Who Do They Think You Are?
I have always loved this cartoon, but it didn’t hit me until today that it’s no longer true — at least not entirely.
You hear all the time now about how the Internet is killing community and socialization. How kids never talk to each other anymore and that they just stay holed up in their rooms. Well that doesn’t mean they’re not socializing.
Something I realized at the Elite Retreat back in December was that the Internet is very much a social place now. If you have any success as a blogger, it’s almost certainly due in large part to the relationships that you’ve made. The important thing to note, though, is that those relationships often defy the traditional definition of “relationship.”
For example, I count May, Kim, Mother Jones, apgaRN, Mama Mia, Beth, and many other bloggers as friends, but Kim is the only one I have ever seen (and that was only a single picture), and Mother Jones is the only one I’ve ever talked to on the phone. That’s it. And until Kim outed me a couple of weeks ago, none of them knew what I even looked like, yet I still had access to most of their passwords.
Want a better example of how integral relationships are now? Check out the Shoemoney/MyBlogLog brouhaha. Rather than sift through the facts and make their own decision, most people are choosing between Shoemoney and MBL based solely on who they like better.
Now virtually none of them have ever met both Eric from MBL and Jeremy from Shoemoney, so how do they know who they like better? They have created a profile of them in their minds based on how Jeremy and MBL have presented themselves online. That may bear no resemblance to actual reality, but perception is reality.
So they may not know you’re a dog, but it doesn’t matter. You’re what they think you are.
Who do people think you are? Have you ever given any thought to the persona you’re creating for yourself? If people like who they think you are, they’ll keep coming back. If they don’t, you’ll always have a greater struggle to attract and retain more readers.