The Mind-Numbing Banality of Sameness

The Mind-Numbing Banality of Sameness

When you start blogging, you usually do it for one of two reasons – you have something to say and want to share it, or you read other blogs and enjoy how they can be used for growing a brand; a business; a mindset; and more.

Often these two criss-cross with each other. Other times they’ll work alongside other goals – to sell products and services; to act as a lead generation platform for your business; or to be a place where your “business voice” can be relaxed, and you can be just another person.

Because of this, blogging is one of the longest-running and most popular forms of social media (regardless of what the Twitter and Facebook faithful would have you believe).

Of course, the problem with any form of popularity is that it can often be connected to banality and sameness.

Longevity and The Power of Oomph

When I first started blogging – oooh, many years ago – the landscape was very different.

Bloggers were viewed as quirks of nature, and/or frustrated writers. Yet some of the best writing around was being published, since the attention span didn’t have to be geared towards 140-characters or compete with a thousand social networks. Because of this longer attention span, the quality over quantity issue was never in doubt.

Now, though, as many bloggers look to grab book deals and be seen as the go-to-guy for sponsored posts and brand advertisements, a lot of blogs have become part of the sameness malaise. Honest viewpoints are being diluted and replaced by points of view that are geared towards satisfying the masses, as opposed to being a strong opinion that cuts through hype and spin.

Bloggers that were very different ten, five and even just one year ago are now rehashing the thoughts of others, or offering lazy posts knowing that the title and pop culture content will attract the social shares that makes the blogger seem important.

Plus Γ§a change.

Newness and Introspect

Thankfully, there are some great voices around that are countering this blandness.

Folks like Dan Perez, Gini Dietrich, Marcus Sheridan, Ingrid Abboud,Β Joey Strawn,Β Dino Dogan, Jk Allen, Mark Harai and Srinivas Rao are writing some of the best blog posts on the web today. And there are many more like them.

They write from the heart, and they write non-fluff viewpoints that can often make you feel both uncomfortable and wanting to shout a “Hell yeah!” in equal measure. And to me, that’s what great blogging is all about.

It’s bloggers like the ones mentioned above, and those who I’ve watched turn from great to good to meh, that’s made me think about this blog in the last few weeks.

Danny blog thoughts

While a large part of this blog is steeped in social media and how it can be used in the bigger picture (personally or from a business point of view), at heart I’m a storyteller (or at least that’s my goal). I like the human angles of social media, and how it can play a big part in shaping people’s lives. It’s one of the reasons behind the tagline of the blog.

But, to a degree, there’s only so much you can say about social media before it just blends into all the other social media blogs that are out there. Some are good; others, not so much.

And, while it might be nice to have tens of thousands of subscribers – and it’d be fairly easy to attain this with popular and continuous Top 10 or List posts – that’s never been a goal here. I’d rather have the involved community that’s here as opposed to ten times the subscribers but a less questioning community.

So. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing a lot of thinking about how this blog continues. Like I say, I’m big on human stories and storytelling in general (something that an imminent ebook will probably show). Social media is just one part of how people use the web – and I’m more interested in the people than the tools.

I thank you for being with me so far; and here’s to you still being interested enough to continue as I look to really define this blog’s position. Here’s to moving forward.

image: juco

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  1. says

    I agree whole heartedly with this post. As someone that also writes about social media I detest writing about the same old “social media is great, etc.” stuff. I strive to find new angles and fresh ideas, but it’s hard! I try and stay away from convincing people they need to use SM and keep to examples, innovative ideas and latest changes, etc. But it’s hard to get inspired. I liken it to my passion for art, have to be inspired!

    I think you do an incredible job at being innovative in the blogging world and I always rush to read your latest posts. You have a way with words like no other :)

    • says

      Samantha-It’s good to see you over here in another blogoshphere!

      Danny-You do write from the heart and AWAYS respond to comments. I have no idea how you manage, but thats half the fun of stopping in. I am sure that whatever direction you take the blog many fans will follow.

    • says

      I have the same issue, Samantha. It’s been a slog, and it’s also hard to ignore the ego chamber, er, top blogs, and not got hog wild on them. There’s no use in that though as they aren’t going to change anytime soon. So, it’s a constant quest to innovate. And it does get tiring. I agree with both you and Danny on that. So glad we are not alone in that sense.

      • says

        Nice to meet you here Geoff. I love your blog, especially the headline “Machine Gunners and Gardeners” – I need to take lessons from you! (And your daughter is pretty cute too) I tend to write about various social media updates lately as it’s always “new”. I’m trying to get inspired about social media how-to’s or best practices but it seems as though it’s common sense sometimes?

