Thursday, May 1, 2008

from perfect to pluperfect

To perfect something, you must focus on it, bring all your mental strength to bear on it.

I have often said that you must "hate" your blog. I mean you must not always gaze at it lovingly and accept it the way it is. Sometimes you have to critique it harshly, without mercy. What vulnerabilities does your blog (product, company, project) have? What is the worst thing an enemy could say about it?

This blog is new. It's in the process of being perfected. But perfect is not enough. It must go beyond, and become "pluperfect".

Perfect is often what we call something that fulfills our own vision of what a thing can be. Pluperfect is what I call something that is not only perfect from your point of view, but also is perfect in the meeting the needs of your readers, fans, users, or customers.

It's so easy to think a blog is perfect, because we are expressing ourselves completely in it. We're being transparent, bold, and honest. We have a unique viewpoint. We spot trends. We know a lot about a subject, and we share our insights.

But...what about your blog visitors?

If your blog's purpose is to showcase your expertise, in hopes of gaining new clients, fans, or customers, is it accomplishing the goal? Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Is your blog really meeting their needs, as best you understand them?

My blogging has always been, or was supposed to be, mainly about web usability, music marketing, and social media. But I lost some focus and began polluting my blog with too much personal material, self-promotions, and tangential issues.

Successful blogs stick to just a few topic areas, and rarely deviate. I am working on a blogroll that will list blogs on marketing, web usability, and related issues. These blogs will reflect what I am calling "pluperfect". They will exemplify the principles that have inspired me to abandon my flagship blog of over 4 years, and start anew.

Perfectionism is for slackers. We can do better than that. We can focus not only at what we have to share, but also on what our audience needs to know.

Let's go from perfect in our own pluperfect in the eyes of others.

1 comment:

Matt Searles said...

Well, I suppose I'm a reader / follower.. and I must say I liked the gunk of your old blog / persona / etc.

You know I think perfection is a complex thing. In the gnostic Gospel of Thomas Jesus was asked when the kingdom would come.. and his answer was that it wouldn't come by anticipation.. that's it's already spread across the land but people don't see it. You don't see it because of an enchantment of the eyes. This would be like a Buddhist Nirvanic idea like.. the problem is not the imperfections of the world, but your psychological attitudes towards the world.

So on a certain level I say screw my own taste, and screw the taste of my readers / audience / whatever.. not that I really have any anyway..

Diesetz Sizuki, a zen philosopher who influenced the likes of John Cage, Jack Kerouac, Carl Jung, Thomas Mertin.. has said that problem Buddhism address is.. that we are it.. we have Buddha consciousness.. the problem is the world is always trying to tell you you are not it... and so Buddhism is a vehicle for this sort of recognition.

So I suppose I say this on behalf of your old blog / persona / etc.

What is interesting to me is how do you reconcile the "it" with the market place. Another words.. can you be as ballz-e as ever.. uncompromising in your vision.. and yet afford to eat.. not to mention the occasional art supplies..

My creative process, I'll tell you, it incorporates a lot of.. trying to transcend my own personal taste. I mean John Cage lives in my music in that way..

You know another issue.. and I think it's at the heart of the problem of the personal brand.. is that there is a difference between the ego and the self. The ego is the center of the conscious self, not the true self. The center of the true self, well that's where Buddha sat and received enlightenment...

So there's the taste of the ego, and there's the taste of the true self... and that's a distinction I think is at least worth making.

Many times when personal branding goes wrong, at least in my view, it's a result of a failure to make this distinction.

I'll also speak on behalf of anarchy: When you focus on anything.. you are a spot light.. or your consciousness is like that.. and all other things become more dim. It is a hierarchy of awareness... You make masters and slaves within your own being!

Not that there's anything wrong with that.. but our relationship to inward realities mirrors are our relationship to outward realities.. so I guess.. in my view what is needed is more sublimation then discipline... As Nietzsche would say be ware in throwing out your demons that you don't throw out the best thing in you.. Our angels need our demons, after all.

Anyway.. good luck.. and I hope this comment isn't too off the wall