Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
August 4, 2010 8:25 AM

Blogging Still Matters... Now More Than Ever

Blogging is (still) one of the most powerful Marketing tools. Ever. Period. Hard stop.

On November 28th, 2009, I had a Blog post titled, Start A Blog Today, that focused on an amazing video interview of Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence, Re-Imagine, The Little Big Things, etc...) and Seth Godin (Purple Cow, Tribes, Linchpin, etc...) talking about why Blogging matters and why you need to start writing a Blog now: American Express - Open Forum - Let's Hear It For The Blog.

It's 2010, and Blogging matters now more than ever.

The buzz and hype has subsided, so now is the perfect time to do it... and it matters. Music business hacker, Bob Lefsetz, linked to the Godin-Peters video this morning in his email newsletter. After having not seen the clip in almost a year, it struck me because of how powerful the sentiments were and how relevant they still are today in a world that has almost forgotten the power of the published Blogging word in lieu of shinier objects like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and more. I took a couple of moments to transcribe what each best-selling business book author said, so that I can re-read and remind myself of why I do this (and why you should do this too).

Seth Godin on Blogging...

"Blogging is free. It doesn't matter if anybody reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matter is the meta-cognition of thinking about what you're going to say. How do you explain yourself to the few employees - or your cat - or whoever is going to look at it? How do you force yourself to describe - in three paragraphs - why you did something? How do you respond out loud? If you're good at it [blogging], some people are going to read it. If you're not good at it, and you stick with it, you'll get good at it. This has become much bigger than, "are you Boing Boing or The Huffington Post?" This has become such a micro-publishing platform that you're basically doing it for yourself... to force yourself to become a part of the conversation, even if it's not that big. That posture change, changes an enormous amount."

Tom Peters on Blogging...

"I will simply say that my first post was in August of 2004. No single thing in the last fifteen years - professionally - has been more important to my life than Blogging. It has changed my life. It has changed my perspective. It has changed my intellectual outlook. It has changed my emotional outlook, and it's the best damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude I've ever had... and it's free."

Does Blogging still matter? What do you think?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by lLois Geller
    Mitch Joel

    I guess one thing that blogging has done for me is that our clients know me better. Recently I heard from many of them about my trip to the Ukraine.
    Usually I'd just say, "I was on vacation"...so I think it is good for client relationships.

    • People love to work with people that they can relate too. I like to say that Social Media is exciting because it brings Marketing back to where it started: real interactions between real human beings. I'm not sure that there is another Marketing platform out there that let's you really demonstrate your humanity quite as well as a Blog can.

  • Posted by Parissa Behnia
    Mitch Joel

    I've learned quite a bit by travelling to other blogs (such as this one) and then sharing what I've learned with those who may not know you. It can be a wonderful viral sharing epidemic if done correctly.

    Also, Blogging can be a cathartic tool while you're commenting on what's going around you. And, you remember why you fell in love with your discipline, hobby, etc., every time you write.

    • It also helps to discipline me. I do try to Blog each and every day and thinking about what to Blog about, and making the words flow also helps me to think differently and more creatively.

  • Posted by Anthony
    Mitch Joel

    The quote from Godin above is pretty spot on. Blogging does force you to clarify and develop your ideas. Like any other form of publication, when you express something via a blog, you need to be understood, and you need to be willing to argue the point.

    At least, that is one way to approach it.

    • The "publicness" of putting your ideas out into the open is a major act of intimacy. Being unafraid to share your ideas (and accepting the feedback from the audience) even pushes this further.

      • Posted by Pat Gal
        Pat Gal

        Mitch, (my very first ever response to a blog, hold the applause, or lashings, blog world, I am a little behind the curve on this!)
        I am new to marketing after being in my industry for almost 30 yeears, and one of my 'roles' now is doing our business blog and website content management piece. The August 4th blog you posted about the "publicness" of putting your ideas out into the open being a major act of intimacy" is spot on. Blogging on my work's web site has been my first experience into public 'sharing'. A safe spot to begin for me. There is so much to learn...Thank you, Ian Marshalll's for your comment from 8/4 also...I think I have found 'my tribe' here!

