What a Difference Five Years Make

Here I am. Writing from my heart more than my head where all the good ideas are and I get the zinger — yeah, a personality would be great. Seriously?


I'm sure it would. And I have one.

I can go from Zero to Italian in no time. When appropriate.

Why do you care? Because that's just it — online content should have a style and point of view, to get more personality it needs to have guts, and it needs to have time. Guts don't come from charts and stats, they come from people.

Time as in face time, as in skin in the game, as in relationships.

Or you're just making the seagull move — flying in, poo-pooing all over everything, and flying out. (joke about consultants) Curb your enthusiasm!

I'm taking a risk leaving the known (yet worn) path. Are you? Do you ever take any? Is your stream all Pollyanna? Are you a Pollyanna? In that case that might work for you. Otherwise, at some point, there will be a disconnect between who you think you are (or want to be) and who others think you are.

Content is not the limp result of obsessive compulsive top ten lists. I've written quite a few myself. You just cannot resist clicking through, can you? Why people use them — they work.

It's like gapers delay traffic, better if it just happened. It makes getting stuck in it for hours worth it if you can tweet that someone else had a worse day than you.

Human nature. We can aspire from where we're starting from.

Been there, done it

We like to talk about change — especially when giving advice.

Change is rarely pleasant to go through, though. Yet change we must. Even at the most fundamental levels, biology, organisms are constantly moving and fighting death (Why We Lie).

Be at something for long enough, and eventually, unless you challenge yourself constantly, your plateau.

Positive challenge also comes from the community you build. Which is why corporate blogs or your business blog are not sustainable when they don't build community.

When I started this blog, there was a great community of marketing blogs and we kept building on each other's topics. Then flipping into full fledged business came in, and the community went with it.

The lesson — communities evolve. They have lifecycles, it happens when you become a media company, too. Community is not in the comments, in the shares, in the links… it's with the people who comment, link, share.

There's evidence that exposure to economic theory breeds greed. The opposite of greed is generosity. Community breeds generosity.

Five years

Five years make a big difference in an environment that groks change (or it says it does). Imagine what happens in a business that has stabilized its trade around time-tested processes.

Content refresh or makeover is not the only thing that happens in the knowledge shift. I like the term organization because it has "organ" in it. It's a living and breathing community working together… and some would finish the sentence "or hanging apart".

Will brands achieve content fluency? The jury is out on that, and judging is what everyone will do. Human nature.

Ironically, this is why the open Web works, because it mirrors humanity.


Where are your biggest challenges in moving your content forward? Do you have enough diversity in your team? How about building community? Have you considered distribution as part of the community? Is your POV sharp enough?

How can I help? Be specific in your question and we'll build posts about them together.