I scan a lot of blog posts as I work to monitor the API space. I subscribe to well over 1500 blogs at last count and read the titles of thousands of posts, and the full content for hundreds of posts each week. I see it all. Most of what I see is just content. Those 250, 500, or 750 word posts that are so easy to craft, with an unlimited number of domains willing to let you vomit up for free, in exchange for making a name, or sometimes willing to pay you $10, $15, or $25–it is easy, they are just words!
I can tell that most of it is written to meet some perceived notion of the minimum viable content needed to play in some SEO game. Most of it written by someone who barely cares about the products and services they are paid to write about. I sift through endless amounts of this stuff looking for the stories. In 2016, the return on this investment is worth it. I love it when I do find a story written by someone who cares about a product, a service, the technology behind and the customers that they are in service of.
When I find these people telling stories in the space, I tend to follow them around online. The saddest thing I witness on a regular basis is when these folks go work for the enterprise, where storytelling isn’t encouraged. If I catch folks telling stories I tend to follow them around and harass and encourage them to keep telling stories, no matter what environment they find themselves working in. Who knows, it might encourage them to keep telling stories, even if it is not on a regular basis.
I am always super confused when folks tell me that stories do not matter and that nobody pays attention to my stories. Everything is about stories. The stories startups tell. The stories VCs tell. The stories we tell to each other. The problem is that we all seem to grow up and stop believing, and subscribe to the notion that we should be blogging and generating content, and forget how to all tell the stories that matter, the stories that people will listen to, remember, and tell to others.