        I have played with the idea of publishing a book, a 35 year span of writing in my journals and recording poetry that seems to flow easily in the privacy of my own head, yet fill me with fear about publishing my 'poetic biography' in book form. All of these comments and encouragement to other bloggers make this journey a bit less intimidating. And in reality, creating and publishing a 'book' is no different than what occurs within blogs. It's just getting started and comfortable with the medium of writing publicly and sharing those thoughts with "strangers". My employer's CEO once admonished me that I should not 'wear my emotions on my sleeve' but I CAN"T HELP IT! Give me a pen, or computer, and I am going to spill emotion all over everything! (that one, by the way, gave way to a great poem I have yet to share with the world!)
        Thank you all, hope to connect again soon.

      • Posted by Pat Gal
        Pat Gal

        Mitch, (my very first ever response to a blog, hold the applause, or lashings, blog world, I am a little behind the curve on this!) you all have great input!

        I am new to "marketing" after being in my industry for almost 30 years, and one of my 'roles' now is doing our business blog and website content management piece. Marketing Dept of One and learning on the fly! The August 4th blog you posted about the "publicness" of putting your ideas out into the open being a major act of intimacy" is spot on. Blogging on my work's web site has been my first experience into public 'sharing'. If feels like a safe spot to begin for me but I am realizing our practice has been playing it safe, for 36 years. There is so much to learn...Thank you, Ian Marshalll for your comment from 8/4 also...I think I have found 'my tribe' here!
        as o
        On a related topic, I have played with the idea of publishing a book, after a life time of writing in my journals and recording poetry that seems to flow easily in the privacy of my own head, yet fill me with fear about publishing my 'poetic biography' in book form. All of these comments and encouragement to other bloggers make this journey a bit less intimidating, whether it be business blogging or personal writing. After spending time here, I realize in reality, creating and publishing an actual 'book' is no different than what occurs within blogs. It's just getting started and comfortable with the medium of writing publicly and sharing those thoughts with "strangers". My employer's CEO once admonished me that I should not 'wear my emotions on my sleeve' but I CAN"T HELP IT! Give me a pen, or computer, and I am going to spill emotion all over everything! (that one, by the way, gave way to a great poem I have yet to share with the world!)
        Thank you all, hope to connect again soon.

  • Posted by Gwen McCauley
    Mitch Joel

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding us all what blogging is about, at its essence. I know I needed to be reminded that blogging isn't about selling, it isn't about readership, it isn't about influence ...except how each of us influences the choices that we make by the words we choose, or leave out.

    • I wish more Bloggers would Blog because of the reasons that Seth and Tom bring forward. Sadly, most people Blog to grow their business... and that's a little depressing and a bit desperate too.

      • Posted by jodi
        Mitch Joel

        I agree. There's nothing sadder and more obvious than a promo blog. And it turns people off.

  • Mitch Joel

    I really liked what Tom Peters said..."It has changed my life. It has changed my perspective. It has changed my intellectual outlook. It has changed my emotional outlook, and it's the best damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude I've ever had... and it's free."

    I think one of the biggest transformations that happens is that you really get to go inside...not only yourself but your tribe.

    You connect deeply trying to make sense of yourself and trying to share something with your people that not only inspires but makes their lives better in some way.

    And in doing so your life becomes better. Richer. Fuller. And you build a deeper connection to everything and everyone involved.

    • You have no idea how many new and interesting people I've met, connected with, started projects with, etc... because of Blogging. People think that it's hard. It is hard work, but it is extremely gratifying work too.

