Dear Jon letter (a.k.a. The world doesn't care about you)
Some words of advice for new education bloggers.
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Dear Jon (and all you other new bloggers),
Following the time-honored tradition of Dear John letters everywhere, I write this because I care about you. I hope that we can still be friends when all is said and done. But it’s time that you faced a few brutal facts.
Fact 1. The world doesn’t care about you
Like the real world, other than your family and friends like me, the blogosphere doesn’t care about you. In the words of Seth Godin,
[They] don’t care about you. Not really. [They] care about [themselves]. If your message has something to do with [their lives], then perhaps [they’ll] notice, but in general, don’t expect much.
They don’t care that you want to be loved. They don’t care that you want more comments or that you want to be in on the conversation. It’s not about you. It’s about them (us) and whether, in an attention economy, you have anything worth paying attention to.
Fact 2. If you build it, they won’t come
Not at first, not for a long time, and maybe not ever. But eventually a few might swing by. For a few seconds. Maybe. And, if you’re adding value, they might stick around. Maybe. Or they might not. If you’re really lucky, they might tell a few friends about you. And some of those people might actually stop by and/or stay. But they probably won’t. They’ll probably go back to watching YouTube videos or reading I Can Has Cheezburger? (Lol).
Fact 3. There are things that you can do to increase your blog traffic
That’s it. Okay, that’s not completely it, but that’s 99% of it. Give me a ring if you want some tips about the other 1%.
Fact 4. If you’re nice, some folks might actually help you
Amazingly, many of those cocktail party elitists, despite being busy with their closed conversations, somehow found time to step outside of the inner circle and deign to offer you their thoughts. Vicki wrote you a very nice note. So did Darren. Lots of other folks left you comments and Stephen sent people your way. And of course there’s this tough love missive from me, your buddy who’s been down this path and is willing to share a few unsolicited thoughts that might be useful to you.
As my mother always used to say, don’t forget to write them a thank you note. The path to heaven is paved with graciousness.
Fact 5. You need to be patient
You’ve been blogging for how long? And your audience is how big? Congratulations! You shouldn’t be whining, you should be celebrating! Most newbie bloggers who are trying to grow their traffic would kill to be in your shoes.
I get that you want the buzz, the conversation, the mojo. You’ve tasted the juice and you want more. But it doesn’t work that way. Because it’s not about you.
If you follow the steps in #3 above, your audience will grow. You’ll get a few comments now and then (only a few, now, don’t be greedy). You’ll get a little link love. A few friends – some of whom you’ve never met – will help you. Twelve to eighteen months from now, if you’re still blogging and adding value to others, let’s see how you feel about things, okay?
Until then, keep doing what you’re doing. Blog great stuff. Link to others. Comment on others. Rinse and repeat. Oh, and be grateful that you have a voice and the tools to express it. We love in wonderful and interesting times.
Go in peace, my friend.
P.S. Your belief that the blogosphere may be saturated? Call me when every one of the 4+ million U.S. educators each has a RSS aggregator overflowing with feeds and no time to read them all. Then we can talk.
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.