        • says

          Yes, she is. For example, I just posted on SM strategies. But I do think as storytellers, we have unique experience and perspective so we can add a different rendition to the tale. However, when we regurgitate it’s like bla, bla, bla, bla. May as well not post. Thanks for the hat tip.

          I think the LinkedIn post is very useful. LinkedIn has new people coming in big time right now. Lots to reteach on this.I am one of those newbies in that sense. Lots to learn.

      • says

        I tend to feel that the people with confidence, insight, inquisitiveness, intellect, who are the TRUE thought leaders aren’t the ones with the biggest readership or really care about that. We tend to gravitate together.

        I told a friend once if I had been alive and of drinking age in 1770 I would of been tipping beers with Sam Adams and been on a King George watch list with my phone tapped. I have always found the Sam Adams in life no matter what my work life. We pursue our passions and don’t give a bleep what others think and as I say on my website…we are happy to sit and watch the lemmings all go over the cliff together. Of as Hunter S Thompson said..feast on their brains after.

    • says

      Hey there Samantha,

      As someone that’s worked with organizations that are bound by legalese and red tape, it’s been interesting finding your blog and seeing how your approaching things.

      Another thing I love about blogging – always something new to find. :)

      Thanks for the kind words, miss, always a pleasure having you here!

  2. says

    What, no “Top 10 ways to create compelling content for your social media strategy” follow-up post? πŸ˜€

    Thanks for saying this. I am so bored with the same insipid rehash of social media “strategy” crap being covered and covered and covered again, day, in, day out on the twitternets and blogbuckets.

    It’s mostly just all traffic bait and bullshit. Social media is great. Use it to do shit that makes you happy or successful in the way you want, and hopefully both. Help others and improve things that matter.

    Thanks for writing this, man. :)

    • says

      I was actually going to tag on a free ebook download that showed “Why Content is the King of Royal Blog Copy and the SEO Prince is Next”… πŸ˜‰

      I think what bothers me the most, mate, are the bloggers that “should know better”. When you get to a certain level, I just feel you should be upping the game (and that’s not to say you don’t want to be bringing the goods every time).

      I don’t really want to be lumped in with that sphere. Not that I would be numbers-wise anyhoo; but generically as a description. Hence the focus. πŸ˜‰

  3. says

    Wow Danny, I was just thinking the same thing while spending the last hour or so scanning the blogs I’ve subscribed to on my reader. That “sameness” is everywhere! Thankfully I stumble upon your post and found some great new ones that will definitely replace the good ol’ guys that got stuck on the “ditto” murky waters. Thank you and look forward to your refreshing new angle! See you soon! ~Paul

    PS. I totally agree with the link to Strawn. Joey is an awesome guy right here in Nashville and his Twitter bio summarizes his persona very well.

    • says

      Hey there mate,

      Glad you’ve got some new blogs to read – I think you’ll have a great quality quota there for your reader. πŸ˜‰

      And yes, Joey is doing some great stuff – love the way he spins a normal topic into one that you didn’t see coming. :)

  4. says

    Great Danny.

    I agree….I’ve actually been removing some of the ‘a-list’ bloggers from my google reader because i”m seeing the same thing over and over (and over) among most of them.

    Don’t feel bad though…this malaise has hit all blogs, not just social media blogs and bloggers. A very similar post was made by me about the state of IT / CIO blogs and bloggers. We’ve all been saying the same thing for years and no real change is happening…see my post below titled Repetitive Redundancy and the Search For New for my take on the subject.

    Looking forward to seeing where you’re going.

    • says

      Hey there mate,

      Good point – I guess when you have an industry or topic that garners a lot of interest (from both sides, blogger and reader), that’s going to be the case.

      Which is where the “A-list” needs to step up to the plate more and make their stuff truly different. Or face being culled. πŸ˜‰

      • says

        Very true…many of the ‘old’ a-listers are being culled by me…i’m now making my own ‘a-list’ to follow and thankfully (for me), you’re on it.

        Keep up the great work Danny

  5. says

    I don’t know why, but I end up with this huge lump in my throat many times after reading your posts Danny. It’s an unexplainable-odd-good thing. There are several I follow, but few who have your affect. You make me feel like the world really is good and I really want to and really can be, a better person. Thank you seems so … well … just thank you, with a lump in my throat and a full heart, thank you.


  6. says

    Danny: Your quest to innovate and find passion will take you to new places, of this I am sure. I can’t wait to see where it will lead all of us, your loyal readers. Thank you for the hat tip.


    • says

      “Bloggers that were very different ten, five and even just one year ago are now rehashing the thoughts of others, or offering lazy posts knowing that the title and pop culture content will attract the social shares that makes the blogger seem important.”

