A New Look and Identity for Ramsayings

As my per­son­al blog­ging iden­ti­ty cri­sis con­tin­ues to evolve, I’m find­ing more than ever that pur­su­ing a niche is the only way to be tru­ly suc­cess­ful with blog­ging. It’s been near­ly 10 years since I launched the first ver­sion of Black­mail Is My Life on Blog­ger and I can hon­est­ly say that being a gen­er­al­ist who tries to incor­po­rate aspects of his per­son­al life is a fool’s errand, that is, unless you can ded­i­cate your heart and soul to it.

You know what’s com­ing next.

Yep, a new look and iden­ti­ty for Ram­say­ings! Yes, I’m work­ing with my Inter­net super­friend Len Dam­i­co on installing a new theme that I hap­pened across on Twit­ter this week­end (you should total­ly hire Len for what­ev­er you need that involves, you know, the web) and I’m going to focus on the social web here going for­ward. I know it’ll be a total snooze­fest for friends and fam­i­ly, but, you know, thought lead­er­ship is a thing that I prob­a­bly should invest some time in as I con­tin­ue to grow as a com­mu­ni­ca­tor on the social web.

The new theme? You know I get bored and it’s been almost two years since I installed the cur­rent theme. As much as I loved adding things like the Fol­low Suite with Roz’s help, it just does­n’t make much sense to have any­thing to speak of in the right rail. So I’ll try the new one for a while and see how it goes. Could be a real­ly cool way for me to get more moti­vat­ed to blog about the sort of work I do and my thoughts about how we’ll talk about brands in the future. Look­ing for­ward to think­ing about it more here.

Readers Crave Destinations

Last Decem­ber I offered my two cents on what’s hap­pen­ing with blog­ging in response to Jere­mi­ah Owyang’s provoca­tive post that pro­nounced the gold­en era of tech blog­ging dead. Now, I’m not sure how peo­ple feel about that a few months on, but some­thing that’s stuck with me is how we gath­er infor­ma­tion online today. Sure, we’re hav­ing lots of “con­ver­sa­tions,” but read­ers still crave destinations.

Good writ­ers know that in order to get any­one to look at any­thing online, you need a hook. When we share links on Twit­ter and Face­book, they’re only inter­est­ing if you can tease peo­ple to click into the sto­ry. We’re all writ­ing head­lines for every­thing we share with the online com­mu­ni­ty. To me that means we still need blogs, websites…anywhere you can put lots of words and ideas next to each other.

We like info snack­ing, but we’re real­ly picky eaters. Giv­en the amount of infor­ma­tion that’s out there it’s only fair that read­ers only sam­ple what they like at the con­tent buf­fet. But make no mis­take, cura­tion takes more than the almighty “con­ver­sa­tion.” So, writ­ers, don’t despair: read­ers still crave the yum­my con­tent that’s always made the web great.

Remember Your Passions

Some­one con­tact­ed me recent­ly to do a sto­ry about Bring Your A’s Game, my quest to bring the Oak­land Ath­let­ics back to Philadel­phia, and it real­ly sparked my imag­i­na­tion about the cam­paign again. Last sum­mer was great: the A’s came back to town for inter­league; we had fun at Mem­phis Tap­room’s beer gar­den, and we even ral­lied for a Sat­ur­day night game at the ball­park. I had a great time meet­ing peo­ple, young and old, and talk­ing to them about the A’s and base­ball and Philadelphia.

Then things stalled a bit. What do you do next? Sure, these things are long, drawn out affairs, so how do you get peo­ple to pay atten­tion to your sto­ry? The answer, at least for me, is to remem­ber the pas­sion that drove me to it in the first place. I want to con­nect Philadel­phi­a’s rich base­ball his­to­ry to some­thing in the present. I want to get peo­ple excit­ed about a crosstown rival­ry that has­n’t exist­ed in near­ly 60 years. It’s not easy.

What awoke in me as I talked about what moti­vat­ed me to start Bring Your A’s Game was the fun of it. Most­ly when I talk about it, I expect­ed peo­ple to have the kind of reac­tion Gargano did when I talked to him in the sum­mer of ’10, which is to say, com­i­cal­ly neg­a­tive. I’m often stunned when peo­ple agree that Philadel­phia not only could sup­port two ball­clubs, but that it should. Maybe they don’t all like the Bring Your A’s Game page, but it’s a good feel­ing to not be laughed out of the court of pub­lic opin­ion. So I want to do more of it.

I men­tioned last week on the long neglect­ed Bring Your A’s Game blog and now I’m seri­ous. I’d love to find new ways to con­nect to new audi­ences, espe­cial­ly those that aren’t base­ball mad. I want to wage this con­ver­sa­tion with folks who don’t know any­thing about base­ball, but who like provoca­tive, dis­rup­tive ideas. If you know of such a forum, let me know and I’ll pre­pare accordingly.

The only way to tru­ly real­ize your pas­sions is to engage oth­ers who don’t share them and invite them to join you. It’s invig­o­rat­ing and a vital way to keep the cre­ative juices flow­ing. Try it. You’ll be glad you did.

How’s 2012 Treating You?

How’s 2012 treat­ing you so far? Things have been insane­ly busy here. I’ve been hack­ing my job like a boss so far and the out­come is just what I expect­ed: a heap­ing pile of excit­ing, engag­ing work on my plate. Feel real­ly lucky to be doing what I’m doing where I’m doing it. Can’t share too much, but I think many of you out there will be sur­prised by some of the things cook­ing at my day job.

Can’t stress enough to “cre­atives” that work is only as fun as you make it. Do good work and you’ll impress some­one. Phon­ing it in not only makes you mis­er­able, it also means you have noth­ing to show for your misery.

But enough about work. Con­tin­ue read­ing “How’s 2012 Treat­ing You?”