As you all well know, I believe that Gini Dietrich is a giant pile of awesome. She’s a great person, a great mind and is extremely generous with her time and advice. Today she took things to a new level by letting me run rough shot on her excellent PR and Social Media blog, Spin Sucks. After a joking exchange between Gini and Marcus Sheridan on Twitter, I was inspired to pen what is easily the most off the wall thing I’ve written and shared to date.
Here’s a little taste for those who haven’t read the full post:
Every day, Gini Dietrich leads you to believe that she is kind enough to provide others an opportunity to give their voice on this blog; to share in her audience.
This is a flat out lie. Having been a long time reader of Spin Sucks, there is one clear and, frankly, sinister intent for Gini’s so-called generosity… she gets to trounce us all in sheer volume of comments.
I really had two goals1 in mind for this post, 1) To have a little bit of fun (mission accomplished) and 2) To talk about what it takes for a newer voice to get attention and feedback (mission SO NOT accomplished). I went big and while many who have commented on the post seemed to have enjoyed themselves (379 comments as of this writing), I feels as if nearly everyone missed the few serious points I was trying to make.
This got me thinking and before I knew it, I had a list of things I’ve learned from the experience:
Be Careful What You Ask For – More specifically, be careful how you ask for it. I asked for comments and I sure as hell got them. What I didn’t always get was relevant comments (well they were relevant to the first point, but missed the second entirely), the game overtook the message and quantity kicked qualities ass2.
Kill Fluff In Favor Of Clarity3 – I am SO guilty of this it is not even funny. I care so much (read: too much) about the writing and about the voice and I often let that kill the point. We are so busy trying to get attention that we often lose site of what we actually want people to hear. Be bold, don’t be afraid to try things but always make sure to be clear and drive your point home.
Have A Little Fun Every Now And Again – One thing that surprised me was how many people were just completly lost by what I was trying to accomplish. Sure I wanted there to be a point. I went out of my way to infuse the post with some actionable insights, but the main goal was to get people to let their hair down. Taking things seriously is important, but if you can’t let that go for a few minutes and have some fun, life is going to be pretty darn boring.
Play to Win Even If It Is Stupid – Even if you chose to go stupid, you still have to take it seriously. Dumb as the goal of getting more comments in a day than Gini was, I was going to do it. Even if it killed me. While I probably need to spend my time thinking up some better goals, I set my sights on something and I attacked it with a fervor (and with a good bit of help from guys like [Marcus], Jack and Howie). No matter what you play at, play to win.
You’ll Find Insights In The Inane – Sure the whole thing was silly, but I learned a lot from the whole experience. I learned more about everyone who commented, I learned all of the points I’m sharing here and I will continue to learn from many of the people I connected with through today’s little exercise. It’s easy to dismiss something as stupid (I’m as guilty of this as anyone), but isn’t it far more interesting to try and learn from the unexpected?
Thanks again to everyone who showed up and commented over at Spin Sucks (and feel free to keep the party going), you are amazing. And Gini, the fact that you would even let me do this in the first place speaks volumes4. You are an amazing sport and thank you for bringing us all together for a good bit of fun.
How about you? What was the last bit of smarts that you picked up from being stupid?