With one post shy of 600, I gave the Beyond Branding Blog the coup de grâce today. It’s not dead, but it is now an aggregate of selected BB authors’ work.
It wasn’t easy. For those of you who began reading my blog because of the BBB, you’ll know that from May 2005, I was there regularly. Prior to mid-2005 I was a one-post-a-quarter guy. Then I caught the blogging bug.
I recall one post from another blogger saying, not in these exact words, that the BBB had lost a bit of its loving feeling prior to my starting. Maybe that was true: most of the bloggers who were there regularly had gone off to their own blogs—Johnnie Moore is perhaps the best known among us. And we found greater authenticity and ﬂexibility in our own spaces. And Johnnie told me recently that just prior to my going “on duty” at the BBB, he had planned to shut it down.
It had become, after all, less of a collaborative blog, and the rise in the BBB’s ranking of late had really been down to me. So in mid-January I posed the question: are you coming to read me, or coming to read Chris Macrae, the other blogger there regularly? I resisted time and time again to start my own, which Johnnie had encouraged me to do (once in mid-2005, and again when he called me over the holidays).
I had good reason to be suspicious. My experience in the early years of blogging was that it attracted idiots with very little to say—something that had changed a lot since 2003. Jessica Cutler might have changed all that as she made blogging mainstream: there is gold in gossip, and there are people wanting the low-down on low-brow. One acquaintance, Ellen Simonetti, was ﬁred from Delta Air Lines for, inter alia, keeping a blog. A sad reﬂection of our society, so maybe it was time for me to have my space. To put back some optimism into the virtual world. But I do justify ex post facto.
After encouraging messages and one phone call, I decided to depart and admit that Johnnie’s way was right after all. Chris, as some of you know, has many blogs, so his participation wasn’t for want of an outlet. Evidently he felt that BBB readers deserved to know of his other networks and his concerns, and, nobly, kept up his writings there.
However, when it is a blog run by one person, it is no longer collaborative, and that, to me, seemed to be a terrible breach of a promise we make each time someone buys a copy of Beyond Branding. We tell them they can continue the dialogue on our blog. But technology comes to the aid of our promise: by aggregating individual authors, we at least provide the right ﬂavour, and when I looked at the BBB today, apart from my messages announcing the changes, it actually began to have the ﬂavour of the ﬁrst month we were online.
Using Feed Digest, which Johnnie had signed up to earlier, four blogs were chosen—I’ve just added Ton Zijlstra’s as a trial. The Feed Digest admin has been particularly helpful in testing the Atom and RSS feeds for us.
Now we are all blogging independently, and doing so freely. We are no longer tempering our posts to suit other authors’. But the odd thing is that the passion seems to have returned. It’s this passion, not writing style or rigid formality, that seems to drive sites like Ohmynews.com so well. I hope the loving feeling is back—and that that will be useful to those Beyond Branding readers who wanted to extend their reading. Posted by Jack Yan, 01:19
Update: I am reading the BBB more as a compilation: a quick way to see what has been updated among my fellow authors. This might work out after all.Post a Comment
Links to this post:
NoteEntries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.
Get this blog via email
Individual JY&A and Medinge Group blogs
+ Add The Persuader Blog to your Blogroll
DonateIf you wish to help with my hosting costs, please feel free to donate.
Copyright ©200210 by Jack Yan & Associates. All rights reserved. Photograph of Jack Yan by Chelfyn Baxter.