  • I am a blog stalker. There are about 20 blogs created by Individuals I respect and align with in my industry. I choose people who have superior intellect and a grounded reality. (shameless self promoters, fanboys blogs, and views skewed to make money I shun) These people tend to post great content that is thought provoking, but it is also a great platform for them to sell themselves, and for me to get to know them and vice versa. They also tend to allow real conversations, of the sort that Twitter and Facebook do not due to the interface types.

    This is new to me. Only the last year have I been doing this. But I think it is a great way for people to promote themselves, their ideas, test things, get insight etc. I hope Mitch that when I do post on your blog, as well as your other fans, that you also gain insight because as the Ad Contrarian wrote not long ago, we all have our own bubble for good or bad, and it does cloud our viewpoints. Often I observe my own behavior or family and friends when shopping and then think everyone behaves in the same exact ways. So what better way to widen your own perception than blogs. They are mini-conferences (think breakout sessions) that do not take up your whole day. And if you are on a blog participating you know its an engaged and interested group. Vs the people ate the mall working a kiosk trying to get you to try that skin creme as so many people walk by that just don't care.

    • Comments always push the conversation into interesting corners. Some I like, some I shy away from. That being said, a true perspective is only present when you have those different voices contributing. Personally, I still struggle with comments and how to engage, but I am very comfortable with the Blogging part. Everything takes time.

  • Posted by Colin Whitney
    Mitch Joel

    Great post... What I find blogging helps me with most is the ability to articuate my thoughts (mentioned by Mitch in Podcast #???).

    But also internally. Fellow employees will now refer to some of my posts (and thiers) when crafting a solution, or when trying to get a point accross. It's got to be somthing to do with the fact that your thoughts are there, for reference and recall.

    • Things in print do last longer (whether on paper or online). I often find myself referencing Bloggers that I am having lunch with or attending a conference with. At first, it feels strange, but then you quickly realize that a Blog is also a great way to "get to know someone" and how they think - even before ever meeting them in person.

  • Posted by matt nelson
    Mitch Joel

    I watch that clip every time someone links to it. Stack the Hugh McGuire quote on top and its game over: "Don't blog to be known, blog to be knowable".

  • Posted by Jon Burg
    Mitch Joel

    Of course blogging still matters. The channel is maturing and evolving but it's still relevant. Most noteworthy is probably the transition of so many successful blogs from personal perspectives to news/opinion publishers.

    Twitter is fleeting and now. Facebook is private and more tightly knit. Blogs are where we share our thoughts in greater depth. Personal expression hasn't died and won't, it's just evolving.

    • I'm not sure that Twitter or Facebook have anything to do with why Blogging still matters, but I do think that these are all very different channels that can be used in many different ways. Personally, Facebook and Twitter is more "snackable content" for my thoughts and thid Blog is more like a meal (hopefully one that doesn't give you any food poisoning).

  • Posted by Marie-France Gaudreau
    Mitch Joel

    We have decided that Blogging would be one tool we'd explore as we prepare to launch our new company in September. The team is excited; everyone has a different passion and everyone is psyched to start writing about it. Bring it on !

  • Posted by Ron De Giusti
    Mitch Joel

    Blogging has changed my life as well.

    The part of the video clip that resonates the most with me is when Seth Godin says, "How do you force yourself to describe - in three paragraphs - why you did something?"

    For me, it is the act of refining your thoughts. That is where blogging has helped.

    Could you have done this by keeping a personal journal instead of blogging? Yes. But, by thinking that perhaps someone other than yourself may read what you are writing forces you to kick it up a notch.

    I remember in elementary school having to keep a writing journal. Instead of a writing journal, should we get elementary school kids to keep a blog?

    • Kids and Blogging? Talk about a topic that would generate some comments. Like any publishing platform, I would caution that you do need a level of emotional intelligence and maturity. I'd take issue with kids and Blogging on a few levels: privacy and security to start, but the big one is this: think about if you were Blogging in your teens. Would you really want those thoughts now available and accessible to all? I hardly want pictures of me from back then shown in public ;)

  • Posted by Lubin Bisson
    Mitch Joel

    Wonderful comments.

