The Baton and Disclaimer
A friend and reader, and very intelligent person, Amrit Hallan, who writes the Content and Copywriting Blog made 6 Predictions for 2007. At the end of his post he passed the baton for predicting the future to four others. I was one of the four that he chose.
The Disclaimer: Anyone who wore brown knee socks in high school — as I did — cannot claim the title of “Cool Kid.” However, it is just that fact that makes me “acool” — as in apolitical or asymptomatic — the right person to write this guide. You see, the inherently acool become great observers. We watch the cool kids to see what makes them tick and how their rules of survival work. That said, I move on to the guide.
The Cool Kid’s Guide to Blogging in 2007
Who exactly are the cool kids of blogging? Who will be the cool kids in 2007? What do cool bloggers do? What won’t they have time for? I talk to several bloggers every day on my cell phone. I read their blogs and have conversations in comment boxes. What pattens come through from all of that fodder?
Here’s what I’m finding from this informal data. Things this year are different from last year. Things next year will be a new again. Cool kids don’t let things stay the same for long.
- Having Fun and Learning: Cool kids are no longer enthusiatic beginners. They are serious bloggers having fun at it. They are no longer tweaking templates for discovery. They know exactly what they want to do. XTML, HTML, CSS, PHP, aren’t new toys to learn, they’re a means to an end. If they can’t do it, they’ll find, hire, or barter with someone who can.
- Focus: Cool kids know whether they’re information or relationship bloggers. Either way they are narrowing their focus. They are dropping feeds that don’t provide what they’re seeking. Cool kids talk about blogs they have outgrown and things they now know that they never used to. They no longer spend hours looking for new blogs. They find themselves in new places by going where their friends already are. Cool kids are starting to read books again — some never stopped.
- Branding: Cool kids are going narrower and deeper. They’ve got a blogging identity. They’ve found a unique and authentic voice. Cool kids know their brand, their readers, and their blogging style.
- Communities: Cool kids don’t worry about Social Networking. That’s so five minutes ago. It will have to evolve to exist next year. Cool kids only go to MyBlogLog regularly and peek in on the others when they have a special need to. No Cool Kid that I know has figured out a genuine use for LinkedIn or its clones.
- Writing: Cool kids are becoming writers and they’re doing what they can to be even better at words in print. Content and communication is the beginning, middle, and end for every cool kid online.
- SEO: Google loves cool kids because cool kids don’t game the system. They blog for readers and know the spiders will do the rest. They link and stay connected, because they value the thoughts of others.
- Thought Leadership: Cool kids have stopped being snarky, started thinking deeper, and learned that self-promotion doesn’t win a prize. They’re not buzzword crazy. Cool kids talk with words that humans use.
- Productivity and Listening: Cool kids have nearly reached the end of their need for productivity tools. They’re becoming less enamored with multitasking — except talking with friends while consuming food and drink. Cool kids know that listening is a value we shouldn’t lose.
- Beta toys: Cool kids don’t need to download more stuff. Invitations to betas are a dead idea. Don’t talk to them about being a user. They know what they need and what they know. You won’t get their attention with anything less than spectacular, and then it better fit their niche.
- Blogging and the World: Cool kids have quit trying to prove something. They no longer worry about whether grandma, the media, or anyone else doesn’t understand what a blog is.
Cool kids have a beginner’s mind and an independent, helpful spirit. They love, listen, and learn all at the same time.
If you want to be a cool kid in blogging in 2007, it isn’t hard to do — just keep a couple of things in mind. No one makes the blogosphere run and no one needs to make that sure it does. Being helpful, not hypeful still wins respect, and respect is still how relationships thrive.
It’s awfully nice to be in a place where everyone can be cool, by showing respect. I guess that’s why it’s called the IN-ternet.
To the IN-credible, IN-telligent, IN-sightful readers of Successful-Blog, may your 2007 be ever so very cool.