As far as all of my blogs have gone, GeekLad really has started with a bang. I never really had this kind of blogular momentum (I think I just made that up). My other two blogs (jsierra.net and WealthBoy) have been plagued with inactivity. Although in WealthBoy’s defense, it has fallen back mostly due to my efforts on GeekLad. I really have no excuse for having neglected jsierra.net other than my own laziness and lack of direction with that blog.
GeekLad has been a great experience in trying to find my identity online. I can’t say that I’ve truly found my online identity yet, but I think I’m probably closer than I’ve ever been. Today I read an article by Chris Brogan about what he would do if he started today. Having “just started” only a few months ago, it’s as though he wrote the article just for me. Thanks Chris!
It was actually quite reassuring to know that so far I’ve been doing a lot of things right. There are also a few things that I could be doing better, and Chris has helped to bring some of those things to light.
Before it All: Listening
Earlier this month, when I spoke about my experience as a microblogging n00b, I discussed my approach to getting started with microblogging. Essentially, I started following my good friend Bwana and some of the folks that he follows. Bwana and I are of like minds and have many common interests, so I knew he would be a good place to start.
Microblogging services like Twitter and FriendFeed can be a great place to start listening. In addition to following some of the people Bwana was following, I started reading their blogs as well. That’s how I came across Chris’ article. I’ve been following his blog for a while now.
First Platform: A Blog
Got that covered, you’re reading it.
Second Step: Outposts
I more or less started my outposts at the same time I did this blog. However, I really have not done a good job of promoting my outposts on the blog. I also haven’t really used them to their full potential. I’m on all three that Chris mentioned (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook) and many more. I think that FriendFeed is a very good one to add to the list of outposts. It’s a great place to aggregate all of your outposts in one place.
Third Step: Audience
This is what I’ve really struggled with the most. I think the biggest reason why is because I haven’t listened enough. Chris put listening as step number 0 for good reason. You can’t just fabricate a reputation overnight. You can’t build a good reputation by screaming at the top of a mountain like a lunatic and expect people to listen to your every word. You have to earn your reputation and when you do you will reap the rewards.
In order to build a good reputation, you’ve got to listen to what people have to say and interact directly with them. I’ve been struggling to find a good platform for doing this but I’m experimenting with them all of the time. Of the ones I’ve seen so far, I think FriendFeed has gotten the most attention. I like the forum-like qualities of FriendFeed, and I think it will be a great place to get to know some sharp people.
I also like DISQUS because of the way blog articles become forum posts and the comments are the thread that follows the initial discussion. I also like DISQUS for SEO reasons, but that’s another post for another day.
Fourth Step: Experiment
I’m definitely experimenting and having fun with it. For instance, last night I found a good article about copywriting, SEO, and blogging with a FriendFeed search for SEO on DISQUS. It was actually a rather cool way to combine both of the services I’ve been experimenting with recently. I’ll continue to experiment as I always do, and I’ll be sure to share all of the interesting things I find here.