I have written previously about why and how I blog. It is the process I enjoy most. But I am intriqued how wide an interest there is for PedalWorks. By most standards, I do not have a lot of followers or page views. But the blog is read all over the world.
The above image is “snipped” from WordPress’s analytics pages and show where the views have ocurred throughout the last 12 months – North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It is no surprise that cycling and LinkedIn have a worldwide interest. People cycle on all continents. And, LinkedIn is growing by leaps and bounds around the globe. What interests me isn’t that the posts are read but, rather, that they are able to be read.
Anyone with internet access, can read what I write. They can like it. Or not. They can comment. Or not. That is the power of the web. It is ubiquitous. What begins as a single thought in my mind is propogated throughout the world, perhaps beyond. And, that single thought may inspire another, and another, and another until those thoughts are a symphony resonating around the world.
There was a time I kept a hand-written, daily journal. I would write about similar subjects as I do now and illustrate the entries with pictures I had taken myself with my SLR or clipped from a magzaine. Those journals still exist, collecting dust on one of my shelves and, few, if any, have read the entries other than myself.
The Power of Social Media
The fact that others have read my posts and commented on them makes me a better writer. I learn from them. And, the fact that I can read posts by anyone, anywhere with like interests, also makes me a better writer. I learn from them too. And, that is the power of social media.
I prepared the slide to the left recently for a presentation. I was discussing thought leadership and how cloud applications like SlideShare, WordPress and Twitter strengthen LinkedIn Profiles. I later realized that these tools are an indispensable part of my work day and the foundation for this blog. I cannot imagine working without MS Office, MS Publisher, LinkedIn, SlideShare, WordPress and Twitter. And, the MS Snipping Tool to capture images, Scoop.it to research material on-line and, let’s not forget Google. The on-line list goes on …
How did I manage?
How did I manage a decade ago? Not only can I produce more material, more quickly but I write better with fewer spelling and grammatical errors and, illustrate with richer images including embedded SlideShare and YouTube content. What tools will I be using in another decade?
Lest we forget, there are those that have gone before who have louder voices that continue to resonate generation after generation. They may have fallen but are not forgotten.
Henry David Thoreau was one of those warriors.
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Throreau was an early mentor. Like many, I was inspired by his time at Waldon Pond and his daily ritual of walking and writing. His language structure was complex but so too was his thinking. Clean. Concise. Thought provoking. Despite his writing style, he strove to simplify his life and develop his intellect. He didn’t have Google Image search, SlideShare and the Snipping Tool to illustrate his work. Instead, he used eloquent language to paint images that examine and provoke even today.
Posthumously, he has earned a worldwide audience. Not because of Twitter or WordPress. No. He continues to be read today because of the quality and universality of his work.
Lest we forget, quality sells. A lesson lost in the hast to sell. Content marketers measure hits, impressions and engagement. But Thoreau’s work continues to engage each new generation. He taught to simplify and to take a stand against conventional wisdom. He fought hard for what he believed and spoke out against the injustices he saw. He wrote. He spoke. And, he was committed to change.
It is easier to write today. Perhaps too easy. Thoreau reminds me that excellence takes work. Hard work. It is not easy.
This has been a round about way to say that quality not quantity matters most.