Simple, direct, actionable

You can choose to do one of two things:

  1. Try to convince new people that they want to help you.
  2. Give people who are already convinced they want to help you a useful job to do.

The first one feels a lot more like productive work, because you’re churning away and shouting from the rooftops.

The second one will likely have more impact in the long run.

I missed you

Between trying to catch up on work and a publishing glitch this morning, there was a gap in my blog posts.

I was talking to one blog reader yesterday who said, “What happened?  You didn’t post today.”

That’s great news.  If you want to influence, if you want to lead, if you want to have voice and influence, the three words you most want to hear are “I missed you.”

Think about all the noise and commotion and all the competition for people’s attention.  Think about big corporations spending millions to find a way to get to all the people who are TiVoing their favorite shows and SPAM filtering their emails and do-not-calling at home.  Think of all the BlackBerry-buzzing, iPhone-app using, Kindle-reading cacophony of communication careening through everyone’s days.

If you have broken through so much that you’re missed, you’re doing well.  And if you’re missed by 100 or 1,000 of the right people (for you!), you’ve arrived.

(Just to clarify, this post isn’t about blogging.  It’s about your organization, your product, your program, your community, your career, your voice.    It’s about you.)

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Twitter echelons

I recently was talking to a friend who I consider to be successful on Twitter: he has cracked 10,000 followers in a few months, tweets regularly, and his tweets regularly get picked up (retweeted) and cause a stir.

From his perspective, he’s a long way from the top of the Twitter foodchain, where people have hundreds of thousands of followers and are gaining 5,000+ followers a day (apparently @Oprah just tweeted for the first time this week…how psyched is Evan Williams?)

When networks of relationship are created, they are self-reinforcing, giving real power to early movers who establish themselves (who are in a different category than folks like Oprah who bring their fame to the table so are basically impossible to compete with…she joined 10 hours ago, has tweeted 6 times, and has 195,654 followers right now).  This is why it’s incredibly difficult to jump from one circle to the next (100-1,000 followers vs. 1,000 to 10,000 vs. 10,000 to 100,000).

In terms of size of network, Facebook is already in its own category (more than 200 million users!).  Twitter is still new enough (just) that you have a couple weeks left to join before you’re too late (heck, you can even start by following @sashadichter).

And if microblogging is the next big online trend, what does this mean for blogs, whose traffic isn’t growing as quickly?

Here’s my take: microblogging will be good for serious bloggers.  Yes, there will be a migration of “here’s what I was thinking” from blogs to Twitter/Facebook (the blogs that were just about people’s daily activities make more sense on Twitter/Facebook).

But if you consider this spectrum from microblogging to blogging to newspapers/news weeklies, the question to ask is: 5 years from now, after most of the weekly news magazines have gone out of businesses and many major local papers go belly-up, will there be more or less appetite for thoughtful, analytical, 400-500 word opinion pieces on what is going on in the world?

I think more, and I think bloggers who up their game, who serve a need for a loyal and growing group of followers, will be more in demand, not less, in the near future.

(Oh, and if you really want to be an early adopter, now’s the time to check on Flutter, the leading nanoblogging site.  You heard it here first.  Click below)

P.S. note the moment in time: “blogging” and “blogger” are both in my spellcheck.  “Microblogging” isn’t.

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