I’d like to share a little experience I’ve had within the walls of Arc90.
At Arc90, we put enormous value on contributing and being active in the Arc90 Blog and Lab. We view the blog and lab not just as fun diversions, but a key part of our marketing and PR. We’ve found its a great way to share our ideas with the community as well as showcase some of our capabilities.
About six months ago, we’d put in place a semi-controversial "(dis)incentive plan" that actually amounted to some disincentive if you didn’t contribute to either the blog or lab. In other words, your contributions to the blog and lab would be factored into your review – positively or negatively.
The plan was met with some controversy. Many at Arc90 didn’t like the sound of it. Nevertheless, for a good couple of months following, blogging activity ramped up. Still, a frighteningly large percentage of Arc90’ers never bothered to blog at all…to this day.
The lesson learned, for me at least, is this: not everyone blogs. In fact, despite the staggering growth numbers, most people don’t blog. In fact, most people don’t want to blog. I’m not just talking about Arc90. I’m talking in general.
So what is the old blog-o-sphere left with? Loud mouths? Extroverts? People who obsess over their Feedburner subscription stats? Dare I say…Scoble-types? Um, yeh. Pretty much. Bloggers, by design, are a bit full of themselves. You sort of have to be to presume that anything you write hundreds of times a year is worth reading.
Throughout this exercise, a common occurrence at Arc90 was what I like to call "The Great Blog Post Struggle." People would labor over draft over draft of that ideal blog post. Revising, tweaking, lopping off chunks only to feel painfully unsatisfied when it came time to publish. Very often, the work never saw the light of day. The possibility of a stupid or ill-received post was paralyzing to them. Fear and their lack of Hubris did them in.
So I say to the un-blogged bloggers-to-be at Arc90 – and everyone else out there in the world: just blog! Your flaws, insecurities, fumblings, idiosyncrasies are the secret sauce of blogging. Don’t bother trying to become a journalist. You’re not one…and nobody wants to read a magazine article anyway.