For years, I wrote a column which appeared every other week. When I moved to the dark side at Ad Age (from editor to publisher), I gave up the column. But I soon found there were still places where I wanted my voice to be heard, and there seemed to be some in our audience willing to listen – and to advance the debate by sharing their feedback. So I started this blog, focused on the transformation of legacy business models in marketing and media.
I understand blogging is a different form of writing, and not one I've come close to mastering. What I don't get is why bloggers seem so hell-bent on establishing a clear set of rules around what does and does not constitute acceptable blogging practices. One of those being the idea that you need to update your blog at least once a day, preferably more.
Says who? Posting for the sake of posting is absurd. I read many blogs, and too often the daily update boils down to something like, "Had a cup of coffee this morning, and it was good," or, "Did you see that piece on the 'Today' show? What was that about?" or "Hey, I've been asked to keynote such and such conference; come see me there and tell all your friends, and by the way I wrote a book and you should buy it." I'm exaggerating, but not by much.
There's a lot of sharp, intelligent insightful commentary on blogs that offer a unique perspective. But the pressure to update them constantly (or face disapproving tsk-tsks) means there's also a lot of meaningless crap and babble, not to mention endless, empty interpretations of news stories that have already received saturation coverage elsewhere.
Effective today, I'm proposing the creation of a new form of online opinion writing: The Clog, or Column Blog. And I'm declaring "When Trains Fly" to be such a Clog. I'll try my best not to disappear for long stretches. But I also promise that I will only write when I believe I have something to say that's worth your time (an admittedly subjective filter).
We all are overwhelmed by the amount of information we feel compelled to consume each day. What a wonderful thing it would be if more bloggers focused less on the steps they need to take to climb the Technorati rankings, and more on sharing only those points of view that provide a fresh perspective and are worth their readers' time.