Who remembers the good old days of blogging? When blogs and bloggers were scary to big and small businesses, everywhere? Blog? Not them! They didn't want anything to do with those loud-mouthed, obnoxious, gossip-mongers who were cluttering up the web with their 'chatter'.
I remember them well. I remember arguing with many a CEO about blogging - shortly after Lipsticking was launched. I saw the power of the written word being used to communicate beyond telephones, TV, ads in magazines, and more. I realized that forming personal relationships online was a good thing, not a scary thing. Those who were willing to listen, and try it for themselves, often found my teaching to be truthful. Others, who didn't much like the whole online communication thing, did not.
It got me to thinking about a T-shirt I have that my friend Toby Bloomberg gave me, many years ago, now. It says, "A-list blogger - You May Be Blogged". I always thought it should say "you will be blogged" because... if you're a blogger, you blog about everything - your cat, your coffee, your next business meeting, the weather... all the same things you talk about. I also began to wonder - if that's true, what's a person to do about not being blogged about? I mean, maybe I don't want you blogging about me.
So, I came up with the Top Ten Ways To Spot a Blogger at Ten Paces...
- A blogger is usually dressed casually but might, sometimes, be in a business suit or high heels, if she's a woman. Pay attention to clothes, they're a dead give away.
- A blogger usually has a smart phone pressed to his or her ear. They're listening to another blogger and already composing a new blog post as they pace back and forth during the conversation.
- A blogger will ask you a lot of questions. "When did you start here?" "Where do you live?" "When was the last time you travelled to China?" They don't pry too much, but they pry.
- A blogger might be clutching the worn leash of an adorable Pug or a German Shepherd, the better to strike up conversations with unsuspecting passers-by. "Oh, what a cute dog!" you'll say, and the blogger, with a gleam in her eye will say, "I know! I thought so too when I saw her in the litter at my best friend's house. Say, aren't you..." And so it goes.
- You would think a blogger would be pasty faced from spending so much time indoors blogging, but the truth is... bloggers blog from anywhere, on their smart phone. They don't stick to homebase. They blog at the park, they blog at the supermarket, they blog in church. Oh my, yes they do.
- A blogger is eager to learn. Regardless of what he blogs about, a blogger needs information the way others need air. He studies his topic and researches it and keeps a log of everything he learns. He accosts the other bloggers he knows, who are expert at his topic, hoping for an interview, and reads other blogs like you drink coffee - with a passion! You know it's blogging that consumes him because he has that, "I need to talk to you," look in his eye when you meet him...wherever.
- A blogger respects other people's privacy, if it needs respecting. So, you won't find a blogger lurking about your house spying on you. You will find her checking up on you if you're a public figure. You won't find her sneaking up to a conversation at a networking event, hovering just within earshot. She'll barge right in and introduce herself...and you will be warned, "I'm a blogger." With a smile.
- Bloggers want to accomplish things. They want to communicate. They look like reporters - but without the hats. They sometimes wear badges to let you know they're media - but it's a courtesy given proudly because... well, they are proud. Proud to be a voice for their topic. The badge is one of honor - don't misjudge it as a boast.
- Bloggers can write like journalists... but, most often, they write like... people. Like you. Or me. There's a conversational quality about their work. When they talk to you, they talk like... a person having a conversation. Generally, they aren't afraid of approaching you - whether they know you or not. Sometimes, they are. Yes, there are shy bloggers. Shy bloggers smile a lot and wait for you to make the first move.
- Bloggers are up at dawn. Or, sometimes they sleep in. Or, sometimes they write late at night. They're on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and they love meeting new people. They ride the bus, they drive to a regular job, they work at home, they network online and offline, they lament over missing conferences, they walk their dogs and shoo their cats from their desks...
Sound like anyone you know?