Play to Strengths

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Jeremy Schoemaker is a rockstar in SEO. Darren Rowse is a rockstar in making money online. Erin is a rockstar among women bloggers. Thomas Hawk is a rockstar photographer. Brad Feld (a Lijit investor) is a rockstar VC. Chris Brogan is a rockstar people person. Alex Hillman is a rockstar community man. Jody is a rockstar musician.

I’m telling you, everyone is a rockstar in their own right and no one can take away their strength. As Micah puts it, no one can do your job better than you can.

The problem comes when you are not confident in what you do and you let a different kind of rockstar dictate your behavior.

We’ve all seen it. Someone of stature arrives on the scene and the person who knows the space and environment best gets star struck or intimidated by the presence of the rockstar and suddenly doesn’t know how to behave, act or represent themselves.

Confidence is so important. Confidence is sexy. Confidence displays your rockstarness and communicates that you own the place and people should stick by you. Confidence draws people in and causes them to get lost in YOU.

We all need someone else and no one can do it alone.

For myself, I know I have certain qualities and abilities that command the respect of others. I also know that I need people (such as all the people above, to name a few) to teach me something about their environments. Alex, in fact, was the one who gave me inspiration and motivation, not to mention pointers, on beginning the small co-working community we have here in Maryland.

Thomas taught me (via Scoble) a thing or two about lenses for my camera.

And so on.

Who are you learning from? Who inspires you? What are you teaching others?

(See, Chris Brogan taught me how to end posts with questions ;-) )

Thought Leadership

You, know, I’ve gotten far away from blogging about blogging. It’s an overdone topic that had its day in the sun, but we’ve moved on to, thankfully, other topics. However, the depth of content still discourages me. Yes, there are literally millions of blogs out there and the number of really quality blogs have increased dramatically. However, the signal to noise ratio is still very bad, in my opinion.

What am I referring to?

In political blogging, people are still quoting and linking to Daily Kos and Captain’s Quarters as sources of inspiration for posts.

In gadget blogging, people still read from the same page as Engadget or Gizmodo.

In business blogging, Seth Godin and Lawrence Lessig.

For SEO and marketing, Shoemoney and SEOMoz still rule the roost.

As they should. All of these blogs have been and continue to produce excellent original content, and most importantly, thought leadership. In whatever area they write, they are producing content that attracts readers to innovative ideas and concepts and helps those readers explore related concepts and thoughts. In the case of Engadget and Gizmodo, they are news breakers, but

The difference between the long tail and the head of tail sites like those mentioned above, and in my opinion, the wave of the future is in thought leadership. More and more bloggers thinking for themselves, maybe taking some inspiration from some of these blogs, but proactively creating original content.

I mentioned that I was interviewed the other day by Minic Rivera. In that interview, I talked about how at any given time, I’ve got numerous ideas running around in my head. In some cases, these ideas sit up there for months – as the Twitter Terminal Velocity post did. Other posts come out of conversations I have that coalesce into fully baked thoughts overnight. In all these cases, I spend time thinking through topics before writing and when the writing actually does occur, it is more like a braindump.

We need more thought leaders in blogging. People who will take the time to think fully about ideas and develop those thoughts. People that share these thoughts after much consideration and analysis.

That’s what my idea of an ideal blog world is. Am I smoking crack?