Action is better than reaction. Get moving.

August 24, 2007

Action. It’s a powerful thing. It’s even more powerful when the passion and vision of a group of action-oriented people moves thousands of other people to action.

Their action touches millions. Maybe billions.

A new case study in the power of action is a little in initiative called, appropriately, Blog Action Day. In just a few weeks, this call for blogs across the globe to unite to talk about one issue has already spread like wildfire. And it will only keep spreading until the day arrives – October 15. People from around the world will be blogging about on issue. The environment. They won’t be pushing any one agenda. They won’t be posting the same press release. They’ll just be talking about the environment. Encouraging discussion, further thought, and, of course. . . action.

It’s the power of new media, the power of now, the power of action – in action.

I’ll be joining this powerful conversation. Will you?

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10 Responses to “Action is better than reaction. Get moving.”

  1. Chuck Says:

    I’m on the fence a little about joining directly into this effort.

    I always feel a little squirrelly about posting anything off-topic, and I’m not seeing a good connection between hating your job and environmental consciousness.

    I could come up with something, but it would be a stretch.

    I’ve been debating the issue of how much leeway and flexibility to take on my blog anyway. Everyone tells you to stay laser focused if you have a niche blog (which I do), so I try to keep personal chatter to a minimum. I’d like to open up to my readers and engage them a little more, though, so I’m torn.

    There you have it!

  2. Tiffany Says:

    Chuck,
    I wrestled with this too – in specific and in general. Here are my thoughts.

    On the specific issue:
    I heard about the effort very early in the game, but didn’t sign up right away. Then, I wondered why not? I’m not exactly a tree hugger in the totally greenest sense of the word, but I think there are a lot of different ways that we can address the topic and a lot of small changes we can make in our lives that actually benefit us AND the environment, so . . . why not talk about it? That’s the beauty of the initiative. It’s flexible. It’s individual. It’s creative. I will be approaching it from a more theoretical perspective, probably going deeper into the implications of the efforts as a whole since I do blog on new media as well as other topics and then offering some solutions/personal tips. That’s my plan so far anyway. I actually think that this issue does apply to yours, and I have some thoughts circulating already. I’ll make you a deal – if you want to participate, I’ll send you some of my ideas to get you started or even write a guest post that day. What do you say?

    On the issue in general:
    The pressure to be laser-focused on a specific niche is what paralyzed me from blogging for many months. I started this blog in January, wrote the first post in April, and didn’t have more than a handful until June. It was when I realized that it’s MY blog, my ideas, my niche to define, that I was empowered to just start writing and let my niche define itself as I went. I could perhaps be more effective if I could be categorized as a purely “career” or “marketing” or “writing” or “grad school” or “gen y” blog, but my desire to write about all these topics and their connetctions would give ee blog ADD and I’d end up starting 50 sub-blogs, and that wouldn’t help things either. So, I’ve decided to have a flexibly defined niche, and I think it’s working wellso far. Ultimately, it’s my perspective that’s my driving niche, I think, and that’s multi-faceted too: New Media, Gen Y, Woman.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment. I look forward to your response.

  3. Liz Strauss Says:

    Hope you don’t mind if I say something. . . .

    On the idea of being laser focused . . . I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation that was. Humans aren’t naturally laser focused on anything. We tend to think that others want us to act like they act — don’t they? After all, we think that folks who think like we do are incredibly smart. . . . It seems that a human audience would be more attracted to a less laser focusd slightly more human blog. Of course, I’ve never walked in a straight line in my life. 🙂

  4. Tiffany Says:

    Liz,
    Thanks for the comment. I agree. I think that’s one of the most powerful aspects of blogging. Being and acting and writing humanly (and perhaps a little less laser focused) helps us form relationships that interact with our ideas and spread them farther than we ever could alone.

    That said, being in the new-blog-attempting-to-grow-my-audience-ring along with Chuck, figuring out how to do this but remain relevant and unique is tough.

    Here’s what I find interesting about this, too. A lot of times, I find that readers will label you what they want you to be. I’ve seen many blogs asking their readers recently “what do you think I am?” Especially with the rise of so many niche rankings and lists, we want to clearly define our niche and attack it, own it. Which isn’t a bad thing, of course, but I think you have to learn to give yourself creative freedom and flexibility, too. I do, anyway.

  5. Liz Strauss Says:

    Hi Tiffany,
    Because I took over a fledgling blog that I never named (Successful Blog), I had a unique experience there — one that was quite helpful I think. You see I tried to fit the blog at first. It didn’t work. I became a bad facsimile of me.

    When I finally broke through was when I wrote “My Blogging Goal.” I thought I was just writing a story, but what I was really doing was making a commitment. You see, up until then I’d be standing with one foot in the water and one foot out. It was time to put both feet in.

