I spent some time in airports and planes this past weekend and I hope it to be the last for a while (probably not, but here’s hoping). I have found that I don’t mind traveling as long as there’s someone good to talk to – I used to double-down into my notebook computer and try to cram as much productivity as I could while on the road but I’ve recently reversed this and keep the notebook in the bag and just appreciate the time away from it all.
And I I’m not so much interested in spending any more money on the WIFI when my flight is only 90 minutes and it’ll cost me $15 for the time. Ah, what a rip.
What I do now is actively look for someone to talk to – anyone, to be honest. It’s a strange thing to change so dramatically my traveling experience from trying to avoid every single person, including those that have to handle the ticketing process, and instead finding a good conversation. I also prayed (literally) to sit next to someone who would just sleep through the flight so I wouldn’t have to say anything and now I anxiously hope that the person I sit down next to is a conversationalist and has something interesting to share or a story to tell.
The more different the better – like Ellis, the Stuntman.
And it’s even better if they have some technology in their bones and can do a little “geek speak” to grease the wheels of conversation. This past weekend I spent time chatting with a gentleman who building up a medium-sized business and who happened to “oversee” some of the online parts of their growing business.
Of course, we chatted about blogging – and he gave me a whirlwind speech of how they have so much strategy behind their blog that they really couldn’t fail. He told me that it was really working and that their sales were up and continuing to grow at a very healthy pace.
I took him at his word and simply asked how big the audience was online – more specifically, what the traffic numbers looked like and how he was counting conversions from the blog itself. He paused for a moment and looked a bit confused – I decided that this was a moment to save the poor gentleman and I re-phrased the question:
How do you know, really, that the blog is working?
He decided to repeat what he had just told me but with even more strategy on top of the previous stated strategies. I shook my head and asked him again how he could definitively know that the blog was, in fact, the source of increased revenue. He eventually, in his own way, said that he didn’t really know, but it was somewhat of a “hunch.”
It’s not that he was lying – it was that he really didn’t know and he was making extremely loose relationships between business growth and their new business blog. He didn’t understand that you could measure it and that you needed this type of measurement to know if they were being a success or not. What he had done (and his business had done) was bought into the hype that every business needed a business blog and that if you didn’t have one you were “behind the curve” – and that somehow it was just “working” because growth was being experienced universally throughout the company.
Too many blogs out there, both personally and professionally, have almost nothing to say and are producing almost no value for their business or for their customers. I hope that more people and their organizations would spend the right amount of time deciding if a blog is really the right solution – many people (and their businesses) just shouldn’t blog at all.
It’s the (painful) truth and the internet could use a lot less noise and more signal right about now.
[This is part of the Building a Killer Business and Corporate Blog Series.]