reason.... The reason being I want to blog anonymous for a while.:))

It's hard for me to say even a polite no.... learning still!

Nimmy said...

No worries at all AO ;)! I respect your desire to remain anonymous! :)
Going for my cuppa now! ;)

rwellsrwells said...

I came across your blog because I was searching for quotes on "forgiveness."

I, too, am a blogger, and have wondered about readership, marketing, etc., and have come to no decisions except to enjoy the serendipity of being found by strangers in the web. I have steady readers, and I notify them whenever I post (once every week or two,) but allow kismet, luck, or - serendipity (lovely word,) do the rest.

PS: Was very pleased to see your location as I'm "besotted," with India (or so my friends have told me,) having worked there over a five year period.

Good luck with your blog, your work, your life!

Nimmy said...

Richard,

Thanks a ton for pausing to leave your comments in response to this post! :) Hope you come back to see my response some time.
It is great to know that you're a blogger too. There's lots that people like me can learn from your experience! And I like people who like India ;)
Happy blogging and I hope to read your thoughts on India (and more) on your blog! Finally, thanks a lot for wishing me luck! Wish you the same! :)