A friend of mine here in Vancouver wrote a really insightful post about social media here in Vancouver. While the larger point of the post is more of a social commentary, there is a part that applies here:
In FACT, I should be MORE relevant. Why? Because I care about social media for two reasons — it’s social, and it’s media. I’m reaching out. For me, being READ is more important than selling adspace, even when I’m killing myself trying to just get by, let alone pay down debt. I don’t CARE about ads or branding or any of that. I care about being read, period. I want people to read what I have to say. I value my voice. I think you should, too. And you will, given the chance. I think I have an interesting perspective. I work hard to try to live the original examined life. I feel OBLIGATED to share my experiences in DEEPLY personal ways — because I’ve been through harsh versions of some pretty common themes in life, like survival, loss, and overcoming odds, and I think that if anyone can experience less intense turbulence as a result of maybe reading something I’ve written, then that’s powerful. Or, if I can make the hardships they’re enduring make sense, then that’s awesome too.
From this and a offline conversations with her it struck me that her perspective, that geeks don’t have complete reign over blogging, that it’s about writing and a sea change is coming where “regular people” will be contributing their stories to the greater whole.
While I would argue that this has been part of the ethos of blogging for a long time (easy personal publishing), I’m also a geek so I don’t know what it’s like to not understand computers or be afraid to do something because I might break the computer (usually when I break something on the computer I know darn well what I did to break it. Fixing it is another matter.). Steff has re-invigorated me about this book. It’s given me more focus on how it needs to be written and who the audience is. The audience is for you, your mom, your uncle, your grandfather. The people with stories to tell and feel like they can’t or don’t know enough.
I’ve written Six Easy Blogging Projects in plain English (as much as possible) with non-techie folks in mind. If I miss the mark, then this is the place where I’ll explain it. I hope that more stories get told, more non-geeks get into this whole social media thing (really it’s just about meeting and talking with folks through the computer).
I’m up for the challenge.