Putting On the Ritz: Using SM to enhance your post.
My friend, the displaced journalist, has finally made a decision on Why he wants to start a blog, picked out the Neighborhood where he wants to host it, and made a decision as to How Often he’s willing to commit himself to write and post on it.
The final question he has for me is whether it’s necessary to use any sort of do-dads or outside links and media to make it more interesting or eye appealing to the reader?
While I thought about how to answer that, it occurred to me, that making a post more interesting or eye appealing is a lot like decorating someone’s home or place of dwelling. First and foremost, whatever they decide to use needs to be a reflection of them, and not someone else.
When I was still working in the interior decorating industry, I handled a lot of fabric for drapery, upholstery and decorating accessories. Once or twice a year all the major drapery work-rooms would go around the country, bring the local designers together and put on work shops where we discussed industry related issues, as well as Oh’d and Ah’d over all the newest fabrics and next year’s trends.
“The bottom line is that blogging is like sex. You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage with the public. If you do, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both the blogger and their readers.” (Kevin Anderson)
Over time I learned to recognize certain styles, signatures and platforms of the various fabric houses, as each one had intentionally set about establishing themselves in a way that was unique to them. One of the most famous examples of this is the Ritz Carlton. As part of their ‘elite’ platform development, their furnishings, glassware etc. are very often made exclusively for them in-house, and trademarked to further set them apart and keep their competitors from being able to duplicate them. So even if you went into one of their hotels blindfolded and didn’t know where you were, within moments of your being allowed to see, their trademark designs and accessories would give it away.
Adding extra media to your post is just like decorating your home, landscaping your yard, piercing your ears, wearing a nose ring or shaving your head; it’s personal and it should reflect who you are.
So the question isn’t should you use it, but rather, will it enhance what you’re trying to say.
Just like the Ritz, you want people to recognize you for the things you say, and the way in which you say them. Some bloggers like to spice their articles with pictures, podcasts and YouTube; while others like to serve their postings plain with little or no salt. If adding links to other blog sites helps establish your point then do so. If embedding a video from YouTube or another bloggers Podcast highlights or adds value to your post, then by all means putting it in.
The blog site is yours my friend. It’s the place you can express yourself, expose yourself (in the most immodest way possible) and rant your views, should you choose. It’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to fill in the landscape. You can share your life, build a platform, make your mark in the world or leave a legacy for your kids. It doesn’t really matter. It’s like Mahatma Gandhi said, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” Insignificants (sic) is relative…creativity is imperative…go forth and create.”