Blog Soup 2011.11.14 Do You Have Leadership Skills?

November 14, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.11 Do You Have Leadership Skills?

The next Blog Soup is planned for the next Monday. Things got crazy busy. Be safe and take good care of you.

About Blog Soup

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts. Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. Nicole Humphrey CookThe Idiots Guide to Triberr Tutorial

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

I intend to write pithy, poignant comments that may help you truly rediscover yourself through the blog posts of friends and strangers. In terms of your journey of self discovery, the destinations are not as important as is your own personal negotiation of the questions, answers, and confusions which you may discover by following a link, reading a blog post, poring over comments, and making a comment. On the other hand, this is our community and, yes, community is all about our commitment to the community, conversations, consensus, disagreement, participation, and, yes, to each other.

I will fail often in this endeavor, but I can, as Booker T. Washington said, keep on keeping on. Will you humor me?

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

2011.11.14

There is much to say about leadership. There is much need to think and speak about leadership. In the midst of the failure of leadership, we may be tempted to put up with false leadership, false journalism, lies, and what misfortunes that may befall us – especially the poor who are least able to bear untimely hardships and disasters.

I kindly remind you of the words of the poet, Dylan Thomas:

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Rage with love, service, and servant hearts.

Featured

The blog posts that I commented on in this Blog Soup:

1. Leadership Lessons from Joe Paterno and Penn State by Aaron Biebert

2. 12 Most Important Aspects of Having 100,000 Followers by Ted Coiné

3. A Short Treatise on Losing by Anthony Iannarino

4. Jay-Z’s ‘Occupy All Streets’ Shirt Vanishes from Rocawear Site Amid Controversy by Elva Ramirez

5. The Extremely Personal Post by Laurinda Shaver

6. Colin Powell: Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations Are ‘As American As Apple Pie’

7. Thoughts 4 Friday – Be Indispensable by Daniel Newman


Michael Jackson, Man In The Mirror

Blog Soup

My unabashed comments:

1. Leadership Lessons from Joe Paterno and Penn State by Aaron Biebert

Writes Aaron Biebert:

“Success with Honor” is Penn State’s motto. Now they have neither.

My comment:

Your post reminds me of some good advice. Thank you, Aaron.

Leadership is a gift given by those who follow.

That’s what General Mark Welsh, Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, says. General Welsh gave a speech about what leadership is about at the Air Force Academy. The video is here.

I mention General Welsh’s speech because he explains the why and how of leadership. Leadership is necessitated not simply by the objective or the how, it is also intimately about people and why. And you don’t need to be a genius to understand this. You just have to have a heart.

General Welsh speaks about leadership through stories and slides. He tells about the horror of killing and the fact that it has to be done. He tells us that the enemies that are killed by smart bombs are fathers, sons, and brothers too.

General Welsh tells us about the people who serve in the Air Force. About the people that made a difference. About the people that are making a difference.

Leaders are all about their credibility. Leaders look out for their people and they do what they say they are going to do – especially when it’s about taking care of their people. They look after the people that count on them. That doesn’t mean that leaders lie or cover up for this person or that as Aaron points out. Leaders have to keep their people on the up and up – that’s the kind of winning that counts most of all. If they can’t do that, they have no credibility.

Leaders pay attention to the details. General Welsh tells about a jet fighter pilot that died when he missed a zero point two of a second decision to pull up. Details matter.

Leaders know their people’s stories. You can’t look out for your people (and their families) if you don’t know their story.

General Welsh concludes:

Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. But you have to be worthy of it.

2. 12 Most Important Aspects of Having 100,000 Followers by Ted Coiné

Self-described business heretic and futurist gives 12 reasons he’s proud to boast about his 100k followers on Twitter.

1. He’s having fun.

2. He’s there for people.

3. He’s building an audience for his next book.

4. He’s being social.

5. He’s trying to do good things.

6. He appreciates his people.

7. He gets feedback.

8. He’s making friends.

9. He’s learning things.

10. He doesn’t need Klout to feel special.

11. His followers help him out.

12. He’s curating people.

My comment:

Let’s go for a big lagniappe!

13. Love, Serve, and Lead.

100k followers is a whole lot of people. As General Welsh explained, be worthy of the the gift of leadership!

3. A Short Treatise on Losing by Anthony Iannarino

It isn’t a failure to fight the good fight and to lose. It is a failure not to fight the good fight. It is a failure to do nothing in the midst of evil, terror, and great anguish. That’s what Anthony is saying.

