Tribes by Seth Godin: Writers Can Be Leaders

Tribes by Seth GodinYou should read Seth Godin’s new book Tribes. It’s a book about leadership, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a book about the power of the written word and how that can make an impact on the masses.

In Tribes, Godin’s basic point is that you can find tribes of people everywhere, congregating around compelling ideas and causes. What is missing in many of these tribes, however, is a leader.

He argues that now is the best time for someone who has never led before to step into the limelight and exercise influence. Never has it been easier to motivate others and initiate new movements as it is now, with the web serving as a convenient channel for distribution and communication.

It’s a great time to become a leader. Read the rest of this entry »

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Writing Compelling Content for the Internet

I just read this interesting lens on Squidoo about using web content to get more web traffic to your site. If you’re not familiar with Squidoo, it’s an organization started by Seth Godin, and it’s like a more economically-based Wikipedia. A “lens” on Squidoo is just a webpage about a specific topic.

In the aforementioned lens, the author makes a powerful statement: “EVERYTHING on the Internet is CONTENT.”

I love that thought: everything you create or encounter on the web is content-based. So, to say that “content is king” or any other cliche you hear marketers rattle off (I myself am guilty of such phrases) is pure malarky. It’s all content. What the author means is that if you are going to try to market or something — if you’re going to try to communicate a message that you want others to essentially “buy” — then you have to come to recognition that using information to do it is inevitable.

Fascinating thought for any of us who are interested not just in sales or marketing, but in the prospect of bringing home a message that we hope makes an impact or impression on a person in some way. It’s all content — what I say on my blog, facebook, twitter, email, etc. It’s all information, and it’s all saying something.

The question is: Am I taking the time to consider what kind of content I put out there? Are you?


Tools for Teaching Yourself

When I was a junior in college, my roommate Andrew was a senior and preparing to graduate. Shortly before he finished school, I asked him, “Are you going to miss it? Learning, I mean.” He responded that he would not, because he intended to continue learning long after receiving his Bachelor’s degree.

“I’m actually looking forward to becoming a self-learner,” he said. He told me about how his dad, a successful realtor, had been studying a different American president each year for the past several years, reading biographies and all that he could about these influential men of history. He explained how that had inspired him to continue studying and learning long after receiving his diploma. Moreover, he shared how excited he was about finally studying what he wanted to study with the discipline that college had taught him to use.

To this day, I’ve heeded those words and disciplined myself in learning something new as often as I can. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot and studying, in particular, some things I never spent much time with in college — namely, marketing and innovative business techniques. It’s fun and relevant to my job, so it helps keep me on my toes.

For all of you who have also made this same commitment to “lifelong learning,” congratulations. I hope that the journey is exciting and challenging. Here are a few business and general learning resources that I’d recommend (feel free to add your own in the comments section):

The Personal MBA
An creative alternative to going back to business school

Seth Godin’s Blog
Thoughts on business, marketing, and creating change

CopyBlogger
Tips for success as an online copywriter

Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Free spiritual resources for Christians

37 Signals Blog
A blog about technology and innovative business

ManyBooks.Net
Site with thousands of free audio books

Some things you can do in your free time, if you’re feeling bored or restless, are:

Write a Manifesto
ChangeThis is a site where you submit ideas for a manifesto and if people vote for it, it gets published.

Start a social network
Ning is a site where you can create your own social network for free.

Launch a blog
A blog is a website where you publish your own content.

Create a lens
A lens is webpage about a specific topic.


If You Could Do Anything…

They say that the answer to the question “If you could do anything, what would you do?” tells you what you are meant to do. It says something about where your priorities would be if you didn’t have to worry about paying the bills and handling other responsibilities.

So, what would you do, if you could do anything?

I think that I’d just write all the time.