I’ve been kicked in the teeth, hard, plenty of times. As one ages it’s harder to get back up, dust oneself off and get back on it. Age brings with it wisdom which is the gift of time.
One of the things I so realised when I’ve been knocked down is that we can’t do *everything* on our own, or it’s incredibly difficult to do it on one’s own. Social media only serves to re-iterate the point. So my perspective is that we need to learn ways to “do it” in relationship with other people, bringing each other up.
A movie I like is “Scarface” and this kind of serves to illustrate my point. Yes Tony becomes incredibly successful, but his problem is that he’s done it on his own, he’s not really sharing his success with anyone else, or letting anyone enjoy their success. It’s got some elements of a collaboration, but really Tony’s completely in it for himself. Which is sad, as the story you’ll know unfolds, he ends up with nothing.
One of my favourite bloggers Jason Cushman “A Opinionated Man” from Harsh Reality blog, is in my view a pioneer. I’m very pleased that we’ve made friends, and incredibly grateful for all that he’s taught me. We interact in I guess a friendly competitive way, and to be honest, I’m happy where I am, in the shadow of the Dragon. I’ve always been supportive to what he’s doing, and often given unsolicited advice, which I’m not sure if it’s useful for or not, but heck that’s who I am. Having the last word isn’t always a bad thing.
Successful people like Jason, don’t see competition, they see opportunity, they see chances for win-win collaboration and they make friends, not hostile competitive acquaintances with the people around them. So a good place to introduce :
The Real Party In Blogging
I see all this obsession with magic pills and fast track to fame, and it leaves me a little sad. It’s a lie people are telling themselves, there’s distracted by the smoke and mirrors, and they’ve missed the real party. The saddest part of all.
Some are lazy, some are stupid, some just haven’t really used much of the grey matter between their ears. It’s possible to “unf**k” oneself, but takes the effort of using some brainpower.
Most bloggers will never be powerbloggers like Jason. Why is that ? Well Jason has charisma, he works incredibly hard, he’s not afraid to try and I believe he’s incredibly talented. He’s not afraid to knock on doors, say hello, how are you? He’s a self starting trier. Probably he’s in the top 1% of bloggers, elite. And he’ll face his critics square on, he’s got the balls for it and the thickness of skin to survive the long-haul. He’s ALSO very humble, gentle and good hearted a lot of the time. Leaders do need to have self-respect, and self-respect can come across as “up-oneself”. I do not believe this is arrogance, for me it’s just self-confidence and self-belief. Leaders do need to role model for others things like self-confidence or otherwise no one would ever willingly follow them. Assertive, strong, good hearted, confident leaders are in short supply, why do you think they become so popular ? I introduced the concept of status in my prompts the other day, and this is the best mechanism I’ve found for thinking about this.
The other thing is that watching pageviews, stats and following counts etc is really nothing to do with where Jason’s talents are. One of Jason’s biggest talents is in what I’m calling collaborative-SEO or collaborative-PR or collaborative-promoting. He get’s people involved and engaged, having fun, and all around the writing/opinion theme. That’s the real secret of powerblogging, not the followers, the likes, the comments, the pageviews. If you think it is, you’ve lost already. I dislike the word “engagement” it makes the whole thing sound so clinical and distant, like using the “V” word in place of the “P” word, if you didn’t get that, well, nevermind. Maybe one of my genius readers will come up with a better name for “reader engagement” and we’ll rename it for the establishment. Might need some reblogging on that one !
Anyway, sure he’s promoting himself, but how many others has he helped ? Me for starters, he reblogged one of my early posts and pushed my likes and comments off the chart, or so it seemed at the time. He invited me to guest blog for him, an opportunity I’m very grateful for, invaluable experience. I know a great number of other people he’s helped too.
I’ve heard of people that criticise him, f*** ’em, they didn’t get to see the magic I’ve seen in the guy, so they are wrong, basically. Jason Cushman is a hero in my eyes. So don’t run him down on my blog, I will show you the door. He takes enough flak as it is, without another moronic imbecile chipping in too.
IT ANNOYS THE HELL OUT OF ME when I get people come into my blog, begging for me to promote them. They come with empty hands, strangers, and expect me to promote them. Why, after 9 months working extremely hard am I gonna welcome you in and give you everything for nothing ? Well I’m not, I can spot this bullshit a mile off, it stinks.