My comment:

Leaders understand that it’s not winning a fight that counts, but fighting the good fight for all the right reasons that matter. Because a good fight doesn’t hold you down in doubt, fear, and despair. When you lose a good fight, you may have lost much more than just that fight, but you don’t have to lose the fight that is in you.

No German, for example, can savor the things done in service to Hitler and the Nazis. They can not enjoy the many German accomplishments in service to that dark cause. Because there can never be triumph when it is in service to evil.

The Germans stormed across Europe under the Nazi banner and made all of Europe tremble before them; they overcame tremendous force and people; they overcame impossible odds with technology, science, and discipline. And the German people must hang their heads in shame for a hundred years. Or more.

Likewise Penn State has been dishonored as Aaron Biebert points out in his blog post.

4. Jay-Z’s ‘Occupy All Streets’ Shirt Vanishes from Rocawear Site Amid Controversy by Elva Ramirez

When Business Insider asked Rocawear if any proceeds from Jay-Z’s Occupy All Streets shirt were going towards the movement, Rocawear issued a statement that Jay-Z’s t-shirt was not related significantly to the political movement. Accusations promptly followed that Jay-Z was trying to profit from the protest.

My comment:

The obvious irony is that Jay-Z’s apparent interest in cashing in on the Occupy movement represents the same kind of heartless capitalism, lack of humanitarian intent, and greed against which the Occupy movement protests.

The more obvious question to some is not if Jay-Z is selling out the people today, but if he was a wanna-be 1 percenter since the beginning?

Everybody hurts as Bruce Sallan reminds us in his blog post. Sometimes.

The 1 percenters hurt too. They cry. They anguish. They have fears too. It’s a shame that they often fail to identify with the pain, hopes, and disappointment experienced by the 99 percent. It’s not like they have to make a leap of faith about something outside their experience.

Jay-Z, like other hip hoppers and rock stars, received the mantle of leadership as a gift from their fans, but they often prove themselves to be false idols. They are not worthy of their celebrity as General Welsh would remind us.

They do not serve their people. They are out for themselves. And this is the problem of the 1 percent, be they bankers, politicians, or others who serve themselves at the expense of the world.

In Michael’s song, there’s a question for the 1 percent – a question that will eat away at their brains like worms feasting upon corpses. Michael’s question comes like the pained and whispered warning of the rich man in hell.

Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their need?

5. The Extremely Personal Post by Laurinda Shaver

Writes Laurinda:

3 years ago I made the most difficult decision of my life. I decided to end my marriage of 7 years…

It went from a separation, to getting laid off, to my mom being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour, to her dying a year later, to my dad suddenly suffering from mobility issues.

She also had two young kids in tow.

3 years later, Laurinda can say, “I am the CEO of my life.”

My comment:

Laurinda’s blog post is a response to Janet’s Callaway;s blog post, How to be the CEO of your life.

Getting from there (surviving) to here (commanding) didn’t happen overnight, Laurinda tells us. Like Michael sings in his song, Man in the Mirror, Laurinda started with the woman in the mirror.

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways…

6. Colin Powell: Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations Are ‘As American As Apple Pie’

CNN’s Pier Morgen interviews former Secretary of State and retired four star general Colin Powell about the Occupy movement.

Says Powell:

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are as American as apple pie.

We need our political system to start reflecting this anger back into how do we fix it? How do we get the economy going again?

My comment:

Retired Four Star General Colin Powell is one of the few people from the political right that acknowledges a problem, the American-ness of protest, and the legitimacy of the Occupy movement. Regardless of whether or not you may agree with the man’s politics, the man’s leadership qualities stand up.

Compare Powell with Captain Margo Bennet of the University of California Berkeley Police Department who defended University Police officers caught on video for beating protesting students who were not showing violent resistance.

Captain Margo Bennet’s statement:

I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest.

I do not believe that I need to provide you with a historical description of the protests led by Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi to establish how impoverished is Bennet’s definition of nonviolent protest. But I will remind you of the intentions upon which America is founded:

That whenever any Form of Government [i.e., local, State, Federal or international] becomes destructive of these ends [read: the free exercise of certain unalienable rights), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (link)

Do note from the quotation that the Right to alter or abolish it belongs to the People – not government. Also that change shall be determined by the People and according to their prudence- not the government.

Just as Bull O’Conner was inadequate more than 50 years ago, Captain Margo Bennet should resign his post for the dishonor that he has brought to UC Berkeley. Obviously, Bennet’s gestapo mentality is inadequate to serve as a leader whose mission is to serve and protect people and, especially, to serve and protect the students of UC Berkeley.

