I read Mitch Joel's Twist Image blog every day and 99.9% of the time my reaction is to nod in agreement. But today his latest post, "My conversation can beat up your conversation," specifically this portion of it, stopped me cold [emphasis added by me]:
"There's a strong case as to why all of us need to be spending more time on Technorati and doing everything in our power to build both our ranking and authority. Let's be honest: what's the point in Blogging if you're not building readerships, conversations and exposing your ideas to a growing audience?"
Wow. I don't even know what to say. What's the point in blogging?? Maybe it's me but that last sentence really touched a nerve. I realize that Mitch Joel is talking to (sorry, "conversing with") a marketing-centric audience, and for that audience alone I do agree with his statement -- if you're blogging for marketing purposes, on behalf of a brand or corporation, numbers count, and growth is a key measurement of success.
But it's such a bald, bold statement that I think the context is lost, and that's a shame, because out of context the statement comes off as... kind of arrogant. And, in my humble opinion, it's not true outside of a marketing context. There are plenty of reasons to blog for a small, stable audience: to keep in touch with friends and family; to chronicle an experience or evolution of thought; to share your ideas with a small, select group.
This is primarily why I started this blog. I'm chronicling my experience as a newbie; my ideas and thoughts about my adventures in social media aren't new -- but they are new to me at the time they occur to me, and like most humans, I'm following my instinctive urge to share my thoughts with friends new and old.
Let's face it, nothing I've posted is going to be of much interest to a larger audience. My goal is to share a conversation with a small, select group and I have. I've never made any effort to grow my audience, and as a result my audience has stayed small. And I wouldn't have it any other way.