    Thanks for re-posting the Seth & Tom link.

  • Posted by ira kaufman
    Mitch Joel

    Great Post --The major point is that you own your blog , your content and your subscriber base. On facebook, twitter they own it .

  • Posted by Ciprian Rusen
    Mitch Joel

    I don't understand why people still ask this question. The answer is so obvious - YES! Blogging matters and always will.

  • I am going to jump into the comment fray in a bit (busy day), but I did want to quickly note how motivating and emotional the comments are. So, instead of just reading re-reading those two quotes, I'm going to also re-read the comments when I need some Blogging motivation.

    Keep 'em coming.

  • Posted by Jackie Cameron
    Mitch Joel

    Coming up to my 4th anniversary of my blog I love the discipline of blogging. The inspiration comes from all sorts of places and the comments give me the feedback and encouragement sometimes to develop my ideas further sometimes to really reflect on what I am doing. I am always delighted when someone picks up a post and tweets about it. I love when I meet someone who tells me about a particular post that resonated with them. And Matt's comment above "don't blog to be known but blog to be knowable" has proved right time and time again.

    • That's actually Hugh's line, but your comment really resonated with me. I often say that it's not "how many" people you get your message in front of, it's "who" you get your message in front of. I think many people take for granted (myself included) the amazingly powerful gift that someone gives you when they comment, tweet or give any form of feedback. Thank you for reminding us all.

  • Posted by NailaJ
    Mitch Joel

    I think blogging doesn't matter if it's the only thing you do. Blogging is a tool like any other to be used along with your other marketing/communication efforts, whether you're a personal brand, an individual, or a corporation.

  • Posted by Bernard Prince
    Mitch Joel

    Sorry, but blogging is NOT free.
    It cost time. The real cost of blogging depends of how you evaluate your time... and how you have facility to write. In my case, a post often take 2 hours to write.

    But with the time, blogging become profitable and what they say in this video are absolutely true!

  • Posted by Michael Klein
    Mitch Joel

    Blogging has changed my life in so many positive ways:

    1. It provides a creative outlet and a space to organize my often random thoughts. I find this immensely therapeutic.

    2. It has helped me build my professional network both at home and abroad.

    3. It's helped me 'recession-proof' my job. As, I'm no longer just dependent on my day work to build my individual brand. I know tomorrow if I lost my job it wouldn't take as long to find a new gig as my readers/network would be there to help.

    4. It's provided me with an opportunity to get hired for some speaking gigs.

    5. It's made me practice the idea of 'though leadership' as opposed to just following what others have told me to do. The creative process really helps formulate and test hypothesis...

    6. I got to go to the Olympics to blog about it!

  • Posted by Rob Metras
    Mitch Joel

    I enjoy blogging because you can add value to other people just by sharing what you know. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy reading others blogs for ideas,inspiration and just plain old enjoyment. Those that do it seriously do it as an outlet also. In the time before blogs became popular one would never have been able to converse with a Seth Godin,Guy Kawasaki or a Mitch Joel unless you were in a certain circle or met at conferences or on business. . It is such an open way to share ideas. I agree with Michael above in his first three point.It makes me a better writer too.

    • As a Writer, Typist, Blogger or Journalist it's important to remember that all of this content: good, bad or mediocre does make everyone "up their game." And, as is always the case, the best stuff does rise to the top. I'm working my way towards the middle.

  • Posted by Dan York
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, Thanks for posting this video... I remember seeing it when it first made the rounds, but it had been a bit. Definitely great words of wisdom. A few months ago I passed the milestone of 10 years of blogging... and recently discovered that I'm contributing content to about 14 different blogs (obviously some more than others). It has most definitely changed MY life... both in terms of the practice of blogging - and also the marketing that comes out of it. It's also as I've long maintained:

    Never before have we had such a great opportunity to tell our own story in our own words!