Captain Margo Bennet is yet another false leader – unworthy of the gift which he has been given.

7. Thoughts 4 Friday – Be Indispensable by Daniel Newman

Asks Daniel of the employee:

What do you bring to the table that makes you indispensable?

My comment:

What people ask of a leader every day:

What do you bring to the table that makes you indispensable to your people?

Following Daniel’s line of thinking, four more questions come to mind:

1. Are you always looking for ways for your people to get the job done in a smarter and healthier way?
2. Do you take the initiative to identify and solve problems that stand as obstacle to your people making results happen?
3. Do you embrace learning about your people, how they do what they do, and why they do it the way they do it?
4. Are you willing to lead change? Or do you delegate that like a chump?

Like Michael sings it:

You gotta get it right, while you got the time
‘Cause when you close your heart
Then you close your mind.

Feedback

If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.

If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,””Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.

Stan Faryna
14 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful! Click here.

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Blog Soup 2011.10.21 For and About Bloggers

October 21, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts. Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. James St. John, Triberr: They Want To Change The World

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

Earth Date 2011.10.21

Just some of the blogs that I commented on this week:

1. What Should a Business Blog Look Like? by Jon Buscall

2. Are You Missing Out on the Real Value of Social Media? by Anthony Iannarino

3. Jack, The Deer Hunter Kills Blogs and Animals by Jack Steiner

4. Post Cards In A Digital Age by Murray Lunn

5. Who Owns You by Janet Callaway

6. The Ferarri of Tomorrow is Beyond Insane by Richard Darrel

7. Who wants to be first? by James St. John

8. All Together Now: Everyone Say FOCUS! by Stacey Herbert

9. Just for Today by Sandi Amorim

10. 7 Tips To Keep Blog Content Fresh by Jayme Soulati

11. Create An Online Conversation by Gini Dietrich

12. How I became the Freddy Kreuger of Blogging by Danny Iny

13. Is Your Startup Story Worth $10,000? by Lisa Barone

14. Suck Less, One Step At a Time by Michael Schechter

15. The power of visualization by Seth Godin

The Philosophy of Beauty, Part One

Moveable Feasts, Scooby Snacks, Etcetera

1. What Should a Business Blog Look Like? by Jon Buscall

Jon seems to be complaining that blogs look terribly similar.

My comment:

What is the purpose of a business blog? What is it’s function?

Common sense will say that the purpose of a business blog is to do business. Depending upon the business to be doing, a business blog seeks to present it’s service(s) or product(s) to more than one buyer. To be noticed among other offers (complementary, competitive, or otherwise, a business blog must immediately stand out from all those other blogs in one way or another. This immediacy shall not be dictated by words (which take time and attention to evaluate). Thus the design decision to be made whether to offend (stab you in the eyes) or please the senses in some approximation of the Beautiful.

An excellent example of an offensive, modern business blog design is Penelope Trunk’s blog: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/

I am not saying Penelope’s blog design is bad design. In fact, I find this blog design to be clever, effective and powerful. It solves some of the most common blog problems with the same abrupt, hard, and shocking visual style that echoes Penelope Trunk’s editorial style. In my humble opinion, Penelope’s blog design is a successful execution of online brand.

Unfortunately, I have not yet come across an equally powerful example of a beautiful design for a business blog. But I think these blog designs are going in the right direction and they are not spending big bucks.

1. Keri Jaehnig’s blog

2. Rob Duncan’s blog

3. Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog

Despite all the enthusiasm and talk about brand, UX, and the importance of social media and blogging, the unquestioned trend is for business bloggers to cheap out when it comes to blog design.

What should I infer by you cheaping out?

1.That you’re not serious about your business and/or your customer.

2.That you don’t know how to do business?

3.That you don’t know what you are doing?

4.That you don’t have the resources to do business?

5.All of the above?

Most of the people who will come to your blog, however, do not have an informed opinion about brand, design, marketing, and business in general. That doesn’t mean they won’t have an subconscious response to your design. Or lack thereof.

A wow-ing blog design could cost you from twenty thousand to a million dollars if done by a reputable design company. If your blog brings you six digits per year ($100k/year), best practices recommend that you spend about $6000/year on blog design and layout.

