I recognize there are those who’ve refuted it. But as someone who scans online content like a Labrador scarfs a snausage, I appreciate brevity.
I’m sitting on posts that seem incomplete – even disingenuous – because I’m trying to keep them brief by leaving some of the context stuff out*. And I’m concerned that the context stuff that gets cut in service to brevity might hurt my brand.
I’ve decided to create a post to act almost as a standing disclaimer about this blog. An ever-present justification about the stuff I leave out.
The stuff I leave out in service to brevity tends to fall into two big buckets:
1. I don’t or won’t always take the time to explain that I’m not necessarily good at the best practices I write about. An idea, study, or belief might be something I’ve observed or am learning from as much as something I’ve actually practiced to any degree of consistency or with brag-able results. Does this matter? I don’t think Seth Godin actually practices all that he preaches and I don’t mind his definitive attitude. Still, it bothers me that I don’t always directly address this dynamic. I explain it fairly well here I think. But re-reading this post I think I came across more self-righteous than I intended.
I guess it’s safe to say that when you decide to blog, you have to be comfortable to some degree positing an idea every now and then that you won’t take the time to fully explain your experience and results with practicing it. But to what degree exactly? I’m not sure.
2. Taking the time to credit and tell the story behind those that have influenced a post. Mentors, friends, partners, my wife. The list of influencers on my perspectives, practices, life is endless. This entire post could have been written almost entirely by my wife. Practice fields, something I’ve written about more than once, is another good example. A former colleague/boss and now friend/client introduced me to the concept a long time ago, and I’ve gotten a ton of mileage from it. And literally anytime I write about the social web I really should tip my hat to my friend Glen Turpin. He’s my technology compass, guiding me to what’s new, important, and meaningful.
But I’m not always going to take the time to credit folks who aren’t, I guess, directly attributable to what I write about. That’s a really big squishy gray area that I wish I had a better handle on.
There. I feel a bit better. Maybe I’ll release some of those in-limbo posts now.
Still, I wonder. Like communication shortcomings in emails, to what degree does brevity in blog posts leave the wrong impression of our brands?
*My posts are actually pretty long mostly because of my inability write succinctly. I’ll get better at that.
Update: Just after publishing this, I noticed that a tweep that I dig guest-blogged about this very topic. He links to it from his blog, and I wish I would have seen it before I published this one. (And it should come as no surprise that I’m pretty sure I found this guy on Twitter from Glen Turpin.)