Thursday, June 05, 2008

How Writing a Blog is like Being in a Rock Band...

Not all blogs are created equal. If you're an avid scourer of Technorati and have dozens of RSS feed subscriptions, then of course you're already aware of this New Media reality.

How are blogs different from each other? For the uninitiated, here's a helpful metaphor...

Writing a blog is like being in a rock band. Anyone can pick up a guitar, but that doesn't mean that everyone's going to be the Rolling Stones. It takes talent, stubborn determination, and a healthy dose of luck.

Of every blog out there in cyberspace, we can break them down as follows:

The High School Garage Band - A bunch of people with gargantuan-sized ambitions to re-align the planets with their music. Unfortunately, most garage bands tell everyone they know to come to their gig, but forget to actually rehearse for more than an hour a week, and inevitably the band breaks-up shortly thereafter. They are quickly relegated to the forgotten and irrelevant pages of history, as the individual band members are forced to sell-out and keep their day jobs.

The Open-Mic Night Regulars - These are those lovable creatures who freely admit to a lack of talent but nevertheless show up at the local townie bar every Tuesday night to rock-out and play their butts off just for the love of the music. While their commercial success typically goes nowhere, the townie audience, over time, develops a healthy respect for their passion.

The Wedding Band - These folks have made the leap to becoming "professional" musicians. They might have to swallow their pride, play cheesy cover songs, and sing "Hava Nagila" every weekend, but they do manage to earn a living off their craft.

The Phish - Flying under the mainstream radar, these musicians have hit the big time and enjoy serious commercial success, earning millions every year and playing before 100,000 people at major arenas and festivals. Their achievements are the result of finding a specific niche and being the best at it, thus they have a highly-devoted community of loyal followers despite most people outside of that community never having heard of them.

The Beatles - These are the rock superstars. They're followed by the paparazzi, destroying hotel rooms (and getting away with it), having books written about them, and relishing (sometimes to their discredit) their celebrity status. They've reached the point where they don't even need to perform anymore, and can often just sit back and collect royalties based on their famous names and reputations. It's a one-in-a-billion shot to become a Beatle, yet every kid in a High School Garage Band is trying to pull it off.

This isn't exactly rocket science. But like any endeavor, blogging too often lacks a simple sense of self-awareness.


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