Some of you may flinch at that number – especially since blogging and DIY seems to go together like a hand in a glove. But when’s the last time you showed up to a million dollar contract signing in pajamas made by your own hand? Or your sister’s friend’s grandmother? [grin]

Are you dressed for success? Or a sleepover?

That said, I know of several young, professional designers that would be happy to help you totally redesign your blog for $1000-$3,000 on a payment schedule. Email me if you want me to connect you with them: stan(dot)faryna(at)gmail(dot)com

Note:

Disqus was not accepting comments at the time of my comment.

2. Are You Missing Out on the Real Value of Social Media? by Anthony Iannarino

If you are living behind the screen and not going out and meeting the people with whom you are friends on social media, you are missing out on the real value.

The real value in social media isn’t measured in your Klout score, the number of followers you have on Twitter, or the number of friends you have on Facebook.

That’s what Anthony Iannarino is saying.

My comment:

Anthony is not wrong to recommend that we should meet up with the people with whom we connect with online. If the opportunity presents itself, meet ups will strengthen and deepen your online connections.

On the other hand, I do not believe that online connection must be as shallow and superficial as Anthony Iannarino might be suggesting them to be. To paraphrase Nietzsche, online communities are dead – if and only if Anthony is right.

While it would be naive to think that all of your followers on Twitter and all of your friends on Facebook consider you with intimate concern, I find myself deeply engaged with 20 people that I only know through online connection. And, perhaps, 100 in all.

The question has come up often across the years: Can online people be friends? Can people work together never having met face to face? Can they inspire, uplift, and serve each other? Can online communities have impact on the world?

The overwhelming beautiful, good, and true answer has been yes.

If there is a line between online and offline relationships, it is the line you have drawn in the sand. In other words, you have divided your own heart.

Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty. Hosea 10:2

And when a line is drawn in the sand and the cannons are fired, the only appropriate response of gentlemen and ladies is El Degüello – of course.

3. Jack, The Deer Hunter Kills Blogs and Animals by Jack Steiner

Jack wants to spiff up his blog design.

My comment:

The blog design bug seems to have bitten our friend Jack Steiner. And not just him. The bug is going around.

This all takes me back to 1996 when web design was in its awkward infancy. Browser standards were just a pipe dream. DIY was all the rage. And since there was so much bad design going on out there, people weren’t embarrassed to put it out there much like what happens in a nudist colony.

That is not a dig against Jack or anyone else. Ok, I admit that I’ve always been entertained and amused by the DIY design movement, but I understand very well the want for beautiful solutions. For beauty ever points to even greater things – the good and the true, namely.

Bottom line: you either have good taste or you don’t. And it will show.

Beyond good taste, things are happening so fast on the social web. Technology is changing. Can you keep up? The DIY designer often doesn’t have the fundamentals of design (or information design) down – complementary colors, visual path, etc.

Can you also think beyond the desktop? Design is about solving problems. It’s about crafting beautiful solutions that anticipate and respond to your users’ needs. How does your DIY design respond to the various array of devices, browsers, and technologies?

I can recommend Ethan Marcote’s book, Responsive Web Design, if you really want to tumble down this rabbit’s hole.

The problem with multiple blogging platforms (like the previous lack of browser and html standards) is that development and design comes at a premium price. Not because developers and designers are greedy and evil per se, but it really takes them a lot of hours to figure things out and make it all work. This, of course, is all the work that goes beyond their education and experience as developers, designers, and UX architects.

Anyway, at the time of publication of his blog post, Jack had a very simple, white layout going. And I thought that was acceptable. I recommended that he increase the font size to 16 pt. Readability is one of the top five priorities in blog design.

That’s all I’m saying. Unless we’re going to talk business. [grin]

4. Post Cards In A Digital Age by Murray Lunn

Murray is delighted when he gets a postcard from Davy of GhostBloggers.net – an online business that he has done business with in the past.

My comment:

Post cards and cards are an awesome way to strengthen the online connection! I can’t recommend them enough!

My address is as follows (hint, hint):

Stan Faryna

Stirbei Voda Nr. 71, Ap.4,6

Sector 1

Bucharest, Romania 010105

Did I mention that my 42nd birthday is coming up? October 22nd, in fact.

Oh – I’m looking at a card right this minute. It’s from Christian Hollingsworth.

Christian writes:

Thank you for being a defender of all things good in this world, Stan.

Your friend and brother,

Christian Hollingsworth

You rock, Christian!

5. Who Owns You by Janet Callaway

Janet asks important questions. Are you ready to be honest?

Do your possessions own you?

Does social media own you?

