|Respect (Photo credits: www.mysecuritysign.com)|
My posts of the past week (here and here) generated some excellent debate on the topics of respect for bloggers and the importance of page views, comments, and community. In order to further clarify my position I will continue with these topics this week. Short posts work best for the attention span of the typical blog reader so I think breaking the topic down is less apt to lead to confusion. Even my attempt at simplification in my posts last week seemed to lead to complications in the feedback and debate that appeared in my comment section as well as in the comments Alex J. Cavanaugh received in his posts (here and here).
Part of the problem is that there were several points of view clashing in an arena of debate. I don't think we are all talking about the same things. My points were in reference to marketplace potential for one's product (in the case of most of you that is probably books) and building platform. I'm envisioning platform to be like an oil rig platform that is full of activity with many workers contributing to the final production as opposed to the platform upon which stands a statue where pigeons come to roost and strollers through the park stop to admire the artwork. I hope this metaphor does not offend anyone. To put what I'm saying in less metaphorical terms I'm thinking in terms of big versus smaller.
If a writing or product platform is to be most effective then it must service a wide field while serving multiple functions. Community is an essential and possibly the most important part of the platform, but should not be the sole element in ones platform. Community is wonderful and reassuring and I would never want to let go of the security I have in being a part of a community. But I know there is a bigger world out there and I should try to tap into that world as well.
Andrew Leon put it bluntly: "Many people who say they want to be "big time" do not actually act like it." This is a small part of one of the excellent comments he left on the post "Defining Respect". If you missed his comments on that post or any of the insightful comments left by others on that post, by all means read through them. There are some excellent observations made in many of these comments.
If we as writers are composing a blog post and we are thinking in terms of using blogging as part of a platform, then we should firstly direct our posts to our community whom we hope is listening, but always keep in mind that there is a broader base who could potentially be listening (including agents, publishers, future readers, and media representatives). Even if that audience is not there I think it is important to respect yourself and your product enough to believe that you are important enough to address that audience just in case any of them do happen upon your blog.
Your blog is a reflection of you and the work you do. If you are expecting to sell your books then the blog writer should appear to be professional and worthy enough to be read. If you aren't respecting yourself and your platform enough to believe that you can extend beyond your community and reach thousands or even millions of people then you have placed limitations on your own potential. You can think big even when you are small. If you are not doing that then you are apt to stay within the confined area that you have set for yourself.
I do understand that this post may not apply to all of you reading it. If this does not apply to you then go ahead and take yourself out of the equation, but please feel free to add your thoughts. You have important things to tell the rest of us. Some of you may be intentionally blogging for a small niche or even for yourself. That's just fine. Most of you doing that do it very well and I'm glad you are there. You are good blogging friends and I respect you. However, still give the concepts I've laid out here some deeper consideration in order to evaluate yourself honestly. You may be limiting yourself with your own doubt, fear, or insecurity.
There is a lot of talent in the realm of our blogging community and I think the world needs to know about it!
Battle of the Bands Results
for October 15, 2013
My Battle of the Bands entry for last week consisted of two versions of the song "Respect".
I'm a big fan of Otis Redding, but I'm a bigger fan of Rotary Connection. Psychedelic music is one of my favorite genres and I enjoy intricate arrangements that have big production values. As is so often the case I'm going against the grain and casting my vote for Rotary Connection. But even with my vote cast, Otis Redding gets the most respect and most votes from you who joined in the fun for this round of BOTB.
Otis Redding --21 votes!
Rotary Connection-- 5 votes...
Another round of Battle of the Bands will come up Friday November 1st. Be here to see the amazingly strange match-up I have in store.