‘Is it Overkill?’ is the question you should always ask yourself before you post owt on the internet. Hard selling is the fastest way to loose friends and alienate people.
The internet holds all this power for the creative indie uprising. But overkill dilutes that power. Overkill breeds apathy and contempt. It’s the one thing guaranteed to make me click ‘unsubscribe’, ‘unlike’, ‘unfollow’.
The internet is like an ocean of floating debris. Or (for a more traditional metaphor) a great web so full of struggling insects that even the spiders are bored.
The exact same publicity update for the tenth time in the last eight hours? The same piss-weak ideas bandied about by various very similar blogs? Did these folk ask themselves – Where’s my fresh perspective on this issue? I suspect not. I spend so much time grinding my teeth when perusing the internet and not all of that grinding is directed at the (*doom voice*) Hands of Power. It’s like being buried by brightly coloured hundreds and thousands. It makes me loose faith in my eyes. I can feel my brain cells dying of boredom, like when a good song is overplayed on the radio.
The internet is a great equaliser, to provide everyone with a voice. But if you don’t think twice before hitting the publish button, you may well be just filling the world wide trash can with more rubbish. I don’t point the finger. At times I’m probably a culprit. And I don’t want you to be over-precious about your content either. This isn’t the New York Freakin Times.
What gets my goat though, is the endless blogs (for example) analysing the digital publishing industry. It’s an audience of people all inspecting their own naval fluff. It’s a zombie mob enraged by a murky looking cloud that might mean rain.
And then there’s the champion egos begging for airtime.
Like the chap on facebook with his ‘If this page gets a million likes, my wife has agreed to name our baby Optimus Prime’. While I was all for his noble cause, his constant attention-seeking (and irrelevant) updates wore me down like an over-worked donkey in the Afghan desert.
Don’t abuse your platform with personal issues if your platform isn’t about your personal issues. If it’s about your creative projects, or your opinions on film/music/art, suddenly peddling something else to your followers can put people off. The internet is where egos are all too easily born, raised and crucified. On here you’re a cyber entity, not a full fleshy human. We want your sexy pixels of loveliness, not yesterday’s mucus.
As a personal rule I try to ask myself – ‘Has Chuck Wendig/Charlie Brooker/Hadley Freeman already said what I’m trying to say (but better and more wittily)?’ If so I just tell folk where to forage for such gold and move on. I cannot be all things to all men (despite what Cinematic Orchestra make me sing).
So here are a few recommendations to multi-media socialites and creative bloggers to avoid this heinous of crimes.
- Blogs are nicely casual and originality is a slippery fish. But. Do you have a fresh voice/perspective/humour/opinion? Or are you repeating repetitions?
- Look at what works well for other blogs, but forge a unique identity. It’s annoyingly corporate to point it out, but your online identity is a product. Consumers need consistency. Even if it’s consistent in being radical and surprising.
- Use the free advertising space (social media sites) appropriately. Don’t think ‘I must make sure every single person sees this’. That just guarantees regular users will see it so many times it will become a wallpaper they never notice. Or you will annoy them.
- Likewise don’t feel you can only tweet or post about a blog/event once. That’s underkill. Roadkill. A squashed frog beneath a herd of stampeding rhino. With every rhino shouting ‘Look at me! Look at me!’
That is all. You may now return to your interpretive dancing/glitch blip choreography/superstar sandwich curation.
*dismounts from high horse*
Over & owt.
Want more tips on blogging? See ‘Self-promotion for the Socially In-ept’.