The following post is a counterpoint to the Outspoken Media post titled “Would I Recognize Your Blog In A Dark Alley“, and exists to offer an alternative path to land of unicorns and rainbows.
First off there’s nothing wrong with running a community driven website or blog, in fact in many cases it can be an excellent and very successful path to choose. That said it’s not the only choice, not the right choice for everyone and maybe not the right choice for you, and it’s important you know your options. The direct opposite of a blog which fosters a sense of community is a thought leadership blog.
Leaders don’t seek your approval, then don’t want to make you feel warm and comfortable, like you’re laying on the floor in front of firepalce with a comfy blanky surrounded by puppies, and they don’t lead by consensus. Leaders have vision, vision to do their own thing, speak their own mind, and aren’t afraid to go against the grain and be politically incorrect. Real leaders share their vision, hope that you agree, follow their lead, and join their tribe. Leaders with vision aren’t afraid to challenge and push you outside of your comfort zone.
For example let’s look at this video originally shared by Seth Godin, be sure to stick it out to the one minute mark
What’s the lesson … guy #1 isn’t seeking approval from the crowd, he’s doing his own thing, leading a movement (it’s a silly movement but a movement none the less). However notice guy #2 he’s actively seeking approval, trying to convert his friends. He helps guy #1, but without guy #1 leading the path there is no guy #2 or guy #3.
Now I’m not niave enough to believe that thought leadership blogs are better than community blogs. Nor am I foolish enough to believe they are the right choice for everyone, but they are an option. What a blog owner or blogging team needs to do is define the goals they have for their blog, is it be a part of the community, or is it be seen as a leader in the space. Both have value, but are in many ways mutually exclusive, and it’s nearly impossible to do both well at the same time.
photo credit: Ernst Vikne