    Thanks for the reminder of that. Keep up the great blogging here!

  • Posted by Kneale Mann
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch,

    You pushed me to start a blog in April 2008. Now thousands of visitors who find what I jot down on the keyboard somewhat entertaining, interesting, thought provoking or helpful from all over the world every month visit the site.

    The first day, three people read my post. The second month, I had 37 readers. And I have consistently written 3-4 (sometimes more) posts every single week without the knowledge anyone will read it or resonate with its content.

    I have a client who puts it well, he writes to remind him how he thinks and if that is the only reason you publish your ideas online then that is more than enough reason to try it if you haven't already.

    Don't worry about contributing to the conversation, start a new one.

    • ...and then you lapped me :) Which makes me smile... and proud because I knew you would be amazing at sharing everything rattling around inside of you... and you are.

      BTW: "Don't worry about contributing to the conversation, start a new one." - brilliant!

  • Mitch Joel

    Mitch - thanks for posting this. As with many comments expressed here, I can absolutely (and positively) identify with the sentiment that blogging has changed my life. Mostly, it has allowed me to expand my network, taken me to new places and afforded me the opportunity to meet and connect with people like you. It has also - to borrow from Seth Godin - given me a voice that makes me indispensable in my job function and role within the agency network, as well as (hopefully) within the marketing, entertainment & technology industries.

    Talk soon!

  • Posted by Irm Brown
    Mitch Joel

    I have several blogs and they give me a place to exercise different aspects of my world and my mind, from spiritual devotional to group study to random thoughts to library humor. I blog out on one of these every day and it brings focus to those moments. I am also honing my craft. I am still excited about having a venue that is more than 140 characters.

    It's wonderful to see some of my "business heroes" still embracing this format. Yay!

  • Posted by Virginia Wishart
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch,

    I'm in! Thanks for another shot of inspiration. I took your course through the IAB this Spring in Calgary and have been itching to do something ever since. But what?! Now the wheels are spinning again.... Soon, Grasshopper, soon!

    Keep up the good work! Love your blog, et al, and hope to hear you speak out West again soon.

    Cheers,
    Virginia

  • Posted by Darren Poke
    Mitch Joel

    I'm a reasonably new blogger with only about four months experience, but I'm enjoying the journey so far and trust that I am able to make a contribution to the lives of others through this fantastic medium.

    I've been a fan of Seth's blog for a while now as he really challenges me to be an "artist." Thanks for posting the transcript.

    Cheers,

    Darren

  • Posted by Alex Ikonn
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch,

    Haven't been here in a while. :( Miss it ...

    Does blogging still matter? Well, at the moment it still does and is very relevant BUT it will slowly die out.

    And I were to choose over starting a YouTube channel and a video blog over a traditional blog, I would choose Youtube/Vlog. Why?

    It's less competitive as ridiculous as that must sound and most people don't have the confidence to go in front of the camera. It's not easy.

    Video allows you to connect with others that you can't through text.

    The only thing with video... you can't BULLSHIT you are either genuine, authentic or you are not. People can read you a lot better through video.

    That is my two cents...

    Huge opportunity here! Anyone reading this... use it to your advantage.

    But in the end, if you want to blog or do video for more awareness and exposure but you have no passion, don't waste your time especially with video.

    All the best,

    Alex "What Will Matter Soon" Ikonn

    • Posted by jodi
      Mitch Joel

      lol, I've always been a blogger. I went through the whole "You have to have a blog" thing back when it first started, and now--when most of my friends have moved to FB, I still do. I've met so many people I'd have considered friends if only we'd met in real-life.

      But yeah, I agree that youtube reaches people you can't touch with words. Would I go with a vlog? I have friends who vlog, and much as I love' em I can't watch them over and over. I can "read" them over and over, but a video reaches saturation and words reach something a little deeper.