Friends come with full hands, a full cup, how can I help you, could I write a guest post for you I know about SEO/Photography/Charisma etc, how about I do an interview for you. They get involved, they comment on my stuff, they reblog my stuff. Oh you’re running a challenge, I could help be a coordinator or whatever you need. We all have skills and value to offer. For some it’s US dollars or British pounds, that’s fine too we all need to pay rent, electricity, food, travel, many of us have loved ones to support too. I’ve promoted fellow bloggers just because they just kept on commenting. I have three fellow bloggers that are constantly reblogging my posts, they’ve never asked me for ANYTHING, they do it because they like my blog and my stuff, and want to share with their readers – I ALWAYS SAY THANKS AT ANY OPPORTUNITY I GET TO THEM PERSONALLY. This is in complete contrast to the freeloader who read a few articles, study a few of my comments and then try whatever manipulation that’ll quickest get what them what they want. I like how Vinne Jones put this in the movie “Snatch” (Readers are advised NOT to watch if they are easily offended – don’t worry “British humour isn’t all that funny anyway” as an American once said to me)
Replica just about says it all …
Another full hands guy is Christopher S. Malone. He does improv, and I think improv is the best thing since sliced bread, (a very awesome thing) the synergies in blogging are ENDLESS. He came into my blog with full hands, helped and participated in my “Whose Blog Is It Anyway” challenges. HE SAW AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HIMSELF, FOR BOTH OF US IN FACT AND GRABBED IT WITH BOTH HANDS. Very humble guy, and very happy to have met him. Was speaking to him yesterday about doing something together – don’t know if it’ll come to anything, but we’ll see.
There’s plenty of “full hands” people around me, I don’t need “empty hands” people – “the door is over there, close it on your way out”. And the bar is not that high, for instance to get into my top commenters on my stats page, you’d only have to leave around maybe 10 comments (per thousand), some of my friends have been on there for months at a time. Then I see you every day, you’re indirectly promoting yourself to me. PLUS I’m fairly easy going with cool humble people, anyone that’s ever left a polite comment knows I’m easy to get on with.
NB – I’m not interested in politics and I’m not interested in causes that I’m not congruent with. Why do I say this ? I’m not interested in getting emotional, engaged and active in stuff that doesn’t interest me.
BOTTOM LINE – blogging has gone social. Social means doing things together, doh ! Either you’ve got a bunch of freeloaders trying to line their own pockets, always hands out with nothing to offer. OR you’ve got what I’ve been doing which is getting together people who enjoy collaborating, helping each other essentially. Leaders and successful blogs are necessary, otherwise you just end up holding hands around a camp fire, and actually achieving nothing. Some people want that, I have no problem or criticism for those who don’t want to be social, or mainstream, or for those who are happy doing their own thing. Camp fires are great in their time and place, but not really compatible with powerblogging and promoting.
ABSOLUTE BOTTOM LINE – stop thinking there’s a magic pill of a big readership or millions of page views. That’s entirely smoke and mirrors. The real party, the real deal is in the enjoying what we’re doing, and the finding colloborative win-win ways of SEO’ing, PR’ing and Promoting. Everyone has skills, talents and something that makes their hands full, even if it’s just friendship or companionship. Others are great musicians, artists, designers, writers, social-magnets. Most of us can learn to be more creative, more charismatic and lead happier lives.
Do it together, or you’re just another lonely troll nobody adrift in cyberspace 🙂
Whoops, did I just say *all that* out loud, sorry didn’t mean to offend anyone !
COMMERCIAL: I’ve been fairly low key on promoting our commercial site DonCharisma.com because it’ll build with good quality clients coming in over time – patience is a virtue. Good quality clients recognise good people to work for them, and reward them well. So, what I will say is if you need help with your SEO, Promoting or PR, we can help. We’re not aiming to be cheap, nor sell snake oil, but we can definitely accelerate what you’re doing and help push you towards where you want to be. Possibly we can exceed your expectations. We can act as consultants or do the work for you. We don’t accept every project and do qualify our clients based on a number of factors. Please do contact us if you want to make an initial enquiry.
Resources & Sources
Man And Machine Photo – morgueFile.com
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