Left Ellicott City, MD early this AM to make it to Ebenezer's in Washington, DC by 8 AM to participate in the Buzz Conference Bloggers' Breakfast with Tony Morgan, who is the Chief Strategic Officer at New Spring Church in Anderson, SC.
It occurred to me before I went that he might want to know how long we had been blogging and I really wasn't sure how long I had been blogging. So I checked my archives and discovered that as of this month I have been blogging for five years.
He suggested "10 Reasons You Should Stop Blogging." I'll summarize some of his comments below and add a couple of my own prefaced by "ss."
- You haven't determined your primary audience.
- Tony's primary readers are other church leaders.
- You don't post regularly.
- ss: Tony's argument here was that you can't build a relationship with your readers unless you communicate with them on a regular basis. For months and perhaps years I've posted almost every day, though since I've returned from my blogfast, I haven't been posting as often. I know that what Tony is saying is conventional wisdom but I wonder if today when it seems that most folks are using aggregators like Bloglines if it is as important as it used to be. In days gone by it was more important to blog regularly so that readers did not visit your site too often without finding new content. But now with aggregators, they are prompted when to visit your site. So I guess I would say that you should only post regularly...if you have something to say! (I'm sure Tony wouldn't disagree!)
- Your posts are too long.
- The nice thing about blogging is that we don't have to post fully-formed thoughts!
- You're trying to sell yourself.
- You need to be vulnerable.
- You need to show the real you.
- You don't use humor!
- You're attacking other people or ministries.
- Tony's made a commitment not to attack other leaders or ministries and invited his listeners to call him on it if they ever catch him doing it.
- You've forgotten that blogging isn't private.
- You're not a thought leader.
- Tony doesn't like blogs that merely point to others' contents.
- ss: "Confession:" I have done a lot of this. One reason is that I view my blog as a portal to the rest of the web (or what little part of it I see!) through the filter of what I consider interesting. One thing that emergesque readers have probably legitimately complained about in the past, though, is that I often make no comment as to the significance of what I'm linking too. I probably could do better in that regard. I tend to only post original material when I have enough for what I call blarticles which often turn into articles.
- You're listening to your critics.
- You should ignore badly motivated critics.
- By responding to critics you only bring them more attention and responding serves to legitimize what they're saying.
- ss: Brian McLaren has great advice about criticism: View every criticism and complaint as a request for assistance. I believe that before we summarily dismiss any criticism - irrespective of source or motive - we should always consider if we have anything to learn from it. That being said, I do think we often do well to avoid engaging our critics when we can see not good coming from the conversation.
- You're not revealing the real you.
- People tend to follow blogs with a strong brand identity.
- People are interested in who you really are.
On the whole, it was a helpful talk and Tony seems like a great guy with a lot of hard-won blogging wisdom to share.
- Metapost to all Buzz Conference posts