This post is a follow up to a discussion spawned from my “Organizations Don’t Retain What They Learn”, fed a bit by my Problem with Blogs for Holmes…for this Holmes, anyway post and nourished greatly by NextStage’s research on blogs and social media in general. This post’s title is an homage to a bumper sticker that always makes me laugh.
I’ll share one of NextStage’s social media findings with you. It deals with experts and expertise. Experts publishing online only within their disciplines will only enjoy small audiences. This is one reason why I blog here, on That Think You Do (primarily about relationship issues), BizMediaScience (business, research and topics that fascinate me), The Analytics Ecology (pure research and theory, also some commentary) and An Economy of Meanings (applied sciences). I publish diversely so I can enjoy a diverse audience. Also because so many things interest me.
In any case, I know I’ve written about blogging, expertise and resulting traffic before and I wouldn’t be surprised if other people have discovered the same thing:
Fascinating stuff, that. It’s one of those amazingly obvious things (at least when I think about it).
Blogs among peers propagate far faster than cross demographic blogs. Conversely, blogs that cross demographic boundaries tend to be “evergreen” although they are much slower to propagate.
I’ve seen this principle fairly often in my professional life. I’ll mention some anthropologic fact to an audience of marketers and they’re blown away. If I said the same thing to a group of anthropologists they’d look at me with a “Yeah, so?” expression on their faces. Similarly, mention something about quorum sensing to a group of anthropologists and their enthralled. Social mathematicians fall asleep because it’s so obvious.
So there are two learnings here:
Rapid Network Spread = Quick Death – Rapid network spread is achieved when a post or article is tightly written for a highly targeted audience. The down side is that your post or article probably will be forgotten when the next such piece is published.
Slow Network Spread = Long Life – Make your posts evergreen by 1) making them cross-disciplinary, 2) use simple language (or explain your jargon clearly) and 3) make the content useful to a general audience. After all, there are more amateurs than there are experts regardless of the field you’re in (and enthusiastic amateurs are easily the most dangerous).
Expert who want to remain tops in their field and garner mainstream recognition need to do both.
Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.
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