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A Way-Worthy Tribe

johnmoore of Brand Autopsy often cites whether a book is a Way-Worthy read or not.

Seth Godin suggests good bloggers create tribes.

I think that is why I haven’t been satisfied with this blog the last 2-3 years. It has not consistently been a way-worthy read and has not created a tribe.

Realizing this, I have a few options:

1. Make no major change of course. I could keep writing mediocre pieces with a few gems (subjectively speaking) here and there.

2. Scrap it all. I could consider my four years of blogging (3 1/2 years here) as a fun learning experience, but one which I now leave behind. Pull the plug, let it die.

3. Grit my teeth and try harder. I could give all kinds of excuses as to why I haven’t put more time, effort or thought into this blog. I just don’t see any benefit to that. Perhaps I should just get a grip and try harder.

4. Carry it forward. I could look at what I’ve learned from this experience and view this period as a natural progression in the cycle. Perhaps this horse has led me to a stream it is not willing or able to cross. Using the same analogy, the best thing may be to dismount – cross the stream – and see if there’s a ride on the other side.

I have a writing project I’m working on currently. I often wonder if I could finish it and make it better if I didn’t try to come up with ideas for this blog. The concept I’m writing is so intriguing to me that I may even start a separate blog based on that idea.

No decisions yet, but I thought I’d give you some insight into why this blog is lingering.

The Info and the Forum

MIT has a great resource including free videos of presentations made at MIT by an impressive line-up of speakers. Jack Welch, Jeffrey Bezos and Carly Florina just to name a few.

I’ve known about this for a while and yet I’ve only watched one presentation video.

If these speakers were making appearances here in Tulsa, I’d be paying to go see them. Yet, I find it hard to give up the time and effort to watch them for free online.

Why is that? It’s the same info.

But it’s a different forum.

Part of the appeal in attending a live presentation is knowing you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals. There’s a collective sense of belonging. There’s also the opportunity to connect with other attendees and expand the knowledge gained from the speaker. To tap into the wisdom of crowds.

MIT’s online forum doesn’t facilitate that. Actually, I’ve never seen an online forum that does this as well as a live, personal event.

It may never equal the live presentation, but what if viewers could comment on these vidoes? Rank them? Rate them? What if there was a schedule of weekly chat sessions based on particular videos? How about a subscription-based email list specific to those who have watched specific presentations? Notify me by email when a similar presentation is uploaded and available.
What if live presentations used the pre-registration process as an opportunity to connect attendees with similar interests? Then you give them the ability to contact each other and create a post-presentation discussion group for bloggers, educators, students, managers or small business owners… etc.

I think there’s incredible, untapped value here… and it doesn’t just apply to presentations either.

Birds of a Feather

A little Thursday update because I don’t know if I’ll blog tomorrow.

Just got out of Kem Meyer’s session Got Blog?

It was a great session. Yes, some of the material was basic, but that’s what the session description stated. Still, she shared some great advice to bloggers – novice and veteran alike. Also, I met some other bloggers and we shared ideas with each other.

Another benefit was discovering Kem and her blog. With all of our shared interests, I was surprised we hadn’t crossed paths before. Goes to show sometimes analog still trumps digital.
It has been a great experience here at Willow. I haven’t enjoyed everything, but everything isn’t about me. I’ll probably begin unpacking some of the lessons learned from people like Dewitt Jones, Nancy Beach, Dan Kimball and Donald Miller later.

It’s fascinating stuff and dovetails so tightly with what is occurring in marketing today concerning authenticity, creativity, stories and relevance.

More to come.

Learning the Art of Faith and Art

This isn’t as profound as the title suggests.
Next week, I’m attending a Chicago conference with a team from Liberty Church in Broken Arrow, OK.   It’s the Arts Conference at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago’s suburb of South Barrington, IL.

This will be my third time to attend one of their Arts Conferences.  It’s always refreshing and energizing.  I can’t wait to come back with stories about my heart and mind were opened to something bigger than I anticipated.

Faith and art have always been central to my identity.  I have long considered myself both a Christian and an artist.  So, this conference strikes the sweet spot.

I’m not sure what my time and Internet connection situation will be next Friday.  If I have the opportunity to blog from Chicago, I will.