      Danny- name names.
      It’s one thing to say, I like the way these bloggers ARE doing it, but when you are trying to break new ground and encourage it, you really need to say DON’T DO THIS. Cuz really you are just encouraging folks to sound like what you like aren’t you?

      I REALLY hope that a “new direction” being promised is that. We’ve seen older bloggers “leave” blogging behind only to do what they have always done in a different format. or come back to it.

      There is very little new under the sun.

      • says

        I don’t think there’s any need to name names, Todd – I’ll leave that to the likes of TMZ. Besides, I’m a big subscriber to the “punk the idea, not the person” mantra.

        Define “new direction”. Will there be more focus on people and their stories, as opposed to Top 10 Twitter tools? Yes. Does that count as new? Maybe. Perhaps newer or refocused is a more apt description; though if you’re taking a different tact on something, then it’s still a new approach, no?

        Besides, the bloggers that have settled into a happy medium of blandness won’t change – they enjoy their “fame”. Cool, good luck to them – I’m not their audience anyway.

        Nor, would I (perhaps wrongly) say, are the majority of readers here (who know which bloggers I mean). πŸ˜‰

        • says

          ok then name ideas.
          The meme of the week has been getting people over laziness in blogging and social media, but just saying look at these folks isn’t going to relieve that and in fact just looks like a plug.
          I guess the reality is, negative in ANY form = death on here. Or being at all critical isn’t well tolerated.
          I dunno, just frustrating.

  7. says

    Preach it!

    I’m a gearhead. And I’m surrounded by countless automotive blogs focused on the same, tired line – reviewing new models. It’s as if there’s an ‘International’ auto show in every major metropolitan area. It gets sol old.

    My autojourno friends are among the best in the industry, but sometimes I wonder, are they really fulfilled writing another review of the latest, consumer grade mediocrity? Are there really THAT many people out there who believe a weekend in a new model qualifies anyone to offer anything beyond simple opinion?

    Meh. I’m a gearhead. And the things enthusiastic owners do with their prized vehicles – and each other – are beyond compare. That is exceptional. That is newsworthy. That is the human element.

    It’s not caught on to the degree I’d hoped it would by now, but these are stories that truly matter. I’ve seen, first hand, how the things we have in common enable us to realize the potential in our differences.

    The DSM community says, ‘Go fast with class.’
    The rally community says, ‘Press on regardless.’
    And one guy I just met this week says, ‘DIY, or DWYC.’

    I say, ‘Yes, please.’

    • says

      That’s a great example, Brian.

      It kinda reminds me of the TV show Top Gear versus something like Car Magazine. While there might be some great writers at the magazine, you can feel the passion the trio of gearheads on Top Gear have for their subject.

      Give me that over a million bland voices any time. :)

  8. says

    Hi Danny,

    No matter what topic you decide write about in your blog, I will continue reading because I love that you tell stories. That’s what makes your writing memorable.

    When we meet people in person, we tell our stories. So why shouldn’t connecting with people on a blog be the same?

    By now most folks know I’m a new blogger, and I’m doing my best to develop good skills. I see a lot of advice floating around that says you won’t have a successful blog without being in a niche. But like you, I can’t box myself in to that kind of never-ending sameness. So I’m sticking with my gut and giving myself room to discuss “off topic” issues.

    As long as the passion is there, your readers will be there too.


    • says

      This is exactly why I think you’re going to be successful Marianne– You are surrounding yourself by great people and you’re trusting your gut— despite what the ‘experts’ may be telling you. Remember, when it’s 2am and you’re dead tired but still writing, ‘your gut’ is sometimes all you’ve got to keep you going.

      Cheers to you lady,


    • says

      Hey there miss,

      That’s so true – I love hearing about people and what they do (and who they are) when we meet. The human psyche really does fascinate me; and the tools we have today can only make this even more so. Your 140-character history post is a great example.


    • says

      I think it’s hard to say and I’m certainly not one to give advice but I see a lot more ‘niche’ blogs w/ very little traffic. Having said that, there are so many pieces you have to master to create a whole which ultimately can lead to success.

  9. says

    I guess we’re both thinking about the future. I just scheduled a post for tomorrow that lays out the future for DIYB. It will be a new direction entirely and I’m really excited about it.

    Cant wait to see where you take DB :-)

  10. says

    I think there are two types of post, I’m sure there are more but I put them in two categories.
    One, the crowd pleasers, traffic spike generators, as Olivier said the “top 10 hints to writing epic content”. These work awesome and bring traffic, subscribers, comments, RTs and free food.

    Then there are the the other ones, they aren’t bad content but they don’t bring ou the crowds like the first. They usually are a more personal reflexion on something that happened in our life, they don’t have the buzz words which draw traffic. They are less popular.

