Has the window of opportunity closed?
I have a good friend, a published author, who has steadfastly resisted my invitations to take up blogging. This has been going on for several years.
Nothing I said or did seemed to register with him. He was always interested in my blog and was even encouraging about the quality of essays I wrote, but it was the politely detached interest one might show in a collection of airline barf bags. Blogging might be a fine pastime, but it was not something he took seriously as a tool for developing a customer base.
Something has changed his opinion, probably the fact that you can’t read a paper or watch TV without hearing about bloggers and blogging. Now he is wrestling with the fact that he may have missed a window of opportunity.
In a recent conversation, he voiced his concern that it might be too late now to become a blogger. He felt it was easier to get noticed two years ago when there were so few bloggers. He was worried that it might be far more difficult to build a reputation now that there is so much competition from bloggers who have established huge followings.
I tried to reassure him that in the blogosphere we can all be famous for at least 15 people. I didn’t want to grapple with explaining the Long Tail phenomena, or get into a discussion that might confuse him further.
The simplest answer to this question is: The blogosphere is an infinite sum game.
The power and the leverage gained by each blogger increases as he or she exchanges communication with others. There is no limitation on a blogger’s ability to reach an audience except the unwillingness to accept and originate communication.
My personal philosophy that your audience size is a function of your willingness and ability to communicate things that are important to you. I see new bloggers every week that have the ability to connect with an audience. On the other hand, I see highly touted personalities start a well-publicized blog and it is immediately apparent they don’t have a clue about communicating. Their posts read like press releases. Their blogs close down after a few months.
I think a weblog is the ultimate power tool. Here is an excerpt from my December 2003 post:
Through a weblog, a single individual can be connected to and can affect an almost unlimited number of other individuals. … From a practical standpoint, your audience is limited only by the power of your intellect. If you use it, and build with it, they will come.
If you understand communication in all of its aspects, you can reach any audience you choose, given enough time.
If you understand branding, you can hold your audience and make it grow.
If you understand art, you will know how aesthetics can be used as the carrier wave for creating an emotional response and conveying information.
If you understand emotional tone levels and how they affect the receipt and comprehension of information, you will be able to communicate truth at a level which can be understood and accepted by your chosen audience.
I am convinced that the blogosphere still offers infinite possibilities. In almost two years of blogging, I have not seen anything to convince me otherwise. I feel we have barely scratched the surface.
We are building a free-form network that is changing the way the world exchanges information.
What do you think? Are all of the good spots taken?
Is it too late to become a successful blogger?