Yes, I do have editorial/social media/SEO/SEM/etc. skills and apply them at work every day — where I am paid to be super anal about these things. On The Lair, I exist purely for my own enjoyment. Some people have asked me why I don’t write more about technology, social media, developments in publishing/film/journalism, etc. Here’s my answer:
I have seen how media giants have compromised the voices of their editorial talent for the sake of goosing traffic numbers. I have seen how that has turned awesome brands into SEO-baiting factories that suck balls. Companies (made of people) are scared (for many understandable reasons) to take risks and have a unique voice. But not everyone feels this way. A recent example is with TechCrunch. Their founder has called on TechCrunch’s owner AOL to either give back its “editorial independence” or sell it to its original shareholders. Even some TechCrunch employees are threatening to quit if they don’t get to keep their editorial independence. They must have a lot of dough in savings to back up this threat, but I still give them props.
Are they being idealistic? Yes. Possibly unrealistic? Maybe. But the point is that they care enough to save their brand and to preserve their loyal audience — who is integral to their continued growth and success. They care more about that than kissing AOL’s pimp hand and cowering to their cray cray mandates that indicate they don’t give a shit about what humans actually need to thrive — like sleep, human interaction and the chance to use their own brains to come up with original ideas.
As the publishing industry continues to take painful hits and layoffs abound, newsrooms all over the country are scrambling to keep traffic numbers high and advertisers happy by any means necessary. Unfortunately this means that they often force their staff to write about stupid bullshit that none of their core audience truly cares about, just to get some trending topics love from Google. That is sad, because ignoring your core audience is a huge mistake. Not KNOWING your core audience is a huge mistake. I know mine — my mother. She loves EVERYTHING I write about so I’m good. However, if I suddenly started writing about how much mothers suck just because that was the #1 search result for two hours, she might not come by my site as much. I don’t bite the hand that feeds my inspiration.
SEO and a bunch of other techie strategies tells me what I SHOULD write to bring you here everyday, but as the little thug in my head says, “fawk alladat.” I could care less if anyone beyond my mother and close circle of friends drops by all the time. The best thing about blogging for me is the random connections that happen when I write about something I’m passionate about. It’s the only reason I blog for myself. Sometimes complete strangers from around the world send me very sweet messages about topics they find equally fascinating and it makes it all worth it. I think of this space as an incubator for my ideas so I’m not focused on blogging about one specific topic all the time.
Anyway, being a famous blogger is not my goal — although that’s a fine one to have (it’s just not mine).
I don’t care about monetizing this blog — I have a career in media and would rather spend my free time doing other things.
I don’t care about showing up on any lists — although I definitely support others who do.
I don’t care about The Lair being quoted anywhere legit — although I have been.
I relish the fact that I worked my ass off from 2001 – present and can afford the luxury of paying for hosting the The Lair purely to share my viewpoints with those who will have me. The Lair is for fun — pure and simple.
That being said, I think that kiddos of all ages who read my blog and are interested in a media career of any sort should definitely educate themselves on things like networking, trending topics, blogging best-practices and building a brand. Listen to granny and do as I SAY, not as I do (this rambling post offering advice to journalism students from 2009 is still very relevant)! Heheh.
I’ve been blogging since before blogging was called blogging and have been using WordPress as my CMS since 2006. I’m an Internet gangsta and have seen some thangs. One day I may decide to take The Lair in a different direction where I actually commit to regular features and content partnerships. But until that day comes, I will continue to post about what I want to, as often or as little as I want to. And the world will continue to turn.
I hope you enjoy yourself here as well when you stop by for (on average) 30 seconds – 2 minutes. I appreciate it. I do take requests at times to write about different topics, so feel free to message me at daniela AT dcapmedia DOT com if the mood strikes you.
Disclosure: It’s not all lollipops and glitter bombs on The Lair. I do think about how I tag my posts to help like-minded folks find me and sometimes share my blog links on Twitter and Facebook, but that’s the most I’m willing to do because my pleasure is in the writing, not the promoting.