    Pick what you love writing about and the folks like you who love that subject too will come to talk about it with you. What do you talk to your business friends about? What topics really get you jazzed and going? That’s the place to start. 🙂

    That’s where you’ll find yourself. 🙂

    Steve Farber says it this way, “Do what you love in service to those who love what you do.”

    I’ve never found a way to say it better. 🙂


  6. I’m surprised, (and dare I say, disappointed?) Chuck, that you wouldn’t want to participate in the blog action day, and aren’t using your creativity to see how it fits in!

    If you don’t care about the environment, I guess don’t do it, or better yet, write about that and how you hate that everyone else cares.

    Here’s just one idea to get you started:

    – Just give us a laptop and let us work within walking distance instead of making us drive (ala your commuter post)

    And Tiffany has ideas for you too I see… women are always right. Hasn’t your wife taught you that yet? 😉

  7. Chuck Says:

    Chuck against the environment and the world!

    Kidding of course. It’s not that I don’t want to participate. I think environmental issues are important and widely misunderstood. I studied environmental ethics as part of my philosophy degree.

    @Tiffany- Laser focused is probably an overstatement of what I strive for. I’ll just say “reliably on topic.”

    I’ve decided that the best way for me to grow initially is to promise something specific of interest to visitors and then continue to deliver along those lines. People choose to read a blend of blogs to round out their interests much like they do with TV shows and books. If I can be a piece of that equation, I fit into that person’s routine.

    If/when I have the time and have developed my brand (for lack of a better word) to the point where people are interested in my thoughts rather than my subject, I’ll branch out and do something broader. I’d often like to share my thoughts on marketing, religion, classical music, blogging, education, literature, technology and whatever else comes to mind, but I’m not sure there’s a demand for that from me quite yet, and I’m okay with waiting.

    That’s not directly responding to the action day comment, but I’m more interested in the broader conversation for a minute.

    @Liz– I’ve been poking around your blog lately, actually, and have enjoyed it. You make a great point about conversation. Many blogs are conversational and they get great response from their readers in the comments section.

    Some blogs, though, aren’t primarily about building a relationship with the author but is more about delivering content. Those concepts are somewhat inexorable, but there are degrees to which the personality and life of the author can be the focus.

    Problogger, Copybogger, and Seth Godin, not really about the authors as much as just delivering content. Scott Adams’s blog, on the other hand, very much about getting to know the author.

    I think Penelope Trunk, Little Red Suit, and Modite have strong elements of that personable, relational side, and I really like that.

    I think Employee Evolution, on the other hand, usually is more tightly focused on delivering content that aims to stand apart from the author.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think one way is better than the other. I think it’s mostly a matter of tone and a matter of choice. Modite and LRS and Penelope Trunk have more reader interaction and probably greater loyalty than blogs that are less personal in tone. You are baring your thoughts and experiences and framing universal points with your life.

    Anyway, blogs go the less personal route aren’t most closely akin to conversation, in my opinion. I go back to the TV, magazine, book analogy. People tune in to watch Lost for the content, not to get to know the writers of the show. By being focused, you engage readers in the same way that a show does, you predictably fill a role (albeit a small one) in that person’s life.

    @Rebecca– You’re probably right. I can find a way for it to fit in, and it’s not like I’m so full of ideas that I can’t afford to take a slight adventure into a topic I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.

    I’m often scratching my head for subject matter, so why not? This has been a good conversation though, and for me, it applies to much more than just the action day.

    An individual women is prone to being wrong. Three women speaking in unison, however, have a certain authority. I’m a crowd pleaser, anyway. : )

    By the way, this is the longest comment that I or any other human being has ever left anywhere. Tiffany, feel free to delete it from the face of the planet in the interest of preserving bandwidth if needed.


  8. Ha! Chuck, if this were the longest comment I’d ever made it through, I just might consider your plea – were it not relevant, insightful and adding to the conversation. I’m glad you put so much thought into it. Maybe that’s what this blog is about.

    Thinking.

    Anyway, I digress, as I often do, but I have to say, I certainly see where you’re coming from. But maybe it’s not so much one or the other. It’s more of a continuum that you can slide around on. Who knows. . . but I’m glad we’re talking about it!


  9. Hi Tiffany,

    I love to watch and participate in the power of the Internet. Even though “The Environment” as most people think of it as an issue might be off topic for my blogs, I do think that the Environment includes all of us and everything. It’s good to have a reason to stretch, to find a way to include the world in our blogs.

    Make it a Friendly Day!


  10. […] talking about it, too. Here’s why: I’m inspired by the power of action. When people talk about green initiatives, they always say things like “a little bit helps.” […]

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