Where has all the content gone and how to fix it

IT Business

Long time friend, SBS Show guest and a fellow Floridian Sarah Perez recently wrote a very interesting article titled “Social Networking Users are Creating Less Content”; Lot’s of partners that I talk to have also noticed this trend along with there being less blogs, less bloggers, less active Facebook posters, fewer Twitter updates and all things just generally slowing down a lot.

I share their sentiment and by numbers alone I’ve slowed down quite a bit. However, this year I’ve written a book, I’ve doubled the size of Own Web Now and launched 2 major projects. I also happen to have a private Facebook page (too many people found pictures of me without tshirt too attractive and distracting) and I genuinely like interacting with people directly – so I publish my direct cell phone number and invite everyone I speak to or in front of to contact me directly.

I suspect majority of people are the same. Several of my close industry friends aren’t allowed to post stuff on Facebook or Twitter, and even when they are the policies prohibit them from posting company related info, being friends with customers or really being open in any way.

The social euphoria really crosses some serious privacy boundaries that many people are not comfortable with. As cool as it may be to see where all my friends are around the Ben Griffin Hill Stadium on Saturday’s, it’s equally demoralizing for my employees to see that I’m in Cabo San Lucas while they are working.

So that’s all there is to it.

Now, how to fix it and why you shouldn’t do it

People always ask me how I pick stuff to blog about, how I get ideas, etc. Personally, I learn something new every day.

I try to share it.

That’s it.

My friend Susan Bradley blogs more often than even people whose primary job it is to blog. Why? As she explains it, her blog is a storage of tidbits and tips that are going to be useful sooner than later. She is certainly the most prolific blogger I know.

So blog about what you know, what you learn and what you feel would be valuable to someone else. If you wouldn’t say it out loud, you shouldn’t blog it. Now off to www.wordpress.com and get started.

One word of caution: don’t blog to your peers. Unless you have a business concept, freelance blogging is something that will simultaneously get you in trouble and expose you to unfair criticism. It might also be illegal, it might get you in trouble with your employer/employees and it will certainly be used against you at some point or another because as a blogger you’re not allowed to be wrong or opinionated. While it might get you some recognition and respect, don’t count on it making you rich and certainly don’t count on it helping you (compared to any other business activity you could take up with the time that you would spend blogging).

But you don’t know if you don’t try and if you’re disappointed in the lack of content, community or friends, I have some advice. I started OWN with a dream and little else. Over the years I was able to build it into what it is today. Blaming others doesn’t get you far, doing something about the problem will always take you somewhere.

The SMB IT community as an open free-for-all medium died as a valuable thing years ago. Yet many of us have gone on to have very rich and fulfilling business and mentoring relationships with one another. Take it at the face value, it’s there to introduce you to the world. What you do after the introduction is up to you. But you’ll never get there unless you put something up first.

There you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly. What you make of it is up to you.

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