Do insufficient funds own you?

My comment:

Here is an answer from my heart: http://wp.me/pbg0R-sv

What I didn’t write:

But I also hear this answer whispering to me from the depth of beauty:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20: 3-6

Note:

I do not present this citation as a dogma to simply embrace or reject, but as gentle meditation on what owns us, why, and how.

6. The Ferarri of Tomorrow is Beyond Insane by Richard Darrel

Richard gushes over the Ferrari design proposal by korean students Kim Cheong Ju, Ahn Dre, and Lee Sahnseok of Hongik University.

My comment:

Ferrari captures, inspires, and fuels the imagination. If there were ever a modern adaption of Homer’s Iliad, I imagine Achilles kicking up dust across the Trojan plain. In a Ferrari.

Imagine that with me for a moment. Ah! Do you see that awesomeness? The beauty?!

Can you tell that I am a fan of Ferrari?

But I also think of Janet Callaway’s blog post, Who Owns You, and my complete answer. Everything considered, a Ferrari may be a unicorn, but it does not end world hunger or thirst. It does not roll down like Justice from heaven. Nor does it fall like Mercy – blessing both. Those who are merciful and those who receive mercy.

And with sadness, I have to consider that the imagination and ambitions of young men and women are wasted on unicorns and not the love for others that a humble man once asked of us – a man that was crucified, died, and resurrected for our salvation.

Now you have deeper insight about my birthday wish.

7. Who wants to be first? by James St. John

Christopher Columbus was a man of great patience, fortitude, and courage – not only imagination. The homepage of my previous company told the story of Discovery. Columbus suffered much and, in fact, the discovery of America was a failure for him and his investors. It was not a triumph. I imagine that the Admiral died feeling great loneliness, despair, and with a heart torn to a thousand pieces.

Few would follow in such footsteps. For bold footsteps as those are a poor imitation of the heavy, trembling steps of Christ carrying the cross. To his crucifixion!

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. John 19:17

I don’t contradict you, James. When I say imitation, I have much admiration for the imitation. But as much admiration as I have fear for it too.

History is a handmaiden of God and her affections are not purchased cheaply.

That said, what shall we do first, my friend! For there is some solace in fellowship. Let us inspire the world to love, joy through love (not pride), hope through love (not envy), and much more.

8. All Together Now: Everyone Say FOCUS! by Stacey Herbert

Stacey has been missing in action for the longest time. But she’s back. It’s a comeback and she’s mixing up commerce with community.

My comment:

It’s great to have you back. I was worried about you.

In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with mixing commerce and community. Commerce is essential to real world communities – even villages.

Myself, I’m developing a project for rural poverty that proposes to mix commerce, community, and culture.

http://www.changemakers.com/citizenmedia/entries/new-entry-137

If you would leave an encouraging comment regarding my changemaker project, I would be grateful.

9. Just for Today by Sandi Amorim

be who you BE.

That’s what Sandi is saying.

My comment.

This blog post is dripping with joi de vivre. Even @TheJackB was moved! Now that’s something!

But why is it that I’m the only one that “liked” your awesome blog post? [grin]

Celebration cannot just be fleeting smiling of the heart, true celebration must animate us to joyful and self-giving action. Like clicking the “like” button! [smile]

10. 7 Tips To Keep Blog Content Fresh by Jayme Soulati

Jayme is saying, don’t be lazy. Don’t rehash or repurpose the content of other bloggers. Put some elbow grease into your blogging.

My comment:

These are good strategies for building content for your blog posts.

It’s good to have you back, Jayme!

If I restate your 7 points in blog soup – is that a bad thing? Forgive me for asking, but I grow old and oh how some questions are not so easily answered. Not by this rabbit. And not questions like these.

For the quarrel of spirit and nature , as C.S. Lewis write about, makes a din that shuts out Prufrock’s songs of mermaids – the same songs to which Prufrock is also deaf.

I grow old. I grow old… I shall wear my trousers rolled. T.S. Eliot 

The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock  is here.

Disqus didn’t take my comment. It turns out the Disqus’ servers are a bit too impatient. They drop requests like a pigeon… [sigh]

11. Create An Online Conversation by Gini Dietrich

Stories give people a reason to care about you and your business. If they care, doing business with them becomes a possibility. That’s why you need to create or drive the online conversation with stories, recommendations, and compelling narratives.

I think that’s what Gini is saying. Gini?

