Tonight I got into a discussion
argument with a guy on Twitter which ended up with him basically taking the position that she should get send on press trips because he is an “influential” WordPress developer and a consumer and therefore people would listen to him.
Or maybe not.
What I found surprising is how “influential” this guy thought he was. I looked at his blog and by any public measurement you can think of (RSS, Alexa, Twitter, Facebook, etc) this guy wasn’t that big of a deal. Really.
It ended up in him getting in to a “who’s dick is bigger” contest, which I knew I’d win because I looked his and he didn’t look at mine.
I’ve heard stories from PR people about bloggers who think they are prima donnas and act like total dicks on press trips.
I bring this up because I do my monthly Q&A post I often get questions pertaining to my “success”. The thing is, I really don’t consider myself any sort of blogging “success”.
Yes, compared to other bloggers I may have had more “success” (in some numerical sense), but in the big scheme of things I am nothing.
All I have to do is think of my friend Scott who has a popular webcomic. His audience DWARFS mine. It isn’t even funny. He shares office space with some guys who have another webcomic who have an audience that is way bigger than his. I am an accounting error compared to these guys.
There is always someone out there that makes you look insignificant.
When I think of how big the travel and tourism industry is, I know what I’m doing it just a drop in the bucket. Maybe not even a drop. The potential audience for travel is so big, and the bar is set so high, that the difference between me and a new blogger is nothing compared to where I am and the top possible rung. In that comparison, no blogger should get depressed about their size, nor should they get cocky.
I will often compare what I am doing with large magazines like Conde Nast Traveler or National Geographic. That is a pretty bold comparison, especially considering that they have hundreds of staff, giant offices and 8 figure budgets, and I’m just one guy. That, however, is the ultimate measuring stick and in that comparison we (bloggers) all come up massively short.
I truly am nothing…..and so are you.
I’ve been accused of being arrogant and at times there is probably some truth in that. But believe me when I say in my own mind I am constantly thinking about how to be better and how I could lose everything overnight.
You have to work your ass off and never rest on your laurels.
5 replies on “I Am Nothing”
great post, enjoyed the story. i like felix dennis’ line: ‘think big, act small’
While admittedly twitter convos can be difficult to unthread, it did seem that Aaron was repeating one of your mantras, being reach outside the “dedicated” travel crowd. Everyone’s influential – it’s not a pissing contest unless you choose to make it one.
1) Everyone is not influential. That is patently false.
2) My mantra applies to blogging talking to other bloggers, not hotels or DMO’s for doing promotion. Even then I do see logic in going outside the travel world, but only when it makes sense and only in measured amounts.
My whole point was that people have areas of expertise and people read and trust people for those subjects.
Which would make more sense to advertise on your site: A hotel in Bali or brand of gasoline?
On influence: Sure they are. You only need influence one person to be influential. Obviously some are more influential than others, but everyone is influential — sometimes in a negative fashion.
I wouldn’t want to speak for Aaron, but the gist that I took from his series of 140 char comments was that he wields influence within his realm. He’s been around a while, I remember him from the b5media stuff, but that’s beside the point. He does have his posse — just as you and I do — and I’d imagine if he was to give some travel advice it would be worth more in the eyes of his fans (for lack of a better word) than yours or mine. I think that what the point he was trying to make — and a savvy operator could tap into that if they wanted.
People need not have one area of expertise. I guess I’m above par on Asia travel, conspiracy theories and tech – p’haps Aaron is on tech and travel — it doesn’t really matter to me — it is important tho to his fans/followers/whatever.
What makes the most sense for advertising on Travelfish.org? Well who pays me the most of course!
If everyone is influential, then the phrase as commonly used is meaningless.
I do not deny that people have influence in different areas. I made that point several times.
The question is, from the standpoint of an advertiser, is where their money best spent.
Car magazines are full of car ads. Fashion magazines are full of fashion ads. People who read those magazines are interested in those subjects.
As a publisher, I’m sure you wouldn’t turn down a big ad buy from a large non-travel related company. The point I was trying to make is that is probably doesn’t make sense from their perspective.
Large travel companies like Expedia will advertise everywhere. If you have a niche or are a small company, you have to spend your money wisely. Spending it somewhere where you know the audience is interested in traveling is probably a better idea than spending money with a celebrity gossip site.
That is not to say that people who read celebrity gossip aren’t also interested in travel. I’m sure they are, but probably not to the same extent that readers of a travel site are.
That is my point.
Where the discussion went off the rails is when he said:
“cool. We need more. Much more likely to take advice of a WP dev than a travel blogger #fact”
Why would people take the advice of a WordPress developer (as opposed to say a C++ developer) with regards to travel over someone who has dedicated their life to it?? With regards to wordpress, programming or technology….perhaps. But to claim this as a #fact is just absurd.
Finally, most people who have an audience do so because of some subject they are an authority in: social media, photography, cooking, etc. If they start talking about everything and anything under the sun, then they will probably start losing that audience.