    This reminds me of the big Hollywood blockbuster movies vs. the small independent Sundance Festival productions.

    Thanks for mentioning me in this list of awesome bloggers!

    • says

      I really like the comparison you’ve made here John. There really are two types of posts (actually, we could say more but we’ll keep it at 2 broad subjects to make this simple). The lists and ‘Top whatevers’ can be powerful in their own right, but the personal, thought provoking articles have their place as well. This is what I have found, and Danny, I’d like to know your thoughts on this as well.

      -Awesome List/Top posts do great for comments and traffic and subscribers.

      -Awesome personal experiences/mixed in with a great lesson, induce action and deep relationships..and are often times accompanied by many personal emails (instead of just comments) from one’s audience.

      Does that make sense? It’s what I’ve experienced quite a bit over the past 6 months.


      • says

        I think you and John nailed it, Marcus.

        It’s easy to say, “Okay, today I shall write 52 Cool Social Media Facts” (and I’m guilty, as I wrote that post, haha) as a “given” for social shares. (Though to be fair, I did follow up with an ebook on how to use them in a strategy, so I think I covered my bases). πŸ˜‰

        It’s not so easy to open up and really get into the personal (yet more personally rewarding) stuff. And yet, that can be the stuff that gets the more fulfilling return.

        Here’s to the real life. πŸ˜‰

    • says

      That’s exactly it, John. Some are deliberate; some just happen to fall that way when written.

      I’ve always preferred the indie musicians or directors over the New Kids or Michael Bay’s. Every time.

      And you’re welcome, sir – your “place” is very well-deserved. :)

  11. says

    Hi Danny
    A friend of mine just sent me a link to your blog and that’s the power of social networking that I like best of all. I started blogging because I have written a children’s book and couldn’t get it published and the only thing I want to do is write. I believe that we can live each day with courage, consciousness and a sense of humour and I took the challenge of a 365 daily blog. Little did I know that blogging would become my passion and I’m heading towards day 500 with sponsors and I’m about to launch advertisers too.
    It’s amazing that all I do is share the story of my day through the way I see my world and people listen. Those are the blogs I most enjoy following too … the real stories … and so, it is a great pleasure to meet you πŸ˜‰

    • says

      Hey there Jodene,

      I think you summed up with a single comment why blogging is so great. Like you say, it offers so many options and possibilities – and the amount of bloggers that are taking the power away from publishers continues to grow.

      Would love to hear more about your book sometime. :)

  12. says

    Whatever you decide, mate, I am sure a lot of people will still continue to read what you write. You are not afraid to show emotion or to be different and people like that. I sure do. I just hope that one of these days, I can get some of your courage to break away from the sameness of it all.

    Here’s to finding a new direction in blogging. :)

    • says

      Hey there mate,

      I think taking the step to actually blog in the first place means you already have that courage, sir.

      Cheers! :)

  13. says

    Good Morning Danny,

    Thanks for the list of people you think are thought leaders. Most of them I already but there were a few there who I’ll be adding to the daily read.

    I love hearing that though you’ve made us all better from your writings, you could be changing voice a little to talk more about people vs tools. I’ve been fighting this for over a year now. I detest writing about tools or the latest trends in Emerging media or digital marking but as Samantha Collier and I work to build our digital community I know its a must. I would much rather tell about people, tell their stories and how they are doing things or changing the world (yes I’m a romantic). Something that I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about is how to do both. How to tell a story and show how vision, passion and a tool(s) made something happen.

    Thanks again Danny, it is refreshing to read you thinking. I’m excited to see where it takes you.

    • says

      Hey there Justin,

      It’s a vicious Catch 22 at times – like John and Marcus mention above (and you and Samantha mention too), the best blogs are, more often than not, the ones that tell stories and involve people.

      Writing about the tools and semantics doesn’t often allow for this; and yet, often that’s the path you have to take to find your readers. GAH!!!

      I’m cleaning out my reader and making sure I have your voice in there, because you have the kind of thoughts I want to read. Thanks for the reminder, mate. :)

  14. says

    Please don’t stop the “Insights” posts. Those are my favorite!! Always thought-provoking, interesting, unique and all around the most enjoyable to read (even if it’s a serious story that gets me thinking way too early in the morning–haha).

  15. says

    Danny my dear – you could write about dog poo and underwater basket weaving and I’d still be here everyday to read the story you have for us ;).

    I’ve said it many times – it’s how you present a topic that makes the difference and you my friend – have a hell of a way of presenting.

    I said it once before in that I think blandness and monotony are your enemies when it comes to blogging – even in real life. I also believe that meaningless or thoughtless regurgitations of other people’s work and social media marketing manifestos are also a killer – and much like you, I too have been seeing a lot of that lately and I’m getting bored and tired of it.

