Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 22, 2008 9:12 PM

Build Your Brand And Publishing Empire Over The Holiday Break

Can brands afford to take a break during the Holiday season? What about Personal Brands? Does it help or hurt you to go "radio silent" on your Blog, Podcast and Twitter for a couple of weeks?

There have been a slew of Blog postings, Tweets on Twitter and audio commentary on Podcasts that "'tis the season to be taking a break." Admittedly, we could all use a break. It was a crazy year on many levels. Putting the economy aside (not an easy task!), just the changes in the new media landscape alone have been staggering. There's been no slowing down as online social networks like Facebook continue to grow and even mainstream media started pumping content down the Twitter tunnel. At every twist and turn new content and new multimedia (text, audio, video and images) channels are exploding. It's become a lot easier to push your ideas "out there" and even easier for those to comment on it.

If you can keep a consistent flow of content over the holiday season, do keep the stream going.

Are you going to stop reading or stop watching TV during this holiday season to "take a break?" If you have a Blog, Podcast, etc... you should be creating content because you have something to say, share and, ultimately, get off your chest. It should (hopefully) be all about the passion.There are a boatload of Blog topic ideas scattered throughout my Digital Footprint. From email folders to Delicious and from Google Reader "starred" items to plain old Moleskine notes on paper... so many topics that need to still be tackled... they're just begging for it.

The beauty of most of these channels is RSS... when something is ready to be published, you'll know.

The only reason to stop publishing or to take a break is if you consider this work. If it's not work and more about your passion, odds are you'll be publishing at the same output level - if not more. Doesn't a break from the regular day to day work schedule not pump you up with new ideas to yack about? To further this thought: since when did we all fall into the mass media complex of when to publish? Isn't the real beauty of this channel that you can post short (or long) and early in the morning (or late at night)? In fact, as someone who now has a break to finally read all of the cool and brilliant stuff you are creating, please don't stop! Now what are we all supposed to read? The newspaper?

Keep on keeping on.

If an idea sparks, if a concept comes to mind, if you see something that tickles your fancy, please do create that content and keep it going. Think about all of your readers and community members who finally have some time to stop, think, pay attention, engage, comment and ponder. Plus, why not publish when everyone else is taking a break? It sounds like the best time and perfect opportunity to pick up some new followers.

What's your plan? Create content or catch up on sleep?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by pete mosley
    Mitch Joel

    I wouldn't be caught dead without my Moleskine!!!

    Happy Happy's to you and your's Mitch!

    Oh and thanks for the impetus for the essence of the OneDegree.ca post I did.

    Got me tinkin I tell ya!

    Reply
  • Posted by Mark Evans
    Mitch Joel

    I figure that creating content is easier because you're not working, and have more time to think and write.

    Reply
  • Posted by Adam Cohen
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch -
    Sometimes I find myself taking a break not because it's work, or because the passion has run out, but because...it's just not my day job. I work for a very active interactive agency (pun intended) and like other businesses it has it's busy cycles. If I happen to take a break from blogging it's usually because the day job turned into a night one too. I hope and expect over the holiday break to write more, not less. Not to mention the inspiration your post provided.... Thanks!

    Reply
  • Posted by Kyle Roussel
    Mitch Joel

    In my mind there's more than 1 good answer to this question.

    You can capitalize on a captive audience as they also take a break during the holidays, assuming they haven't taken a break.

    Or you can take a break yourself, and watch as your readers/followers wait with baited breath for your next bit of fresh content.

    There's certainly pros and cons to both, but personally as I get roped in to family functions, hanging out on twitter and keeping tabs on blogs will certainly slip over the next week. That's ok though, the internet never forgets and there's only a short window every year where you can turn off the laptop and reconnect with family.

    Reply
  • Posted by Rob Cotter
    Mitch Joel

    All of the above and then some! I'm more creative during downtime anyway so it's a win win from my perspective. To add to that I'll paraphrase CC Chapman with "there are a lot of asshats around this time of year". And he's right. It's a great opportunity to think big, publish, and engage on a new level. And perhaps one that is more characteristic of human nature.

    Reply
  • Posted by Nicky Jameson
    Nicky Jameson

    I feel it's important to take a break to recharge the batteries. It's simply not healthy to be "on" all the time...I'm sure readers will understand ;)

    If someone is expecting to see fresh posts from my blog on December 25th or January 2nd, they are likely to be disappointed. They might even wonder if I can ever be away from my blogging! It can wait a few days.

