This month’s Word Carnival is about opposing positions (the Jekyll and Hyde) in our business lives, so it might be too early in the piece to have my cake and eat it.
But there we go, I shall argue that while they are different, there’s a place for both.
I’ll add, at the risk of being inflammatory given that my fellow Carnies are all commensurate story tellers, that story has a role to play in blogging but blogging doesn’t have a role in story telling and if it does, then it’s blogging.
If that just exacted a universal gasp of disagreement, I’ll ask you to stick with me and plough on.
First, some clarity around the platform. A blogging platform (as opposed to what you do on it) isn’t just a blog. It’s a website with a blogging functionality.
You can advertise, lead generate, market, educate, inform or tell stories on such a website. Preferably not all at the same time, if you don’t want to discombobulate your intended audience.
Traditionally, websites were set up in the third person to advertise or market a business’s services.
We at … are unique in our specialist services . . . and world leaders in. . . and the benefits you receive from our top class offer . . . ad nauseam.
A majority of business websites remain as such; static, boring and suffocatingly vainglorious.
People play them no attention and are irritated by the lack of up to date information. As should be the case, they vote with their mice and click out. Gone, never coming back. Any of you with said websites are really doing your business a great disservice.
In love with your blog?
Many business owners now have a blog as part of their websites. Few use their blog as they could. Fewer fall in love with their business blog.
Those that do change the paradigm. They reveal something altogether different. A desire to engage and establish meaningful contact with another.
Clarity. It’s a beautiful place.
They have clarity. They know their intention and are confident in their value which they offer generously and with constancy.
They understand their framework and can articulate clearly the key messages that support it, because they believe it will benefit the people with whom they’re connected.
They’re keen to build a community and intent on partnering with them to give back to the world.
They often tell stories as part of their blogging. Anecdotes that help illustrate their concepts, that demonstrate their value and influence, even inspire.
If you’re blogging for business, there’s an agenda. As there should be, you have good stuff to share and good work to do.
You’re building your business. Blogging is a powerful tool to do that and it’s perfectly legitimate to use it to do so and to build your community.
What it’s not, is altruistic.
Even when blogging is used to support a philanthropic outcome, it’s not altruistic. It’ might be used to garner compassion or consensus, but the call to action is an agreement to act and/or financial support.
When you blog for your business, you share your value. You should then call your readers to action. In time, that translates into your people benefiting from whatever it is you offer. When they do, it benefits you and your others. So the world turns.
Otherwise, you’d be better off volunteering your substantial skills in a Mother Theresa habit.
What’s different about story?
This is not about story as in fiction, but about real events affecting real people that change the way we think.
There are a lot of clauses in what I have to suggest that differentiate such a story from a blog.
There is no agenda, no self interest and no commercial intent in the telling of these tales. The imperative is altruistic, as in disinterested and selfless concern for others and as such the story and the story teller are precious.
I had the privilege of hearing one the other day which moved me, transformed my thinking and will live on, perhaps for ever in my head.
When these stories are shared, the call to action is implicit and visceral, inspiring a need to share and a conviction to act.
If such a story can then be used to support a cause, even a commercial outcome, then it becomes a blog. Quite legitimate.
Everyone can be a story teller
I was privileged to do a TEDx talk. In it, I suggested that everyone is a custodian of such stories that can enrich, change or save lives. The whole experience has inspired a new blog, soon to be published called Why Your Stories Matter.
I will put to the test these nascent theories. Why You Must Blog will be about blogging and Why Your Stories Matter will publish stories from all over the world that have no agenda, other than to help, inspire and transport others.
What do you think? Is there a difference between a blog and a such a story? I would be deeply interested in hearing your views.