My comment:

Gini Dietrich is such a pro, she makes it sound easy. Pros do that. They do or say things so well, it looks easy. Whether it’s PR, marketing, writing, design, etc., anyone awesome at what they do, makes it look like what they do is a no-brainer. That would be the furtherest thing from the truth.

If you can afford it, I recommend you go to Gini and get all the juicy details.

12. How I became the Freddy Kreuger of Blogging by Danny Iny

Danny has received comments like:

“Wow, Danny, you’re like the Freddy Krueger of blogging – wherever I turn, you’re there!”

My comment:

Danny, I love your writing style. This may have been my first visit to Firepole Marketing…

And I have to suspect that your awesome writing skills had a lot more impact in building your guest blogging venues than shooting off an email on a whimsy. Actually, it sounds like there was nothing whimsical about what you did. I’m not convinced that all of your readers understand that.

Then we get to your strategy for creating presence within micro-networks (aka community infiltration). Again, there’s nothing whimsical about that either. You got a whole lot of madness and method going on – especially if you are charting it on Excel.

This will be a sensitive topic for some. But it is almost exactly the same strategy employed by some of the more savvy corporations, governments, and top PR professionals.

13. Is Your Startup Story Worth $10,000? by Lisa Barone

Lisa Barone is spreading the world about Hiscox’s MyStartUpStory Contest.

My comment:

I would like to see Yomar Lopez and James St. John take their NJAB podcast story and go for the 10Gs. But there’s a lot of good people out there with awesome ideas. Don’t not get in on this!

14. Suck Less, One Step At a Time by Michael Schechter

Michael Schechter elaborates on Cody Fink’s blog post, Keep it Memorable, Stupid.

http://www.macstories.net/stories/keep-it-memorable-stupid/

My comment:

Cody’s post provides considerable insight. He’s thought long and hard about these things – whether or not he admits to it.

Michael’s digest is great for those who’s attention span grinds to a halt at 250 words. That’s not a dig at Michael. Summarizing Cody’s rambling style is a service.

Sucking Less, One Step At a Time has real pith and bite to it. Thanks, Michael.

15. The power of visualization by Seth Godin

“Data is not useful until it becomes information, and that’s because data is hard for human beings to digest.”

My comment:

I like to poke Seth Godin with a stick. Because he throws out no-brainers – not powerful insights. Great insights illuminate, reveal, and explode the truth a la Foucault.

But since we started this blog soup about blog design, Seth Godin gets the last word this time.

Honestly, I just wanted to talk more about my previous blog post and give away. I wanted to think outloud about the possibility that people may not get excited or inspired by what I’m doing for Nisha.

If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Luxurious decorations for your castle or estate http://wp.me/pbg0R-sv

Anyway, a link to Seth Godin’s blog post came floating down the brown Danube and I had that prescient and uncomfortable feeling that Seth is going to grab the 15th spot on this edition of blog soup.

Writes Seth:

“We repeatedly underestimate how important a story is to help us make sense of the world.”

What Seth didn’t write:

We repeatedly underestimate the role of design in helping us tell a story, making it memorable, and punctuating the take aways.

Does your blog design help your reader visualize your story as a blogger and the stories that you tell?

Feedback

If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.

If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,””Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.

If you’re in the mood, stop by my party and wish me a happy birthday here.

Stan Faryna
21 October 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Special Thanks to Bonnie Squires for her kind words about me in her most recent blog post.

More Blog Soup

1. Blog Soup: 2011.10.06 http://wp.me/pbg0R-r7

2. Blog Soup: 2011.09.22 http://wp.me/pbg0R-pF

3. Blog Soup: 2011:10:10 http://wp.me/pbg0R-rO

4. Blog Soup. 2011:10:13 http://wp.me/pbg0R-s9

5. Blog Soup. 2011.10.17 http://wp.me/pbg0R-sq

Faryna Podcasts

1. Why do I blog: http://wp.me/pbg0R-kX

2. If Tomorrow Was Your Last Day: http://wp.me/pbg0R-la

3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lv

4. The First Duty of Love is to Listen: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lO

5. Are You Ready for Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-lX

6. Reading The Desiderata. http://wp.me/pbg0R-mr

7. What is Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-mw

8. Confessions of a Freak-Geek-Misfit. http://wp.me/pbg0R-nJ

9. Do you love strongly? http://wp.me/pbg0R-nY

10. Empty-handed, Less Traveled Roads. http://wp.me/pbg0R-on

11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU

12. Do Not Be Afraid. http://wp.me/pbg0R-p9