    I don’t care about the traffic spikes from Top 10 posts and the like of them – I care about the active community that I’ve built and that I’ve worked hard to nurture and respond to in kind – much like they do me (uhhh…you know what I mean lol).

    The folks you mentioned here as well as many others all have a defining voice that excels in telling captivating stories that are told from the heart – regardless of the topic. They all stand out because they’re not afraid to tell it like it is with something personal to go with it. They stand out because they inspire you, they get you to think, they get you nodding your head in agreement or shaking it in disaccord – either way, they make an impact with their words, their voice, their stories, their tone, their authenticity!

    On that note – I’m truly honored that you’ve included me alongside these incredible thought leaders and personalities. These folks here are part of MY A-lister crowd and it means a lot to me that you’ve placed me next to them. It’s also a testament that I have slowly captivated the kind of audience that I want and hope for – intelligent, opinionated, funny/witty, knowledgeable, educated, engaging, professionals… basically, the kind like YOU.

    In any case – I look forward to seeing whatever you have in store for us. The only thing I care about is that what you write makes you happy in general and also content with the direction of your blog :). I don’t have a single doubt that you will continue to be the Danny Brown that we have grown to know, admire and greatly respect. It’s just who you are and that’s what we love.

    Best of luck to you DB. And like I said – whatever you write, whatever story you tell, I’ll be right here to give you my no bullshit, straight from the heart/gut take – respectfully of course lol ;)!

    See you soon Bonsai!

    PS – I was so hoping for a shorter comment – I tried – I really did haha! But damn it – you inspire me!

    • says

      You see, this is exactly what’s wrong with the world. I was ramping up for some great comment and then that dang Griddy busts out with one of her perfectly scripted mini-blog posts that took all the words and then some out of my mouth.

      So I guess I have nothing to say Danny other than please read what Ingrid said again, and just replace my name with hers. :-)

      Seriously man, thanks for the mention and I can’t wait to talk to you more about this subject in NY. It’s something that is on my mind often and I’ve always felt that when all was said and done, it’s our personal experiences and ability to share them in a powerful way that will carry the day.

      You have an uncanny ability to move people to thought DB. Appreciate you bud.


      • says

        That’s often my thoughts, mate. I’m about to say something, then find Ingrid has not only beat me to it, but said it in a way I never could. GAH!!! :)

        Dude, you’re carving a blogging path that’s putting many “superstars” to shame. All of you are. And I feel better-informed and grateful for it. :)

    • says

      And this is exactly the kind of community that I’d take over all the popular posts in the world, Ingrid. :)

      There’s nothing wrong per se with quick hits and list posts, etc. And when done properly, they can lead to an even more in-depth follow-up.

      But give me a thoughtful post, or a passionate comment, or a voice that doesn’t care what anyone thinks because it’s speaking from the heart? That’s the gold right there, miss.

      Which makes you a nugget and a half. :)

  16. says

    Like Ingrid said, you could write about the most obscure thing and you’d still have a loyal following.

    Writing about the same thing over and over can get old. I read that when starting a blog stick to a focused topic but once you have a community of loyal followers, it’s okay to expand into other topics.

    More stories will be welcomed for sure.

    • says

      Hey there Benny,

      Cheers for the kind words, sir, appreciated. Funnily enough, I seem to work in the opposite – have many then focus into the voice that comes out because of that.

      But again, that’s what’s so great about blogging – everyone has a different method, and that’s how it should be. :)

  17. says

    You’ve done it again Danny!

    Don’t go away on us now that I just only found you!

    I was rethinking my content but for different reasons. I wanted to write informative blogs on the latest healthcare updates… sigh they are so boring. What I have been thinking to do is to write them but with a twist like no one cares about the details of Vit D deficiency (boring) but perhaps readers needing info would like to know how to eat for it or cook a recipe for it. This is not a great example I know but… I hope you get the gist

    Also @ Brian Driggs your comment cracked me up. My brother is a bit of auto guy.

    • says

      I think that’s a great idea.

      The best blogs (for me, any way) are the ones that take a normal topic and turn it into something extra-normal.

      So while a cocktail stick might be for cocktails, what about the benefits to your mouth when used as a toothpick?

      Okay, not a great example, hehe, but you get the drift. So yeah, I think your approach will get a great amount of interest. :)

  18. says

    Danny, as I said on FB the day you posted, I may be new to this game but I totally get what you’re saying. As everyone else has said here, I’ll read whatever you put out there and look forward to it!

