Exploring Questions, or Changing the World?

Yesterday I started a thread at Cre8asite Forums – Invisible Words: When Buzzwords Don’t. It was easy, a lot easier than writing a blog post. A forum post is part of a conversation, living with the support of a thread’s contextual structure. The whole community is invited to the party, becoming part of that context. Though a handful of people may be the ones to carry the conversation, the possibility of being an equal part of that conversation belongs to us all. A forum post doesn’t have to stand on its own.

While a blog post can be a part of a conversation, it also needs to stand on its own, normally, anyway. Anything that can be conceived of becomes possible – some of Jeffrey Zeldman’s “posts” are two lines of “post” followed by pages of very readable mini-conversation comments.

I find the stand-alone aspect of blog posts to be a little intimidating. There is a built-in expectation hope that the post should will be both a mini-manifesto and a conversation starter. And, I’ve also got to admit that writing through that pregnant hesitation is a bit of a thrill.

I love starting conversations, which may be why I find marketing to be so interesting. I couldn’t give a rat’s hat for influencing people, but the psychology of what interests us fascinates me to no end. There’s a sensation that I get when something clicks, and it could happen with anything. I see no boundaries between the “wow” feeling I get from a beautiful swoosh of paint on canvas, and the “wow” I get from reading a neat article about Dove’s highly successful Campaign for Real Beauty.

The Conversation: Wonderings And Manifestos From Others

Here are a few posts that have a germ of how I feel about conversations.

…this disruption of media is eroding the traditional command and control branding that has become such common place for marketers.

Well, I say hallelujah and good riddance!

I believe that there is a very compelling argument that media doesn’t have to be fragmented while at the same time the message need not be command and control anymore. It is only a matter of knowing how to orchestrate it.

Paul Dunay – The End of Command & Control Branding

The tide has turned. Brands teams that have allowed their brands to be touched by consumers have won and have upped the marketing ante.

Joanna Peña-Bickley – ON: Our Business Has Changed – Have You?

…perhaps we were guilty of over estimating the impact of the internet before the arrival of ubiquitous social networking.

David Cushman – Social networks and the broadcast conversation starter

I love asking questions that get people talking. I love to throw a pebble in the pool, and watch.

Questions From Me

Here’s a quick set of questions that rolled around in my brain this morning.

  • When you write a blog post, are you envisioning a conversation, or do you construct a post to stand on its own?
  • How is the set-up for a conversation different than that for a stand-alone post?
  • Do you blog to get your own ideas out there, or are you more interested in the intersection between your ideas and the great long tail of how those ideas live in the world?
  • Which is easier: exploring a question, or stating a position?
  • Which is better: stating your case or inspiring others to state theirs?

Your Turn

If you are so moved, tell me what you think.