It can be a little unnerving at times when your parents crash your party.
Here I have this nice little non-blog website, where I share my thoughts with a couple dozen of you out there, and most of the time I completely blank on the fact that my folks are reading this. The rational side of my brain sees the site statistics, and knows there’s a pretty decent probability they’re the only ones popping in from Northport, Alabama. I know they’re there, but these conversations have never crossed over into my real conversations with them. Until the other night.
I can’t recall the exact words, but my father essentially told me he was proud of me and what I had become. He appreciated seeing my insights, and my willingness to share them. The word my mother used floored me: timeless. We tend to forget about the importance of that quality, especially on a vehicle as ephemeral as a website (or ‘blog,’ if you’d prefer.)
From Here to Eternity
Look at the content of the sites where you spend your time, and you’ll probably find that on the axis of time they line up on the edges. Either the information is timely, or timeless. The content has an intense ‘news’ quality, or it is completely divorced from the moment. If you have a staff of many, you can generate the words and pictures to fill the moments, and keep a timely site active and alive. If you’re a single person with a keyboard and a voice, then your best bet is writing things for which the ‘truth value’ is permanent.
Look at Seth Godin. (Not like he needs the rub from me.) He’s ranked by many as having the most linked-to, most influential site for marketing genius. He practices what he preaches, but look at how much of his subject matter is timeless. You could spend hours scrolling through and finding value, because even when Seth writes about the timely, he analyzes them the prism of the timeless. As I write this, the third post from the top of his blog is a re-post from three years ago. Other “newsy” blogs have posts that lose relevance in as little as three hours.
I can’t say that I set out to be “timeless” on Occam’s RazR, but if I have been then that is a good thing. It’s certainly a decent conscious target to have in mind.
Chasing Their Tales
Which brings me to a question posed by Kent State Public Relations professor Bill Sledzik: “Is it just me, or have PR blogs lost their wind?” Bill seems to think the conversation about conversation is slowing. It might be because those at the top of the game have already said it all, might be because they are deliriously busy, might be because they are now amused with the newer voice-and-video social media shiny objects. It could be all of the above, or a smörgåsbord.
It might just be that everyone is out there chasing butterflies with a net, instead of using sugarcubes and lights to draw them in. Talk about the universal, and you’re likely to find the timeless threads that bind us all. You’ll never get rich selling timeshares in sand-castles.
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, writing, communication[/tags]