The Blog Bat Signal

The dark Light
Originally uploaded by benegizer

After being away for a week I must admit that it is difficult to get back into the habit of writing-thinking. It seems that even a small break away from the discipline of blogging can disrupt our creative and intellectual processes.

So I thought I would send up my own blog bat signal to remind myself that there are brands and social media challenges that are yet to be conquered. Now all I need is my cape — and the next installment of "The Future of Your Brand" will be delivered before you can say "wham".

Information Deluge

Well, it has been a very big week. There have been lot of ideas filling my brain and, as always, there is plenty of work to do. All this means, of course, that my blog debt has been racking up. So while I normally dislike writing link-style posts, I really have no choice this week. Here goes:

A faster horse

Sometimes the blog debt gets out of control — there are too many things to think and write about, too many good ideas to which I would like to contribute and too many conversations happening that involve areas that I am passionate about or interested in. On top of this there are side projects, main projects, friends projects … there is work, family, friends, email, cars, bikes, photography, movie making, book reading and technology. Busy, busy …

Oh, and blogging … how can you keep up with the torrent of life? What gives and what takes? And how do you decide or draw the line?

I was surprised by the beginning of this year — there was an urgency and pace to January that caught me unprepared. But then, I thought it would settle down into a new rhythm. I was wrong. I misjudged the intensity. I noticed that my own blogging had increased — I was doing one, two, even three posts per day — and sometimes this still was not enough.

Others were doing the same … all over the blogosphere the energy seemed to be ramping up. There were more posts, deeper insights and smarter use of multi-channel communications tools. All of a sudden blog posts were not enough — there was SlideShare, Twitter and Vox and Tumblr — as well as the stalwarts, Flickr and YouTube. Wow …

But now … all of a sudden, there seems to be a sense of blog fatigue. Some are choosing not to continue their blogs, others are posting less. I get barely a peep some days from Twitterers … Me? I continue to write here, but have not posted over at MarketingProfs for some time (sorry Ann), and even the posts that I have written here have tended to feel (at least to me), a little light on. A little too insubstantial. The faster horse that I ordered for Christmas never arrived (must have been a bad boy).

Yet, while some blogs go dark, I have a feeling this may just be the fatigue of passionate early adopters. You see, despite Dave Sifry’s positivity, blogs are still on the periphery, and no matter how many of us bloggers or marketing folks think otherwise, we really are experimenting with a new form of narrowcast communications. In a way, it is like TV in the 50s (at least in Australia), when very few houses had televisions. The TV personalities were little more than amateurs compared with today’s slick media professionals.

During TV’s early days the rules and methods of performing and communicating were being invented and extended during each and every performance (remembering that most TV was live back then). Much was being learned in front of and behind the camera, and the viewing audience was also learning a new way of consuming media, engaging with brands and becoming used to inviting strangers into their living rooms. Of course, the stars came and went, making money, finding fame and in many instances, disappearing into early retirement.

Blogging is similar to this. Even those who have been blogging for some time are still learning the rules, methods and approaches. Sometimes it feels stilted, unprofessional, raw and visceral. Sometimes it is a bit too close to … well, real life. There will be stars that shine brightly and make millions. There will be many who come and go with barely a ripple. But there will come one of Gladwell’s tipping points, and it won’t be in terms of mass — it will be in terms of acceptance. You will know that day, as you will no longer need to explain what it means to "blog". And while the names that we all know from some A or Z list may no longer matter in the way that they do now, the mass of bloggers currently writing their first post or finalising their last are doing one clear thing — laying the foundations of a communications channel that will outlast us all.

I will need more than a faster horse to get me to the end of that race!

Holiday is Over, Infiniti Begins

Originally uploaded by Devil between us.

It has all been quiet here at the Servant of Chaos blog … I had a week away to recharge and did no thinking on brands, marketing, storytelling or technology. It was nice and quiet.

But the holiday ends now … and there is plenty to read, do and catch up on. I noticed some juicy posts popping up from almost everyone on my blogroll … so I will need to get busy on my correspondence.

I also shaved the Movember mo from my face. I did get used to having one again, but all the same, am glad it has gone. I have some ideas for a new post on my personal view of Movember … think it will be for the MarketingProfs folks.

Stay tuned! More later.


Wishing for more time each day

There seems to be so much going on at the moment, it is hard to keep up … and it means that I am going ever deeper into blog debt. But there are a few items that I want to return to (and my regular readers will know this) … so I file them here under "blog debt". So, upcoming posts will look at:

  • Ariel’s move to a new server ( — ok this may have happened some time ago judging by the posts — but check out her latest updates on Ad:Tech NY. There is some great insight as well as analysis on some of the edgier campaigns doing the rounds
  • The growing strength of brand storytelling — using creative copy and engaging storytelling methods to enthrall us blog readers, consumers and marketing types all round. Extra special work coming from Mr Hee-Haw, Paul McEnany.
  • Russell’s take on interestingness

Anything that you have seen that I should?


What a great week … It’s only half over?

Originally uploaded by C book.

My blog debt is kicking into overdrive this week. I can’t believe it is only wednesday and already I am way behind on the topics I would like to think/write about. It is just as well that Russell is away this week.

  • Tara has a great post on hiring clients. We often think that we have to take on everyone who walks through our doors, but it IS important to be selective. (Of course, if you can’t be selective, be profitable.) Tara has done the hard work of learning some of these lessons … just so we don’t need to!
  • While I did have a quick think about this … I expect it is the sort of post that I will need to go back and revisit. Take a look at Dave Rogers’ interesting post on marketing, Second Life and the new crayon.
  • Richard Huntinton has an interesting take on what it can be like to boldly go where no agency has gone before — social responsibility ahead of its time. Remember, just because you are, doesn’t mean the industry or the public are.
  • Paul McEnany has been writing beautiful, thoughful and thought provoking posts for a while. This is one of many that I would like to muse on.
  • And Seth Godin ranks here too with this post. One percent effectiveness? Wow … and they say that return on web initiatives is low!

Have I missed anything? Got something you’d like to share?

Oh yeah … one post that I would like to do on anticipation. Roger over at Creative Think blog is sending me one of his cool Ball of Whacks. Waiting for it … talking about it with friends and colleagues etc is an interesting phenomenon.


Blog Debt Goes Higher

I had just finished writing a post on blog debt when Typepad kicked me out! It was filled with witty references to all the great posts I had read over the last few weeks but not had time to respond to by comment or post. It described part of my pleasant day today, far away from the office, my phone and email. But now it is all lost. Well almost all … here is the stuff that I have loved:

  • Russell Davies’ Post of the Month — Quick only hours to get your nomination in!
  • Death of Citizen Marketing — My nomination for post of the month — got to love the passion, writing and attitude!
  • The prolific Mr Armano’s efforts — he continues to put us all to shame with his insight, "intuitive impression" and generosity
  • Ann Handley’s great post called Dumb is the New Smart — and I know Ann I probably owe you an article too, but hope this sign will suffice for now
  • The Staufenberger’s rash of new posts filled with thought provoking ideas and links (thanks for the church sign above)

Hope you enjoy these if you have not read them yet. Do I feel better? Well maybe a little … but blog debt seems to be a common experience. Now it’s time to rest!


Girlfriend Isn’t Dead (5 Step Crisis Management)

dead girlfriend
Originally uploaded by groovemonkey.

OK, seems like I am on a blog roll (oh no does that constitute a blogging pun?) … actually I have had these stored up for a few days and am just getting around to relieving my blog debt.

I was reading this great post mostly for the catchy title "Sometimes Your Girlfriend Isn’t Really Dead", and stumbled across a great description of how to manage a crisis. (Chartreuse always manages to entertain AND stretch the brain, and this post is no different — don’t forget to read the whole post.)

The five step crisis management guide advises:

  1. Don’t Panic
  2. Quickly access the situation and act. Even if wrong you should do something.
  3. Ignore your minions mistakes. In stressful situations they are bound to fuck up. No big deal. Stay focused on the main task.
  4. Don’t expect gratitude. Sometimes people and companies don’t even realize how close they came to death.
  5. When the major part of the crisis is over give control back to your underlings.

Also, while reading through the comments to the article, I loved this comment from Brian Clark:

I just like the dead girlfriend story. That’s why I hang around here despite not owning or being involved in a blog network.

Good stories are the key to everything.

Couldn’t agree more Brian!


Blog Debt

dump the debt
Originally uploaded by Daveybot.

I don’t know if any other bloggers have found this, but there is a hidden bonus in blogging … the disciplined generation of ideas. It is like there is a whole lot of work being done by the creative side of my brain allowing ideas to pop, ready-made, into my conscious mind.

The unfortunate side effect of this is that you also generate a need to write … and in the days when life (kids, family, work, illness, kite flying etc) gets in the way you end up with a BLOG DEBT.

Over the last few days I have been reading a lot of other people’s posts and feeling rather inspired to comment or analyse … but really have not had the time. So, as part of my blog debt, I am aiming to return to some of these posts, allow the ideas to seep into my brain a little longer, and write it up when I am ready to start paying back my blog debt. Articles for blog debt payback include:

  • Russell Davies — I love the way that Russell uses observation from real life to force us to actually look and feel and PERCEIVE and UNDERSTAND the world around us. This post on IP piracy is a great example that goes on to show how even the most mundane works can have beauty and value.
  • Johnnie Moore always has a unusual insight … and this post is no different. He seems particularly reflective at present, and it is nice to be able to observe some "slow thinking" in a busy world
  • Some great rants are available here. A lot of fun, energy and enough vitriol to keep us on the edge of our keyboards.
  • And the prolific Mr Armano is now blogcasting and giving us deeper and more personal insights into his most popular articles.