Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I doubt that there's anyone left reading this blog, but I at last have something new to report: I'm leaving another corporate blogging position come the end of the month.
Hypothetical you may have wondered why I never mentioned the name of the site I began working for in late August. Not that it was any big secret. I was simply waiting for the blog to go live. It never did.
I was hired with the promise that the site would go live Real Soon Now, in no more than a month. Until it did, I would do site content and design, editing, and marketing writing. I admit that I volunteered to do these other non-blogging tasks on a temporary basis, so as to make myself more of an attractive candidate. Anyhow, I'm good at writing, I know a bit about new-marketing theory even if I know very little about old-style marketing, and I'm a fairly cool guy.
In addition to the marketing writing, I was also able to offer my unique views as to the product, development, direction, GUI, and other things, also from the perspective of a hip Internet user. I like to think that they were of some use.
It turns out that I don't mind writing one or two marketing things here or there, and I can even do some of them well. But I hate doing it for a long time. And the more I do, the more I hate it. Eventually, my soul begins to rebel.
August turned into September, September turned into October, and then November, December, and now it's January. And guess what? The site's still not up. It's going up in "a few weeks". Some part of it might, actually, in some very small crippled pre-beta/pre-alpha state. But I don't care anymore.
Every two weeks I was promised: launching in two or three weeks. Eventually, I started to squirm.
My boss is a nice guy; he hasn't treated me badly, and in fact he says that he likes me. But he's a marketer. I don't know if it's that a marketer is blind to the realities of what a company, a product, and a web site can do, or that a marketer is a consummate optimist or a liar at heart, or some combination of all of these. But I gradually began to realize that when we were going to launch our site had a lot less to do with what he wanted to be true than what would actually be true.
His grasp of the product's current capabilities was the same. It's entirely possible that our product is going to one day do everything that I was made to understand that it already did on the day I joined. But every two or three weeks of working at the company, as I wrote this or that glowing and wondrous marketing copy about what our product does or is nearly about to do, I discovered entire aspects of what I thought that our product does was simply not true. In some cases we were still working on it. In other cases, it was never going to do that, and never will.
And endlessly I heard my boss tell me how valuable I am and that I should be patient, until I began to realize that this was just more marketing speak. I am not valuable to this company; I have made many valuable contributions, but I, in essence, am the wrong person for the job. They need a marketing writer, not a professional blogger. That I'm being paid around half of the salary that I should be for my experience and skills has a lot to do with this hypothetical "value".
Maybe this company will hit something big the moment I walk out the door. Then I'll feel foolish and stupid. Maybe they'll want to rehire me to do what I was originally meant to do in the first place, which is write blog posts and network.
But as of now, I've had enough. I need to clear my head and reassess what it is I want to do as a professional blogger. And I've got other opportunities to explore in the meantime. Luckily, I have a bit of a cushion to explore this for a few months.
In the meantime, I have a plan for a new site on board games. It needs some web design skills and monetary investment. Anyone want to talk to me about it?
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I was in Canada and the US for three weeks. While in Canada (and very briefly while in the US, I was able to continue working. That's good news and bad news. I took over my wife's home computer for 10 hours a day and didn't get to go out much.
Add to that another hour or two for my own blogging other activity. Ugh.
We still haven't launched the blog on the new company, so I'm still working at correcting and editing the English in presentations and emails, and building the website and materials. Falling by the wayside are tasks that I should also really be doing, such as networking with our potential clients and preparing blog posts, but I don't seem to have the time.
I'm hoping that once the site is lunched an some brief busy period is over, I can concentrate on what I do best. But maybe I'm fooling myself. Maybe the busy period, the editing and marketing materials and so on will never really end. I think I'm good at it, but it's not blogging, and hence not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.
I just have to wait and see.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This blog is not my main blog.
I don't do anything special to "bring in traffic". It has no top ten lists (ok, it will have no more top ten lists), no tweaked headlines, no special keywords, no SEO, no marketing, no affiliate links, and no cross-posting.
It updates when I feel like, which is roughly once a week right now. I love readers and comments, but I don't care about "growing" this blog, hooking search engines, or massaging links. No special ad placement or laser like blog focus.
In short, it has nothing that all the professional blogging pimps tell you to have and does nothing they tell you to do.
It has only one thing: the raw unadulterated truth about corporate blogging from the first-hand experiences of a professional corporate blogger.
I'm still negotiating the difference between blogging and marketing with my boss, as in how I should be spending my time: writing marketing letters vs creating content for the site.
I think this is primarily because the site is still not live, so I'm not actually creating blog posts, only the site content. Once I begin daily blogging, hopefully I will have a groove. Seems like it's been a long time coming, and there's still a few weeks to go.
Monday, November 5, 2007
One of the
drawbacks benefits of working from home as a corporate blogger, is that you can work anywhere. Which means while I'm visiting my wife in Canada, I'm working from home.
I don't get out too much, however, which kind of sucks.
What I'm up to: the site still has a way to go, so right now I'm still writing web content to create a "site", which means a collection of interesting pages beyond simply information about our services. I examined our service, searched the Internet, and decided that there wasn't a strong site devoted to a particular niche overlapping our service.
I could have chosen several niches, depending on how I looked at the service. Most of these were already covered in detail, so I chose the one that wasn't.
I'm also still editing English emails, marketing material, and copy for my marketer/boss, but thankfully less than before. I need the time to devote to creating a site.
And I'm still networking, although I've been neglecting that a bit with all the writing. I have to remember to balance the two.
Being at home is rather lonely sometimes. Although I technically don't need a laptop, I think I may have to get one just so I can go out and work in a cafe.