The New Rules of Blogging
So, what’s the talk about? I came up with the outline last night so I figured I’d hash it out in this blog post and let it evolve. If you have any suggestions, make ’em known in the comments.
The Next Big Problem
There are two events in human history that are more important than any other event in human history, ever. I am prepared to argue this point with anyone who wants to challenge me on it.
The two events (the solutions) are depicted in this graphic.
In 1436, a young upstart named Johannes Gutenberg combined the wine press, a conveyor belt, and a movable type plate, and created the printing press. This was a monumental event in human development.
Before the print press, knowledge was available only to the privileged. Print press made replication of books so easy that the knowledge was made available to the middle class and even to the poor.
Between 1500s and 2000s, the age in which knowledge was readily available to all, a new problem has emerged.
While reading was available to all, publishing was available only to the privileged. And then, in 1999 through 2007, few platforms stepped up to solve that problem. Platforms like Blogger.com, WordPress, and Tumblr.
These 3 platforms (and others like it) enable any of us to establish our own publishing channels. And now that publishing is available to all, a new problem has emerged.
Getting eyeballs on published content is available only to the privileged.
The privileged today are those who have legacy to depend on (NYTimes, Forbes, Vanity Fair, and any other old media brands). But the privileged are also those who entered the online publishing space at the right time (before 2009).
Click on the video below for a closer look at the importance of timing and how the privileged class controls the attention in the blogosphere.
Top 1% of Internet sites get 99% of attention. And their content doesn’t warrant that kind of attention. The truly great content I find is on small and medium sized blogs.
How can a small blog break through the noise gate imposed by these giant content warehouses like HuffPost, Mashable, NYTimes, and the like?
Triberr is the best answer I could come up with. And our mission is to democratize attention for all. We believe we are solving the next big problem.
Any site that was born after 2009 is playing by the new set of rules. So, I will lump all above-mentioned sites that were born prior to 2009 (from NYTimes across Mashable to HuffPost) as old media, and all sites that were born after 2009 as new media.
Old media has followed a simple strategy. Get traffic, sell ads.
Old media gets traffic through their high-ranking authority with search engines, voluminous number of backlinks, and massive social shares. Then they sell ad space on their sites.
Blogs that came after 2009 don’t stand a chance of competing with big players because new blogs will never have a chance to build-up a sufficient number of backlinks to be considered high-ranking in Google’s eyes.
We don’t live in a backlinking culture any more. We live in a sharing culture.
So the chances of us generating enough search traffic to monetize through ads are slim to none. And also, not very interesting. Plus it makes you serve a lousy master, but I digress (sometimes a lot)
Our opportunity is in attention and influence.
Traffic -in business terms- is a cost center. It eats up bandwidth, wastes CPU cycles, and creates bottlenecks. Besides, traffic is only good because it brings attention to our content.
If you could have attention without traffic, you’d take it. Right?
Focusing on grabbing more attention through innovative means like ReBlog, which enables you to syndicate your content far and wide, eliminates the cost center -traffic-, and brings attention to you and your content.
The syndicated comment system doesn’t hurt either.
With attention garnered, it’s time to build your influence.
Ads are a 1 in a million kind of game. Influence is 1 in a 100 kind of game.
We may not be able to get millions of visits, but we may be able to get 100s of visitors. And if we are able to convert few people with each post, in short amount of time, we’ll end up with something significant.
How do you exert influence? I can’t think of a better text on this subject than Robert Cialdini’s Influence. (Not an affiliate link)
Read it. Learn it. Live by it.
Traffic + ads = old gods. Attention + influence = new gods.
Old gods are busy. Find yourself some new faith. <-Click to tweet.
If the next big problem is attention for all. And the next big opportunity is in influence. Then how are we going to get there?
The answer is simple. We’re going to get there the same way all other seismic societal shifts have happened.
While America was investing in telephonic infrastructure, USSR was investing in a country-wide PA system.
The idea was that someone in Kremlin could get on the PA system -school principal style- and broadcast the message -top down- to everyone in Russia. Meanwhile, in America, telephones enabled peer to peer communication.
This is one of many examples in human history where peer to peer communication has enabled massive societal changes. And the pattern is always the same.
Command and control, top down approach leads to uprise. Peer to peer approach leads to innovation. Napster anyone?
As of now, the Internet is in a command and control stage. If old media had their druthers, they would broadcast their shitty content all PA like, and your job would be to consume their message.
The methodology that will disrupt this command and control onslaught is two fold:
- Stop sharing posts from old media sites like some media renegades
- Share amazing content from those around you who will share in kind
One of the things I am most proud of is the fact that by joining Triberr, members naturally end up doing exactly that. BAM!
Let’s Go To Washington, DC
It’s worth noting that xPotomac is a single-track conference (the best kind if you ask me), and it’s going to feature other #amazeballs speakers, such as:
- Andrew Keen – The Anti Christ of Silicon Valley
- Vanessa Fox – Coffee powered web mistress
- Shonali Burke – Grand Poobah who does social faster than a …cheetah
- Shana Glickfield -The Lawyer-Scientist turned social community maven
- Greg Verdino – Digital futurist who lives in the 19th century… house.
- Jennifer Consalvo – Green smoothie drinker and camera-clicking tech thinker
- Geoff Livingston – Former journalist now making an honest living as a blogger
- Ken Yarmosh – Makes mobile aps out of love…and chaos.
But that’s not all. It’s also going to feature a ton of #amazeballs attendees:
- Jon-Mikel Bailey – Photo shooting & graphic design preaching product of Frostburg U.
- Colin Storm – Beltway real estate blogger with an eco friendly bent
- Sherrie Bakshi – Dog loving, travel writing, marketing maven in our nation’s capital
- Peter Corbett – Grassrooter building a healthy ecosystem for DC entrepreneurs
- Tinu Abayomi-Paul -An isolated weather-pocket of happy energy
- Joanne Bamberger – The original mother of intention
- Charlie Adler – He drinks wine and talks about it, often simultaneously
- Debbie Friez – Diehard hockey fan, world-traveler, and a PR rock star
- Jill Foster – Photo blogger of architecture and speaker guider of storytellers
- Marissa Levin – Mentor, speaker, mom, writer and the smartest lady in the room
- Joanna Pineda – Trouble making architect of the Matrix
- Shashi Bellamkonda – Social Media Swami, Speaker & Bonafide Titan of the Beltway
- KiKi L’Italien – Online and offline business aligner and social media innovator
- Melanie Spring – Live your brand pace-setter small town girl that tickles the ivories
- Chris Abraham – The next big thing anticipator and a social network pioneer
- David Vyorst – Documentary film-maker disguised as a social media thought leader
- Sohini Baliga – Content producing, social media training, Editor in Chief of all
- Jason Konopinski – Keyboard and brains for hire, on fire
- Jay Daughtry – Johann Sebastian Bach of social media strategery
- Daria Steigman – Tell a better story. Daria knocks it out of the park
When attendees could easily be the speakers, you know this conference will be the tits. Join us.