      I've...er, started adding video, too. But only for things that need to be said in person, and wow--it's a lot harder than it looks. Passion shows. But then, it shows in print too.

    • I love video (and video Blogs), but I don't think this is a zero sum game. That's like saying, "books are going to die and authors are going to start acting in movies." They are different media channels and they both support different types of audiences and strike different types of chords. I get a completely different experience from a written Blog than I do from watching a YouTube video.

  • Posted by Karen
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for reminding me of Seth and Tom's wisdom on blogging and for going that extra mile and transcribing their thoughts. I need to get back to doing it; mostly because of what Seth said "the meta-cognition of thinking about what you are going to say". It is invaluable.

    I learned about blogging and it's value from you Mitch. I saw you speak and you introduced me to this new world. Yours was the first blog I read regularly and through it I found Seth (and many others). Thanks for being such a valuable part of my ongoing learning.

    • Can I respond with an "aawww, shucks," you're making me blush-type of comment? People still think Blogging is about Marketing your ideas, when it can (and should) be about trying to crystalize your ideas (for yourself and others).

  • Posted by Cale D. Hawley
    Cale D. Hawley

    Thanks for the post Mitch. I like Seth Godin's comment. I fit into the catagory that is trying to improve my post. Decided yesterday that I need to branch out and think outside of the box a little more during my posts. Resistance Sometimes gets the best of me. I will start something and the next thing you know, delete. Its sometimes a bit scary to put yourself out there like that, but why should it be...that's the resistance. Thanks for the motivation and the insight.

  • Posted by Andrew
    Mitch Joel

    Great, great post. I love that Peters said blogging has changed his life. That is a bold statement. I have been blogging only for a short time, but I can feel the activity sharpening me already. Great video. Thank you for the post and thank you for your blog.

  • Blogging is the most important activity I do...both for my own wellbeing and development of ideas and for my business - in so far as I help businesses get started in social media and I HAVE to set a good example, but not only doing it, but aspiring every day to doing it well.

    I'm still amazed how many people in business have not yet realised the benefits of a blog and how many more know, yet make excuse after excuse not to. To that end, I blogged recently on 10 Ways to Beat Blogger's Block - specifically aimed at a few particular clients :) You can see it here: http://wisdomlondon.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/10-ways-to-beat-bloggers-block/

    Blog on, people!

    • It sounds like you are focused on all of the interesting areas that Blogging can help a business to grow with. I get (a little) nervous when it's all about sales and amount of people the message is reaching. It sounds like you do too.

  • I got to this blog through someone's tweet (which disappeared in a trail after I had decided I liked this post and wanted to retweet it.)

    I started blogging almost 6 months ago. Mostly for myself with a hope that maybe I might be able to change the world for the better and this was a platform that would help me reach a wider base of people.

    The writing and the blogging itself has completely changed my life in the past 6 months. It has helped me put my thoughts into words and communicate them to others. It has helped me network and meet new friends. It has exposed me to things i would not otherwise have learned.

    I think if someone is authentic it will show through-both through video blogging as well as traditional blogs.

    I'm glad to have happened upon your site.

    • There is something about the solidarity of writing/Blogging and how when other Bloggers connect and challenge one another, it takes all of that solidarity into a very interesting place. There has got to be a link between how Bloggers connect and why some consider group therapy an important part of some people's healing process.

      • Posted by jodi
        Mitch Joel

        interesting. Very interesting. I'm going to take that thought, if you don't mind...lol, and blog it.

  • That was the whole point. Enjoy the inspiration.

  • Posted by Codrut Turcanu
    Mitch Joel

    Blogging still matters just like cars matters, although some bloggers are living the "minimalistic" lifestyle where they gave up using their car, or simply sell it for bike reading, or whatever.

    I hope these wannabe bloggers don't give up blogging for Twitter. Why not use both? :)

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