May has come and gone. It’s time to sit down and make some sense of the past month’s numbers- and possibly to think about next month. I’m referring, of course, to blogging.
Having sold things in the past, I’m painfully aware of how the numbers game works. Someone, generally a team lead or a manager, sits you down in their office or corners you in your cubicle, and the “numbers” discussion commences. Generalities at first- how the company or division or team did the previous month, and what the goals are. Then, how you did, and what are your goals, and finally what your manager’s manager has been told your goals for the coming month should be.
In the past week I’ve had the opportunity to read several blogs that had “blogging” as their central theme, and I think its necessary and beneficial here for me to step back from my regular theme of photography and talk a bit about blogging and goal setting.
I was never horribly good at sales; I understood it and was moderately competent, but never superstar material. So, I drifted away… but not completely. The concept of “beating last month’s numbers” has stayed with me in unrelated, yet positive ways. As far as this relates to blogging, of course I want to write posts that are on topic, interesting and with decent frequency. For me, this means my photography blog (what you’re reading right now) is generally about photography (pretty easy) and my data blog tries to at least mention data (somewhat more of a Herculean task). Interesting? Well, my posts are generally fairly good-natured in tone, with humor applied where possible. I’ve seen blogs that were rants, crusades or even manifestos, Whatever! I don’t have the time or energy to read a 10,000 word essay, much less write one. Frequency for me used to be 6-8 new posts per month, but with two blogs, I’m not sure if that’s going to be practical.
I hinted at this, but one additional problem I have with lengthy posts: my natural writing style is compact. My favorite illustration of that is a history research paper I wrote as a college freshman. The assignment was to pick an Enlightenment Leader, do a brief biography, and explain how this person fit into that school of thought. Well, the French Revolution was pretty much the end of the Enlightenment in France, so it was logical (only) to me that Napoleon fit the bill. Like any good history student of the day, I went to the library, pillaged the stacks and bloody nearly got a hernia carrying the books to the checkout desk.
An indeterminate period of time went by. I was sitting in the Newspaper Office one fine afternoon when my girlfriend mentioned something that made her boyfriend’s blood curdle, “Don’t you have a paper due pretty soon?” I’ve gotta say, she was truly a lifesaver- as it turned out, the paper was due the next day! So, I grabbed a handy notepad and proceeded to start writing. As soon as I finished a page, I tore it off and handed it to her, and she typed it up. The paper was supposed to be 10-20 pages- I had eight. It was supposed to be about an Enlightenment leader; I wrote about a dictator of the Romantic period. My instructor was also one of the toughest graders in the History Department… what could go wrong?
My confirmation name is Paul, but it should have been Peter, because for one bright, shining moment, I walked on water: the paper received an -A.
So, that’s why I write blogs the way I do, I suppose.
Until next time, I am hochspeyer, one f-stop short of a six pack.