On May 2nd 2011, Danny Brown posted an article that made me think maybe more than anything I’ve ever read on the blogosphere. The title of the article was “The Mind-Numbing Banality of Sameness”, and to close his words this is what Danny had to say:
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.
And what has happened over the past few weeks? Well, in my opinion, Danny Brown has now reached a level of blogging—or a style of writing—that many folks never reach—and that is not caring. That’s right, Danny Brown no longer cares if you like him. His goal is not to add ‘friends’ and ‘followers’. Nor is it about adding subscribers by making everyone happy. No, Danny Brown now writes to promote action, push the envelope, and initiate real, positive change in a world that sure as heck needs it.
But DB isn’t the only writer out there that’s comfortable in his own skin. He’s not the only blogger that isn’t afraid to share his views despite the fact they may be contrary to what his ‘community’ otherwise feels.
That’s what this article is about. It’s a list of bloggers I see writing and choosing topics not based on the direction of the wind, but rather where their instincts take them. And to these men and women, I say thank you for being an example for the entire blogosphere as you aim not to please those around you, but rather the inner voice that pushes you each and every day to look at the world a little differently and ask ‘why?’……..
**Note: The lessons herein apply to small and large businesses as well, so please don’t feel this principal applies to individuals only**
7 Amazing Bloggers That Really Don’t Care If You Like Them or Not
1. Danny Brown
(see above, the guy is tremendous)
2. Geoff Livingston
The first time I ‘met’ Geoff Livingston was when we got into a debate on another blog. He shared one viewpoint and I shared the opposite– and much to my surprise, after making an argument I just knew would help him see the light, Geoff dug his heels in further and would not budge from his position. This tenacity gave me two thoughts:
1. Who the heck does this guy think he is??
2. This guy has guts…I like that.
Since that time, I’ve read more of Geoff’s stuff (like his recent A-list blogger beatdown on Danny’s site) and been thoroughly impressed with his strong opinions and general willingness to go against the grain.
But the thing about Geoff is that he’s not doing it for show. It’s genuinely how he feels. So despite the fact that I might not agree with him always doesn’t mean I don’t respect him. And to this I say good for you Geoff Livingston.
3. Seth Godin
I debated about putting Seth’s name on this list because we hear so much about the guy, but a blog article about ‘initiating change’ versus ‘trying to make friends’ wouldn’t be complete without Seth. Just read any single book of his (I’d start with Tribes) and you’ll see Seth’s entire life goal at this point is to promote action in others. In fact, whenever I’m looking for a good kick in my mental rear I just pick up Seth and start reading—and inevitably I find the inspiration to grit my teeth harder and get back to work.
4. Mitch Joel:
If you want to read a blog about digital marketing from a guy who is thoughtful as they come but isn’t afraid to bluntly say it like it is, Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation is your guy. For example, in his recent article ‘The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’, Joel discussed digital marketing professionals that join major companies, brag about it, and then when it doesn’t work out say nothing:
Because, in the end, if all you’re doing is promoting the good stuff and hiding the not-so-good, all authenticity is gone and – to make matters worse – your credibility is lost to. What looks worse: saying nothing about it (especially when everyone knows about the big change) or writing a Blog post about lessons learned, how you feel about it not working out and what you’re going to do about it next? It’s not an easy thing to do, but aren’t we constantly telling our clients how difficult Social Media can be?
5. John Falchetto
John Falchetto is quickly become the anti-Tim Ferris of the blogosphere. Sure, Ferris has a gabillion fans that drink the ‘4 Hour Work Week’ kool-aide until the end of time, but Falchetto has one major advantage on his side, and that’s called ‘reality’. Never was this more evident than his recent article that went viral across the blogosphere, ‘The 4-Hour Work Week Ruined My Life’.
Being a virtual expat life coach who has multiple clients around the entire globe, Falchetto is required to be brutally honest and frank with these folks each and every day, and he brings that same mentality to his blog, which probably explains why it’s one of the fastest growing on the web.
6. Brankica Underwood
I’m not afraid of many chicks, but I’m sure as heck afraid of Brankica Underwood of Blog Like a Star. I’m guessing Bran’s tenacity comes from her days of being a member of the special forces, but if the gal has something on her mind, she’s not afraid to write it down, come what may.
You can see exactly what I mean by this in her popular articles Are bloggers the most self centered creatures in the world? and MarketMe Suite Sucks, both of which will give you a taste of the fire within this lady’s writing voice.
7. Mark Schaeffer
It’s fitting to have Mark and Mitch on this list together, especially because they debate quite often online regarding social media and digital topics. But here is the thing—the two guys are friends and respect each other immensely. Would this relationship have happened had Mark simply shook his head ‘yes’ and agreed with everything Mitch said? Of course not, and this is an important lesson for all of us.
In his incredibly popular article “Why are the Social Media Elite Ignoring Us?”, Mark says:
Don’t get caught up in keywords, SEO and Ad Age bloggers. Your key to lasting success is originality, and the key to originality is having the courage to share your own wisdom.
Powerful words indeed, which leads me to my final thoughts:
Are you, as a blogger, more concerned about having people like you or making positive change? I would submit that although you can be ‘successful’ with either strategy, the latter is the key to making your online journey a vastly fulfilling one. Only by being true to what’s on your mind and in your heart will you define who you really are, as well as your truest of fans in the process.
A couple of questions my friends: Who have I missed? Feel free to add any blogs and links you’d like, but just make sure they fit the criteria. Also, what are your feelings about trying to please everyone versus pleasing yourself? Do you at times filter your content for fear that others won’t agree? If so, when do you draw the line versus pushing through and putting your thoughts out there for the world to see? C’mon, don’t be shy, I know this is one we can all relate to.