Skip to content

Blog to people, not at people

January 2, 2015

Author and business consultant, Euan Semple (@euan), shared a wonderful reminder for bloggers — that we write to people, as opposed to at people.

Good writing is more like letter writing. It is written to you not at you. It draws you closer, is offered to you deferentially, like two people who know and trust each other having a conversation, taking turns, listening as much as talking. It is our natural way of writing.

Reading much of the “content” on the Internet, I can’t help but feel I am being shouted at. “Look at this. I am trying to reach you.” Perhaps that’s the legacy of marketing and professional communications.

As Euan describes it, my role is then passive, I’m reduced to a consumer.

I was taught to blog as if it were a conversation. To really listen by following other bloggers and responding in a conversational tone to what they had said. Or tacitly listening by imagining what someone might be asking or wondering. My blogged response would be in an effort to help them – again done in conversational tone.

At times I have thought of blogging as letter writing. The kind we did by hand from college forty years ago. At other times, I have thought of blogging as being the late night DJ talking to a radio audience of one.

Blogging is about getting to know each other. Developing trust. Developing relationships. Developing reputations.

This requires a conversation. Writing to people, not at people.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Gareth Williams

Posted in: