No One Cares About Your Blog

No One Cares About Your Blog
Originally uploaded by Kimblahg.

Sometimes writing can feel like a lonely and isolating chore … while at other times you can be "caught in the flow", fingers skating across the keyboard, not noticing the hours slipping by.

One of the advantages of writing a blog is that you can solicit feedback … if you are writing a book or a work of some kind, you can put it on the Internet very quickly, and get some feedback. Sure it might start with only one or two readers (like your mother and father), but hey, that’s where Picasso started too! The other main advantage to blogging for writers is that you have the chance to build a community or readers who may ACTUALLY buy your book — or even better — they may MARKET it for you.

And if it so happens, that the new year is upon us, then your readers/audience/community/parents can VOTE for your blog in a number of categories. This year’s bloggies close in a few days, so get over there quicksmart!

What are you waiting for? Stop reading and get VOTING.

CK Finally Shuts Up

Ck_quiet_4 David Armano was asking this week about which superhero you would be … if you could choose. There were some funny responses — my favourite was Clay over at exitcreative who wanted to be SharkMan (if there was one). So then I was looking over at CK’s blog where she informs us that she is taking a break for a while — not surprising really. You can find her ALL OVER the blogosphere at the moment.

You can seek her here. You can seek her there. That CK … you can seek her everywhere.

I guess that makes her the Scarlet Pimpernel.


Secret Blogging

  Originally uploaded by españa.

I love secrets. I love having them, and I love hiding them … I also love keeping the secrets of others. The attractions of secrets are many — there is exclusivity, desire and danger, there can also be comraderie and friendship.

One of my favourite writers, Helene Cixous, often discusses secrets and the need to hide them. She says:

We constantly believe we must repress, forget and bury. Yet this isn’t true. The desire to bury hides a much more twisted desire: Man wants to be seen burying — wants to be discovered in the middle of hiding.

I have loved this quote for years … and it popped into my mind this afternoon while reading this very interesting post that asks "why don’t creatives blog?" (thanks to Jon Howard for this). Some way down in the comments was an admission by Anna, that she DOES in fact blog, but has not, as yet given the address to anyone. That reminded me of Katie, who had been blogging for some time before she finally relented and gave me the URL.

This strange game is very much a part of the process of writing (and therefore blogging). On one hand, we love the idea of blogging only for ourselves, but secretly, there is a desire to be found, blog-handed, writing for others — reaching out to the communities that spring up around our words and ideas.

I have a friend, Tammy, who contributes to many blogs, but does not yet have her own. I wonder if this is true … or whether she has a secret blog. I, myself, have a secret blog where I write other, non-marketing stuff. How many others have secret blogs? Let me know … go on — you know you want to!

Twain as a Blogger

  Tom Sawyer in Twain’s Handwriting 
  Originally uploaded by groovy.mojo.

I have always liked Mark Twain as a writer. I remember reading Tom Sawyer over a hot summer in high school, I remember the dog-eared book with my name in the front and the way that the pages seemed a little floppy due to the humidity.

At university, my study of American Literature brought a whole new level of understanding of not just Twain’s books, but his politics, interests and place within the American canon.

And tonight, as I was clicking through some of the Z-list sites, I found this great article — the Mark Twain Guide to Better Blogging. It brought back some great memories as well as making some great points. Check it out!


Z-list Breaks Technorati

I am just starting to take a few baby steps back into the blogging world after my Christmas/New Year “break” … and have found 100s of new links to Servant of Chaos and many of my favourite blogs. The Z-list appears to be running rampant and unrestrained, mutating at every turn (nice work Sandy), leaping from a marketing-oriented meme to a more generic, self populating and self propagating virus.

One of the most interesting things has been the rapid rise of the Technorati rankings of most of the blogs on the Z-list — with those involved early gaining the most. Servant of Chaos, for example, had a ranking of somewhere around 40,000, but is now sitting <10,000 — and while traffic has increased a little, it is has not had a dramatic improvement. BUT as you would know if you are a regular reader, there have been very FEW posts here over the last couple of weeks, and the percentage of new visitors is up. Will these new visitors become regulars? Will they comment and engage with the posts? It is all too early to tell. But what is certain is that Mack Collier’s clever experiment is causing havoc with the rankings.

Douglas Karr has a very pretty version of the Z-list here … and also shares 100 things that he has learned during 2006. It is some list. I have ONE … but at this point it feels the most powerful and overriding … The Power of Community to create change can never be underestimated — I am thinking that this will remain an underlying theme here for the rest of 2007.

Oh, and there is a SECOND … you don’t need to meet face to face to create firm and strong friendships. Thanks particularly to Cam, for creating the FOGROLL and to each and every one of you on it. I am truly blessed to be able to call you all friends.

The Viral Garden
Resonance Partnership
Masi Guy
Marketing Profs: Daily Fix
Marketing Nirvana
Logic + Emotion
It Could Get Worse 2.0
Hee-Haw Marketing
Greg Verdino 2.0
Conversation Agent
CK’s Blog
Biz and Buzz

Sharing Ze Santa Love

love & santa
Originally uploaded by joujoubee.

Mack Collier’s Z-Lister meme keeps going from strength to strength … it not only generates a lot of interlinking and connecting of networks, but is also unearthing some FANTASTIC blogs and interesting personalities.

I have been spending some time just tracking down the links to you all and have been so excited at what I have found. It just goes to show that more is MORE.

Of course, in the spirit of further sharing the love, Mack has consolidated as many of the links as he can and has asked for them to be reposted. So here they are (plus some more of my personal favourites that I hadn’t added previously).

Also hope you enjoy your holiday reading!

Creative Think
Movie Marketing Madness
Blog Till You Drop!
Get Shouty!
One Reader at a Time
Critical Fluff
The New PR
Own Your Brand!
Work, in Plain English
Buzz Canuck
New Millenium PR
Pardon My French
Troy Worman’s Blog
The Instigator Blog
Diva Marketing
Marketing Hipster
The Marketing Minute
Funny Business
The Frager Factor
Open The Dialogue
Word Sell
Note to CMO:
That’s Great Marketing!
Shotgun Marketing Blog
Customers Rock!
Being Peter Kim
Pow! Right Between The Eyes! Andy Nulman’s Blog About Surprise
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Working at Home on the Internet
MapleLeaf 2.0
Two Hat Marketing

The Engaging Brand
The Branding Blog
Drew’s Marketing Minute
Golden Practices
Tell Ten Friends
Flooring the Consumer
Kinetic Ideas
Unconventional Thinking
Conversation Agent
The Copywriting Maven
Hee-Haw Marketing
Scott Burkett’s Pothole on the Infobahn
Multi-Cult Classics
Logic + Emotion
Branding & Marketing
Popcorn n Roses
On Influence & Automation
Servant of Chaos
Presentation Zen
Dmitry Linkov
John Wagner
Nick Rice
CKs Blog
Design Sojourn
Frozen Puck
The Sartorialist
Small Surfaces
Africa Unchained


Marketing Nirvana
Bob Sutton
¡Hola! Oi! Hi!
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Community Guy
Social Media on the fly
Jeremy Latham’s Blog
SMogger Social Media Blog
Serial Thoughts
Exit Creative
Shake Well Before Use
Conformists Unite

Marcus Brown

Tagged – Now I feel like a dolphin

Tagging will hurt us all
Originally uploaded by miss_rogue.

I have noticed a few taggings happening across the world famous Interweb over the last couple of weeks … It can be fascinating to watch the way that this type of wildfire-viral works … and fun to be involved. Each person who is tagged has to divulge five personal things that most people don’t know. You then have to tag five others.

So now it is my turn … I have been tagged by Andrea Learned — fellow contributor at the Daily Fix, original pink thinker and guru on marketing to women. Andrea also writes a mean email 😉

So my five things:

  1. Despite what my profile may say, I was not born on a boat.
  2. Before I went all corporate and then went creative, I studied theatre and performance, wrote plays and wanted to be a theatre director.
  3. I once rode a motorbike from Sydney to Uluru (and wow was it cold) — one of the most beautiful and spiritual places on earth.
  4. I have been fascinated with China and Chinese culture since I was a child. I wanted to learn how to write Chinese but only got as far as one or two characters. I proudly remembered the word for RICE … and was resoundingly disappointed recently to find out that it was incorrect.
  5. I aim to be a bad influence on my friends. Even though I know they will get into trouble. But at least we have fun … and no one has lost any limbs yet.

Now my five targets, sorry, fellow dolphins:

  1. CK — marketing chick about town, fellow Buffy-lover and indefatigable blogger.
  2. Marcus Brown — clever blogger thinking about returning to the world of advertising but struggling now to defend his alma mater — Dartington College of Arts. Check out Marcus’ passionate posts on why good arts colleges should stay open and teach us all how to think for ourselves.
  3. Shouty Katie — wear your heart on your sleeve? No way … it is way more personal than that over at Get Shouty.
  4. David Armano — oh c’mon, I can’t believe he hasn’t been tagged yet. Perhaps it is that teflon coated jacket he’s been wearing.
  5. Emily Reed — the driving force behind the Sydney Coffee Mornings — I can’t believe anyone can be that perky in the morning!

How Old Are You in Blog Years?

Old and Slow
Originally uploaded by bartmaguire.

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!


Darmano Gold

I am sitting here watching David Armano’s Blog’s Eye View video presentation and a few of my colleagues are gathering around to watch. As with his writing, David has an easy style that mixes personal anecdote with real-world experience … and I can see the penny dropping on the faces around me.

From an agency point of view, blogging is a great unknown … and one of the greatest barriers to entry is lack of understanding. And … as we always say, and as David reiterates, to get a feel for blogging, you need to participate.

You can download the video from David’s site, and I would encourage you to do so … or you can watch the embedded version below. Grab a box of popcorn and enjoy!

In watching this video, I was reminded of the evolution of David’s "Influence Ripples" graphic. There is a great section where David explains the way this came about and what came before it … and as I was watching, it occurred to me that the next extension to this would be to add in the BSP element … where the ripples just became dotted lines. But then, I reckon DA has already picked up on this one.


CK does a Darmano


When I first came across David Armano and his now famous blog, I was struck by the way he was able to tap into ideas circulating around the blogosphere and turn them into strong visuals. Not only that, he would provide a story about how these ideas worked, what they meant for brands, customers and even marketers and advertising types. He has been able to draw the emerging threads of conversations together to help explain ourselves to ourselves.

This winning approach has continued and David’s fame and influence has continued to grow. And if you read THIS blog and DON’T read David’s, then I suggest you partake of David’s extensive archive of insight.

Some time ago (ok weeks seem like years in the blogosphere), CK asked her readers what was the single most important point of value that they received from blogging. Rather than just leaving the responses languishing in the comments of the post, CK has "done a Darmano" (thanks to Ann for that one) and produced a great PDF that pulls together the top line ideas and then breaks out all the comments by author.

What this actually forms is a single record that helps answer "why blog". And because it captures the responses of some of the world’s most respected marketers/bloggers, it will prove a very nice addition to any presentation. Oh, and if you missed out on having your view incorporated, CK is also asking for more input.

Really, one of the amazing things about blogging is this … generosity — of ideas AND actions.