When Blogs Go From Community to Audience

The only conversations I have ever had with Seth Godin seem to have been arguments. One that stands out was when I said that I loved his blog but hated that he didn’t allow comments.

OK, I shouldn’t have used the word ‘hate‘. I don’t hate it, but I was full of my own sense of entitlement and whining is what bloggers do best, right? ;)

Anyway, I still prefer comments on blogs but I understand sometimes people who blog don’t want them. Most often because of the peanut gallery, because the sheer number of comments becomes overwhelming, or because of the spam.

Not having comments makes Seth’s blog into a giant linkbait, which has to have done wonders for his SEO. Essentially if you want to talk about what he writes then you have to link to it either from your own blog or from some other social tool. Clever.

The problem comes when someone you really like writes about something you are interested in but it’s a conversation that you can only really have on their blog.

I have that situation now.

D’Arcy is one of my favorite “not social media echo chamber” people. He blogs about stuff I don’t blog about, my tweets do not get to him, and now he has turned comments off.

Engage Chris’ whiney feelings of self-entitlement. But only for a moment.

What D’Arcy does with his blog is up to him. Who cares if I can’t “join the conversation” now there IS no conversation. I get it. His job is in education, not entertaining people 4,000 miles away.

A blog without comments is the speaker at the podium. A blog with comments is the speaker asking for questions in Q&A. Most blogs never get to the stage of community, which is people talking to each other, with or without the speaker being involved.

It’s ok to be an audience member. The content still has value even when you can not provide feedback. It just feels different, but that is not always the important thing to the content creator.

Sometimes we have to remember that we were not invited.

I discovered D’Arcy’s blog via Teddy who wrote about Calgary. Nobody asked me over to D’Arcy’s place, I just gatecrashed. A blog post is not an open invitation to share my opinion until the author says it is.

I’m still going to read both Seth and D’Arcy. They won’t know, but that’s OK too.

If comments do not add anything and do not relate to why you are blogging, then it is OK to have comments switched off. We just have to remember that some people might hate that.

iPad hands-on test result …

iPad test complete, I think it is a keeper. Here is what I wanted it for …

Over the years I have tried a bunch of different graphics tablets, from Wacom and competitors, and never really got the hang of them. Sketching is one of the reasons that changed my mind about the iPad and convinced me to give it a try. There are other reasons too which I don’t know if will pan out, but for now I am happy. Next up I will try the ebook reading experience and Marvel.com, but that will have to wait until after my work is done :)

Posted via email from chrisgarrett.posterous

Too Flippin’ Fat

My physical fitness has been on mind a lot lately so I have decided (ok, decided again) to do something about it. Note I said physical, the mental side will have to be dealt with as a whole different project :)

10 years ago I used to go to the gym, ride a bike, walk a bit. 10 years before that I did kung fu, five a side football, badminton, and weight training. Now? I sit at the computer for 12 hours a day, flop in front of the TV, then go to bed. If this trend continues … well, it’s difficult to move less, so do the math.

The last time I went on a diet was September 2009 and this happened:


Yes, that weight line was going in the wrong direction. That ain’t meant to happen.

The combination of the weight not dropping off, having to cut down all the foods that I actually enjoy, was difficult enough. Add to that snack-filled trips to Las Vegas, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia right after. Then it was Christmas, which is all about the food (at least in my view).

Excuses or reasons? I know, I know, other people manage to travel and still have a healthy body and lifestyle. Fact is, I gave up.

So with my birthday approaching in July I have decided to have another go. Rather than just calory control though I am going to attempt to get into shape as a whole by following a fitness regime.

Slightly masocistically I have gone for the (in)famous P90X. Even as a marketer with a strong stomach for sales tactics, some of the marketing nearly turned me off. It’s a cross between Amway and shopping channel, with some shamwow thrown in for good measure. Really, the whole MLM side distracts from what is apparently a good program.

I first heard about it from a friend who started with it last July and completed it last November. He said it was punishing and a difficult commitment, 1.5 hours a day for six days a week, but that it worked. Apparently some professional sports people had used it which got him to try.

Then recently it appeared in a discussion on the Third Tribe forums. The discussion was partly about all the dodgy advertising techniques being used, but a few members defended the actual program.

This looks as good a system to follow so I am going to try it. Previous attempts haven’t worked so well, including personal trainer at the gym. Not going to have too expectations that I will continue with this either.

As well as the DVDs you need weights, yoga mat, etc etc. Bought some stuff (not the official gear as I live in the UK and wasn’t going to struggle to source stuff that might end up on eBay anyway). Drew the line at supplements, even if they do say they are important. I’m even going to try to stick to the exact meal plans (although I haven’t got a clue where I am going to find swordfish).

P90X is a 90 day plan. 90 days from today (June 13th) is September 11th, a pretty memorable date for the world, but also significant in our family because it is the day after my daughters birthday. Maybe I will be allowed birthday cake as part of the plan by then, but it is a pretty good milestone to work toward.

Between now and then I have another trip to Melbourne, and a possible trip or two to France. Right after I am going to Vegas again. It’s going to tax my self control to not pig out on those trips :)

If you have been through the P90x program or have any words of encouragement, do let me know!