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Jeremy Lin. Pinterest. Infographics. Downton Abbey. Social Media. Business. Life.
It seems as if every stinking topic on the Internet these days is being blogged about in a “Top 5 Things” post. It’s enough to make you run, kicking and screaming, to your nearest book, as a means of escaping the madness.
Can you really learn anything from any of these Top 5 (or any other number) posts? Why yes, yes you can. Sometimes. Kindof. If you pin about it. Here goes:
1. Be prepared to chase car bumpers
Ever wonder what the car that chases the car bumper actually DOES with the car once he catches it? That semi-rhetorical question is meant as a thought-provoker: No dog has ever been shown on YouTube catching a car. But they chase them anyway.
It doesn’t matter if Jeremy Lin is a flash in the pan, or if Pinterest will have its traffic wane – bloggers are a mercurial bunch and will chase whatever topical car bumper they can.
2. Bigger means more, not better
I’ll call two sites on the carpet: Huffington Post and Forbes. Both have had posts in the past week that had this author scratching his head: they seemed to have been thrown together randomly, weren’t very well thought through, and were done entirely for search value.
As if to say that a “Top 5 Things That Jeremy Lin Can Teach You…” post is going to actually teach you something.
(As if to say THIS list will actually teach you something.)
The fear is that blogs are becoming like any other news outlet that has space to fill: if it’s a rainy day, then you run a story on umbrella salesmen if nothing else is going on.
3. We like lists when we can see ourselves in them
Think about it, if you see a list of “Top 5 Bloggers in Arkansas,” you want to see yourself there (if you live in Arkansas). If you don’t live in Arkansas, you may very well want to see yourself making one of those lists for your own state.
Often, especially in “social media,” people don’t become your friend, fan your page, or retweet your blog post because they like you. They do so because they want to BE you. You give off an image of someone who has it in control, or vacations a lot, or has a great MLM business. (If you’re a brand, it’s because of those brand attributes – drinking your beer will make me more attractive, driving your car will make me cooler.)
Chicago Magazine ran a list of the 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans yesterday, and I gravitated toward it – but, knowing I’m not ever going to be in the list, I started scheming about ways to get on similar lists. It happens, it’s human nature.
4. Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you have something relevant to add to the conversation
Big brands and especially B2B companies are learning this first-hand. Now, everyone and their brother has access to blogging – so, it follows, why shouldn’t everyone blog?
This is my beef with Forbes.com – the addition of a post on Jeremy Lin wasn’t exactly adding to an already noisy conversation. Here’s the link.
5. Everyone is an expert
We saw the first of many “How to Use Pinterest for your Business” blog posts yesterday: and we saw this one by accident, as we haven’t been looking for them. Because we know they’re out there – next to the “How to Market Your Business with Quora” posts.
This expertise on everything that’s everywhere leads us to the next question: if everyone’s an expert, what is anyone actually DOING?
While this blog post might have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek, there are some serious questions we think you should ask yourself:
Why are you blogging? Who are you blogging for? And, most importantly, are you adding anything relevant to the conversation, or just talking?