To a writer, there are few things as daunting as an empty page. Whether you are writing an essay, a novel, or a blog, the first word is the hardest. Your idea may be fully formed in your mind with an elegant structure and compelling argument in place to back up the message that you want to convey, but getting started is always hard.
At best I’m an irregular blogger but it’s not for want of inspiration or desire. I love what I do on a daily basis, and am genuinely excited by the things I see and do on line. There is always something to do, and by virtue of that, always something worth writing about.
So why don’t I write more? I guess it’s because other things get in the way. I love words, I’m entranced by communication, and the way in which the simplest idea can influence millions of people by virtue of the way it is presented. It’s just that sometimes, like most other people, I fall too easily into the trap of content consumer to be a content producer.
I blog somewhat irregularly about SEO and Social Media in a number of places, both in my own name, and also under a variety of pseudonyms, but I’ve generally resisted having my own blog written explicitly by me because I don’t necessarily want to be a reactive voice in the herd, and simply add more vapid commentary in an already packed content market.
I’ve watched a lot of things changing in the last couple of years. The web has gone from being a content dictatorship to a democracy where individual voices matter more. Rather than the discovery of content being controlled by secret algorithmic rules that approximate human interest, the discovery of content is being controlled by actual human interest, by personal recommendation, and by sharing based on taste.
If the 1990s were the era of the personal web, and the 2000s were the public web; the 2010s will be the decade of the interpersonal web – a time in which our on line experiences are defined by our relationships. Social communication is already an essential part of the way we find content, and this is only going to get more important as new channels are exposed to us.
In a way, the changes are likely to be uncomfortable for some – particularly the cynical businesses that show contempt for their customers – but the strange thing is, a social web is actually a much more natural web.
There is no Google off line.