Tim Jackson, the MasiGuy and Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser, is celebrating a year of blogging. Yesterday, Tim left a comment that got me thinking. He said, "Don’t you feel like an old hand now? I know I do … ok, just old maybe."
So with a smile on my face, I started to write this entry up. I was thinking about how blogging is like ACCELERATED experience … or it can be if you are open to learning. I am thinking of something akin to "dog years" — where what you learn from a year of blogging is the equivalent to FIVE years of "normal" experience (like I know anything about being normal ;)).
When you start blogging it is easy to get carried away, to post every day or more and to ramble on. But then, after a month or so, you start to get a sense of your own VOICE … you start to write from a certain, consistent perspective. David Armano mentioned talks a little about this process in his Blogs Eye View video.
For me, there was definitely a shift. My first month was about establishing a rhythm to my writing … I wanted to commit myself to writing something … anything … but the most important aspect was discipline.
From there, my writing began to take shape — mostly driven by my interests. I read widely and weirdly, collected items for my blogroll, studied my very small traffic statistics and commented far and wide. I looked back on posts and realised that I was really interested in marketing and storytelling — it was the underlying theme that was coming through in everything that I wrote.
I tried for a while to attract new readers … I participated in some carnivals and so on, but could see no great readership spikes. I went off on a tangent for a while, focusing on readers rather than writing and watched as the stats dropped off. Luckily I saw the error of my ways, and came back to being true to my writing and my readers — and both of you came back! Thanks!
Since then, I have been very clear in my thinking about what I write here. The only really strange challenge came when Ann Handley asked me to contribute to MarketingProfs Daily Fix. Suddenly I was going to step into a whole different realm … in writing my first post I was more nervous than commenting on Russell Davies’ blog. How would it be received? How should I write it? And then there was the question of authorship …
I had focused on writing this blog under the name Servant of Chaos … and I still sign-off most of my posts with the letter S. In many ways, I see these posts as letters to my anonymous and not so anonymous friends — like an asynchronous conversation delayed by hours, but sometimes by weeks or months. And over the last few months particularly, I have been pleased to see these friendships grow — with comments and emails containing insight, analysis, FUN and some silliness.
So it has been a year … but it is only a year. Thanks to all those who read and comment. The NEXT year should be even more interesting!