To really work, Sierra observed, an entrepreneur’s blog has to be about something bigger than his or her company and his or her product. This sounds simple, but it isn’t. It takes real discipline to not talk about yourself and your company. Blogging as a medium seems so personal, and often it is. But when you’re using a blog to promote a business, that blog can’t be about you, Sierra said. It has to be about your readers, who will, it’s hoped, become your customers. It has to be about making them awesome.
This is from Joel Spolsky’s Inc. column, where he also announces that he’s quitting his uber popular blog, Joel on Software. Which is incredible. Like Louis Gray giving up his blog.
Joel notes that he’s been at it for 10 years, and his company Fog Creek Software, has grown to the point where he needs to focus on its operations and alternative marketing modes. He does offer business owners some thoughts consistent with what “got him there” in terms of Fog Creek’s growth:
- If you’re selling a clever attachment to a camera that diffuses harsh flash light, don’t talk about the technical features or about your holiday sale (10 percent off!). Make a list of 10 tips for being a better photographer.
- If you’re opening a restaurant, don’t blog about your menu. Blog about great food. You’ll attract foodies who don’t care about your restaurant yet.
- If you make superior, single-source chocolate, don’t write about that great trip you took to the Dominican Republic to source cocoa beans. That’s all about you. Instead, write the definitive article about making chocolate-covered strawberries.
Joel’s been at it longer than me, but those tips are spot-on for the way I approach writing on the Spigit blog. Don’t write endlessly about the product features and press releases. Write to illuminate and give identity to the nascent Innovation Management 2.0 market. What’s important to organizations beginning to look at innovation management seriously?
If You’re Tracking the Innovation Space…
To that end, I know I’ve got some readers here who have an interest in both Enterprise 2.0, and innovation. In addition to this blog, I’m writing relevant posts over on the Spigit blog. Many of these of have garnered a lot of attention (a republished version of one on Braden Kelley’s multi-author blog was the #3 most viewed post there for February).
But don’t just take my word for it. See what you think. Here are seven posts I’ve written over there. Do any of them grab you?
Study – Collaborative Networks Produce Better Ideas: Presents the research of University of Chicago professor Ron Burt, who found that more connected employees generated hiogher quality ideas.
Ideas as the Basis of Social Networks: Begins with a video by Brian Solis, who discusses the concept that ideas, more than pre-existing relationships, will be the basis of social networks. Then weaves in Joshua “Bokardo” Porter’s thoughts on social object design.
Crowdsourcing Is the New Collaboration: Compares the behaviors, groups formation and expectations between traditional collaboration and crowdsourcing. They each have a place inside organizations. Also, a good antidote to the rising outcry over spec work crowdsourcing contests.
Four Models of Competitive Crowdsourcing: Provides a look at four different ways organizations can engage customers and interested participants in the crowdsourcing process: Crowd Sentiment, Expert Decision; Crowd Decision; Expert Decision; American Idol.
Who Are Your Positive Deviants?: Positive deviance refers to practices that fall outside the standard ways in which things are done, and which provide much better than standard results. People trying unorthodox things. Finding and propagating these positive deviances is important for social and corporate advancement.
Gary Hamel: Hierarchy of Employee Traits for the Creative Economy: Hamel lays out what he views as the key employee traits in the future, as we shift from the Information Economy to Creative Economy: initiative, creativity, passion. Key for workers is to get above the line of commoditization.
Study – Distributed Idea Generation Outperforms Team Brainstorming: Researchers at INSEAD and Wharton conducted a rigorous field study, comparing in-person team brainstorming to individualized, distributed idea generation. They found distributed idea generation outperformed the old corporate standby, team brainstorming.
If those topics interest you, I encourage you to subscribe. For reference, here’s the blog’s RSS feed:
See you there.