    I also struggle with making sure what I put out into the world is unique to me and not just a subconscious regurgitation of what populates the twitter stream. That’s a struggle. There’s so much information out there and so much of it may be old to one person, but very new to my target audience of small biz owners. So, for me, I have to balance making it fresh and from my perspective, with making it hit the target. I hope I do that and maintain personal and professional integrity along the way. You and all the bloggers listed here definitely do that.

    I’ll be watching and eager to see what you come up with, Danny!

    • says

      It’s definitely a juggling game at times, isn’t it, Erica?

      I always feel that the best blogs are the ones that are written for the author (if that makes sense?). If you can be proud and happy that you wrote the best you could, and said what you wanted without (too much) compromise – then everything else is a bonus.

      Thanks for allowing me my little space here, miss, and for bringing your cheery smile over! :)

    • says

      I can relate to this Erica. Not just the personal and professional balance, but the challenge of hitting the blog goals w/ sharing ideas and adding my perspective. I sorta look at my blog as part of my resume, my whitepaper for my biz.. it’s my philosophy and how I approach certain topics. I may rehash this PR meme or argue for or against some social media tactic that’s been debated countless times.. but I am adding my voice, my take on it.. hopefully to the benefit of the blog and the reader. FWIW.

    • says

      But what you said is the whole premise, it is unique to you so it’s not going to be told in exactly the same way as someone else would. That’s why some are more readable than others.

  19. says

    Hi Danny
    I totally agree with you about the banality and purposelessness of so many blogs. The criteria for success is often # of readers not quality of blogs. So much is re-hashed and re-cycled. And there is tons of hypocrisy as to why people are blogging. You blog is straight shooting and tells it like it is. But here is the perceived inconsistency that confuses me – you follow 20,000+ people on twitter. Can you explain to me how that is different from bloggers whose primary purpose is to have a large readership for commercial purposes? This is a serious question in that maybe I don’t properly understand the social dynamics of the blogging world vs. the twitter world.

    • says

      Riley, I follow more than a thousand people on Twitter. For some it’s a lot. I don’t see 1000 different people tweeting in my feed everyday.
      So my take on this is one, Danny probably has lists setup in Hootsuite to organize all these tweeps by subject matter or areas of interest.
      Two, don’t forget everyone tweets differently, at different times and more or less frequently.

      I have tweeps in Asia who I see in the early morning on my feed, then Europe wakes up and finally the US around mid-day for me. So although the number is high, I still think its manageable.
      My 2 cents :)

    • says

      Hey there Riley,

      That’s a fair question, mate. I think John makes some great points in his reply (I do use lists and groups, and I’ll keep an eye on certain feeds and scan the normal Home feed as well for areas of interest).

      Part of it is down to using Twitter very differently when I started (by mutual following everyone). I’ve actually culled over 3,000 users in the last month or so. πŸ˜‰

      Another part of it is that I’m genuinely interested in what people have to say. I’ve found some of the wisest words from a solitary tweet of someone I had never interacted with before, and they became a great friend. So I’d hate to lose that kind of potential.

      But, as I say, I’ve been culling a lot. And it’s working – my Klout score is going down, so that must mean I’m going the right way… πŸ˜‰

      Cheers for the thoughtful question, mate, always appreciate having you drop by.

        • says

          Riley (and Danny too) – different Twitter strategies work for different people. Not sure I could manage such big numbers but then think I should as I meet ‘new’ people all the time. So I’ve also been culling, b/c I’ve bumped the 2K limit a few times, and want to make room for more smart voices. I am sure there are thousands out there I haven’t met yet. I’ve been unfollowing news, RSS feeds, anything that’s not about how I approach Twitter .. which is a combination of good shares, posts, discussions, conversations, jokes and cocktail recipes. TEHO. πŸ˜‰

  20. says

    Danny Brown. You are one of my greatest inspirations. Thank you for the list, thank you for letting us see your mind and heart written in the words you post. (even if I did have to look up the word “banality” LOL!)Each time I feel the darkness threatening to shut me down (it is always right there, waiting for me to just say ok, curl up in a ball and cry, even knowing that my two littles are counting on me, it’s there, waiting) I know I can read or re-read real life with you, Mufasa (thank you again Brankica!~ it fits so well)and the others I have found and really appreciate having in my own little world. I love knowing that the real life questions, problems, answers and options are shared and discussed by intelligent folks and not ignored for the almighty buck. That it (blogging)has a way bigger purpose and that is community. So thank you.
    ~Alaska Chick

    • says

      Hey there Amber,

      I always love seeing your avatar pop up in the comment stream – it makes me smile every time, which is always a good thing. :)

      Thank you for the really kind words – it’s what makes everything that I do here worthwhile. It works both ways – I’m always inspired by the stories, secrets and humanity that you (and the other members of this community) share every time you comment.

