Don't be Useful, Make Me Think

What makes me link these days is not something that is obviously useful, but rather something that gets me to think. Members of Linkbait Coaching, hopefully know that if they want a to linkbait me, this is what they have to serve up.

So what got me thinking this morning was this post, titled, Don’t Be Popular, be Useful, which in turn is a response to a Jonathon Morrow at Copyblogger titled, How to Stop Being Invisible.

I also read an article in Wired about Juliet Allison, someone I knew nothing about till today. Maybe I should read Gawker more, yeah right.

The Barone article, crystalised a lot of what I had been thinking.

I have been noticing a lot of people who have cracked the “being popular” code, but they don’t seem to crack the “being useful” code. Twitter followers, Stumbleupon friends, even RSS subscribers. You think that’s it? End of?

I do have a problem with the Morrow article, he claims that “Blogs are a diversion”. Always a mistake to use one word to describe something as complex as what a blog is. A diversion implies ending up in a place different to the one intended. Most people are programmed to waste time, they may claim that the “Class Clown” website is merely a diversion, but in reality it’s their real objective. They may claim that the “clever clever” website was their objective, but that’s just a smoke screen.

Serving up imbecilic content to morons is always going to make money if you pitch it right. Rupert Murdoch gets it’s. P.T. Barnum got it and yes, I am afraid George Bush got it. But to do that right, you have to be brilliant. George Bush brilliant? Of course he was, he used what he had to get what he wanted. Can you do that?

So, what are the options for blogging? Class clown, make yourself useful or make someone think? A mixture of all three is probably the best bet, but ask yourself a few questions.

  • What are your objectives?
  • Why do you blog?
  • Who do you want to reach?
  • How will you know when you are successful?
  • When will you know when to stop?

There are some people who will link to you if you make them think, others if you provide something of use and then there are others who will link if you make them smile.

Your choice, use your words well.

4 thoughts on “Don't be Useful, Make Me Think”

  1. It seems to me that Copyblogger’s article did in fact get you to think. He’s far too bright a guy to not have realized that his article would inspire responses (and links) from others. In fact, he’s managed to cut through the usual noise and attract the attention of many popular bloggers this time around.

  2. @Marios, I appreciated the Copyblogger article, which I read first, but I did not agree with the general thrust. I found it interesting, but it didn’t get my brain working until I read the other posts. This isn’t to disparage the post, far from it.

    It shows how one post can trigger a chain reaction of conversational blogging. Not agreeing with something does not mean it’s not worthwhile.

  3. These are some really useful tips. I am just wondering how do you know when you will have become successful, is it when you have a regular stream of visitors commenting on your blog. When blogging I try and provide tips that other people may find useful, if they are new to web design or blogging.

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