    Frankly I am hoping my readers are going to go and have a jolly good rest themselves, but if not I've archives.

    I don't preclude blogging if I've something to say or course, but my family deserves to have our full attention for once after having shared it with blogging and related activities most of the year. And I am going to watch movies, go and visit friends, do jigsaws - and do non-blog, non marketing stuff.

    I've just done a post on my personal blog (Nice and meaty) wishing everyone happy Christmas and a Happy New year and saying I'll see them in January. I've said I'll read their comments as always - and I will - but it's understood... it's the holidays and I'm more or less "offline".

    I've done this every year since I started my blog.

    I'll also have my Moleskine and by BB to catch any ideas for future posts. So they won't escape.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

    Reply
  • Posted by Heather Kennedy
    Mitch Joel

    I haven't quite figured out how you turn creativity 'off' and as I've recently settled into a nice routine of balancing ideas with work product, well, why throw things off? I think being able to create away from the computer helps as well, i.e. moleskine, comp. book, index cards, back of the grocery list....

    Food for thought, as always! Have a great holiday!

    Reply
  • Posted by Amod Munga
    Mitch Joel

    Hi

    I struggled with this question myself in the run-up to the festive season. Ultimately, I decided that I needed the break. Just to recharge the batteries. That said, I also realised I couldn't let the blog lie dormant over that time. So I got my cat, Baba Ganoosh to post for me over this period. He'll be tackling career management from a feline perspective.

    I've scheduled the posts to be published automatically each day (along with Christmas and New Year's day posts) so my blog will continue to generate content while I can take a break.

    Yes, it's fluff content but I'm betting on people being in a more lighthearted and less business-like mode. And although there are some really juicy current events I could blog about, I'm confident that the underlying issues behind those events will keep them relevant until I get around to them.

    My 2c. Happy holidays to one and all!

    PS: That doesn't mean I'm going to stop consuming blogs though. LOL!

    Reply
  • Posted by Ryan Jones
    Mitch Joel

    Darn it, Mitch...once again you hit me on the spot with this post. I was thinking of getting a bit lazy, but, as you rightly point out, this is the best time of the year to get through some of those stashed "star" items.

    Happy Hols!
    --Ryan

    Reply
  • Posted by Bryan Person
    Mitch Joel

    I've been on a good kick lately in blogging more faithfully, and I hope to carry that right through the holiday break.

    I actually think that will be easier, because there will be fewer interruptions in the form of work e-mails, responsibilities, etc. That means more extended blocks of time for thinking, generating new ideas, getting creative, and writing.

    Bryan Person | @BryanPerson

    Reply
  • Posted by Leigh Himel
    Mitch Joel

    I can tell you from my blogger mat leave that my traffic took a serious and so did my technorati rating - didn't lose any subscribers though.... ah the things we women do to our career for our children ;-)

    Reply
  • Posted by Ryan Deschamps
    Mitch Joel

    I picked up _Moby Dick_ last night and plan on reading that instead of blogging.

    I have lots of passions that need attention. The holiday season is a good time to think about those passions and re-evaluate.

    Reply
  • Posted by Derrick Kwa
    Mitch Joel

    I'm actually taking a break during this holiday season as well.

    I think whether to take a break depends on a lot of things. It's not necessarily just "catching up on sleep". But sometimes, as individuals, as people, we need the break to recharge. To re-evaluate the direction we're taking, etc.

    For me, well, yes, I love blogging and I love the community and all. But at the same time, I'm still human. And there are other things going on in my life, and sometimes the time to just step back from everything can be useful. Just my thoughts.

    Reply
  • Posted by John Meadows
    Mitch Joel

    If you feel you can't let family, friends, celebration or even some healthy downtime get in the way of building your "personal brand", then you need to ask yourself a question: does your personal brand serve you, or do you exist merely to service your personal brand?

    Reply
  • I'm not saying to choose Blogging over family, celebrating or taking a break. Just like I would never say to choose Blogging over getting your work done, doing community service or attending a networking event.

    I am saying that if you see Blogging as work (i.e. something that you need to do to pay the bills to do the things you love), then maybe you do need to rethink what you're Blogging about.

    People don't celebrate the Holidays by taking a break from reading or watching TV (ok, maybe some do ;), so why take a break from something that should be fun and enjoyable?

    Lastly, I don't think that building your personal brand is a task on a to-do list. It simply is. You don't need a Blog to build a personal brand... all you need to be doing is breathing. If you're breathing, you're building your personal brand.

    Reply
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