      Like you say, that’s when blogging shows its purpose. Here’s to it continuing. :)

  21. says

    Hi Danny
    Sounds interesting.
    I’m wondering which direction you’ll be moving in.

    “Of course, the problem with any form of popularity is that it can often be connected to banality and sameness.”

    The reverse of that is that so many bloggers are producing original material and presenting it in original and interesting ways.

    Always surprises me what good writers many bloggers are – must be all that practice.
    Even blog comments are becoming an art form.

    Look forward to your blog developing.

    BTW – I gave you a mention over on easyP, if you get a minute…

    • says

      Hey there Keith,

      You know, that’s very true mate – there’s some amazingly great content out there, and that definitely counters the banal.

      I think that’s why so many people are now looking at what they read, and looking for new voices. There’s definitely gold out there – we just need to sift through the driftwood. πŸ˜‰

      And thank you for the shout – I’ll be sure to jump over, mate, cheers. :)

  22. says

    Hi Danny,

    I work for a charity here in the UK. I am not as talented a writer as you and not even a blogger, so I will keep it short. I just wanted to say how great your posts are to me personally; they lift up my mood every lunch time while munching at my desk!

    They are useful and the information that I gather from your blog has enabled useful changes in our social media strategy. I love social marketing and am enthusiastic to learn more and progress in this area, so please keep the blog posts and information flowing!

    • says

      Hey there Michael,

      Thank you for the kind words, sir, and coming from someone in a sector I greatly admire, that should really be double thanks (and I’d love to hear more about the charity work you do).

      As for talent and writing? That’s just semantics, mate – one man’s average is another man’s awesome copy. I’m not so sure you don’t have that in you, too. πŸ˜‰

      • says

        Thanks for replying Danny. That is another great thing about your blog; you always see a personal message. I hope it is sustainable as your blog grows onwards and upwards. The charity I work for is a medical charity concerned with women’s imaging – feel free to check it out! I work in the marketing/membership area. We also do outreach work to developing countries, training doctors, most recently in Somaliland. It’s an exciting time for our area of marketing and I am very happy to be involved in it. This is what pushes us out of our comfort zone (in reference to your next post :)

  23. says

    Wherever your newest thinking takes you, I’m sure it will result in value to your readers/followers. But to reinforce one of the comments made above, some ideas that feel “the same” to you, are new, insightful and helpful to many who are a little newer to your blogs and to social media general. Please don’t deny them, well, us, your priceless insights and heart-felt tales.

    • says

      Hi there Ken,

      Completely agree mate – often we forget that everyone is at different “levels”. Thanks for the reminder, mate – I’ll definitely keep that in mind, and make sure to have some ideas for (hopefully) everyone. :)

  24. says

    I don’t think you write about the social media sameness. I never have. That’s why I was attracted to your blog in the first place, and why I continue to read. I don’t have to tell you whose blogs I read in the beginning and then quickly unsubscribed. Sometimes those blogger’s posts will be distributed throughout the office and I want to scream, “WHY are you guys reading him/her?” But then I realize someone in the office probably should – I just can’t do it.

    Changing the focus or direction of your blog isn’t really necessary. Because, like you said, some of the work you do every day will continue to come through in your lessons and case studies. You’re already different. You already have an extremely engaged community. Keep writing the stuff that makes you, you, and you’ll keep being successful.

    What I do think you should do is take a two week vacation and not blog at all. Let’s see if I can finally pass you on the AdAge list. :)

    • says

      Jumping in, another comment bomb attack (sorry Danny).

      “WHY am I reading THAT?!” Well Gini, sometimes it keeps me honest. I follow and read people who don’t engage per MY standards, sometimes write the banal or weak and I think.. ‘damn, no meat on these bones.’ But if I ignore it all and stick to Danny’s most excellent list of bloggers.. then it’s more sameness, even if it’s of a calibre and quality I respect. IDK Gini, some of my strongest or most popular posts have been of the “you’re doing it wrong, as this is what I think is the right way” variety. I may not have written them if I hadn’t been reading/following certain people. At times it’s necessary to call attention to what others may perceive as a standard practice, and say.. not so fast. FWIW.

    • says

      So, let me get this straight.

      – You’re saying I shouldn’t change.
      – You’re saying I shouldn’t blog.
      – You’re saying I should go on vacation for two weeks.

      Man, you really want that AdAge spot, huh? πŸ˜‰

      Thanks, miss, appreciate your support.

  25. says

    Danny — Keith’s point (and my reply to Erica).. on some folks are presenting old stuff in newish ways, you blogged on that not too long ago. That’s maybe a step to fight the sameness. As is my reply to Gini, reading some of the banal to know what NOT to do. Per Marcus and John’s chat on different types of posts: I’ve done a few lists, a few general ABC’s of topic X for SEO and some rants.

    My post against the Twitter auto-DM was just an aggregate post, but I tried to make it new and fun (less same and banal) to make it readable for those who maybe hadn’t read any of the other posts I mentioned. Didn’t add anything new, but I did make effort to take something old and make it better, less banal. But then I started blogging for a different reason than the 2 you mentioned.. I keep hoping if I share enough love of Apple, they’ll put me on the payroll or at least, give me free stuff. πŸ˜‰ FWIW.

    • says

      Hey there Davina,

      See, if only more people WOULD offer a new take on a topic, as opposed to just rehashing, that would be a huge improvement.

      Yet so many don’t even want to do that, and I think that’s where a big part of the frustration comes in. :)

      • says

        True that, true. At times I think.. “no one’s written this!” but alas, Google finds someone who has. So best I can do is add to it, explain it with a different, hopefully fresher take. Would that I could find the ‘new’ more often, am happy when it happens and folks go ‘I’ve never heard of that’ .. such a treat. :-)

  26. says

    To say you’ve been an inspiration to my blogging/ social media journey is an understatement.

    The heart you put into your work and the courage you display on behalf of the community is unmatched. You’re a great example to follow: Be yourself – serve others – give abundantly – rebuff the status quo – change the world one subscriber at a time.

    I can’t wait to participate in the coming chapters of the life and times of Danny Brown – you always take the community on interesting journeys of self-discovery, understanding and growth, with an emphasis on improving the lives of people and the industry as a whole. Sounds like a worthwhile investment of time to me!

    Thanks for the love in the too post Danny – you’re encouragement means the world to me and it inspires me to do better… as you always have : )

    I’m excited to see where you’re taking us in the coming weeks, months and years my friend : )

  27. says

    It’s ironic (to me) that some of the bloggers writing earlier comments are folks whose blogs I consider part of that echo chamber they despise.

    Over on my blog, the header tagline for ~18 months used to include some variant of, “Sharing strategies and tips on social media marketing.” As of last month, it now says, “Educator on the benefits of new and emerging media.” It will likely shift again.

    P.S. Danny, you know you’re within the below link, right?

  28. says

    There can be a certain amount of ‘sameness’ especially in the social media arena. However, everybody has their own story and and are at different points in their journey. Whereas to a veteran like you who has pretty much seen and heard it all, a relative novice might find value in some things that others might take for granted.

    I started a blog only for the reason I thought it was what your were supposed to do to engage. I really have no platform, no strategy and the amazing thing to me is people actually stop by and comment.

    I don’t think I have even come close to finding my blogging voice and certainly not ready to be mentioned w/ the likes of the names above, but it absolutely floors me I can drag a pretty vanilla post out there and have 70 comments on it.

    I think it’s because people are mainly just trying to be nice to me; I do wonder if its sustainable and if it is, where do I go with it.

    You are one of the pied pipers, but I say it in a good way. You have certainly earned it; but I would venture to guess since you have such a loyal following you could pretty much publish anything you wanted to and still get the same numbers.

    This is a very dynamic, constantly changing arena and I look forward to watching you evolve as you discover something new and fresh.

    • says

      Hey there Bill,

      Completely valid point, mate – something will always be new for someone (heck, Laserdisc is still big in some countries!!) :)

      I guess where the post is coming from is that I see it more in bloggers that I truly feel are just posting their views in, as opposed to really pushing the boundaries.

      Nothing wrong with that per se, but I’d rather read (and write) posts based on gut as opposed to those based on Alexa ranks and social shares. πŸ˜‰

  29. says

    Unfortunately I’m coming to this post a bit late, but before seeing it, I wrote a post that sort of reflects on the same theme.

    It seems a formula for success has been established in Social Media without us really noticing. You grow a big blog, turn your posts into a book, go on a big speaking tour which in turn grows your blog more, and on and on. The problem with this formula is that because so many people are striving for the same exact goal, they are looking at posts that have rocketed other people up and are saying, “Oh, ok. I’ll write a post like that.”

    I think eventually readers will create a backlash against this culture of sameness, if not by leaving the blogosphere then at least by stopping the clicks on ads and affiliate links. It is not a sustainable model for Social Media as a whole, however. That’s for sure.

    • says

      Great points, Margie,.

      You know what it reminds me of? The big video game crash of the 80’s. There were some originators then leaders, and then copycats.

      Once a successful formula had been created, it was adhered to because that’s what sold. Except it didn’t.

      Like you mention, I can see a lot – and I mean a LOT – of similarities here. Time will tell, I guess…

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