The “things you don’t know about me” blog format: ego or engagement?
I recently came across the suggestion to write a blog post titled “20 things you didn’t know about me”, and I had a very mixed reaction.
- I love bulleted or numbered lists, so that’s attractive
- I know the subject matter really well ☺; another plus
- It would probably go quickly: big plus
- This approach is supposed to be very effective at creating engagement: BIG plus
- It seems the epitome of the narcissistic, I’m-so-fascinating-people-will-want-to-know-any-sort-of-drivel-about-me mentality so prevalent today (can you say “Kim Kardashian”?); HUGE turn-off
Hmmm….Time to do some research on Google.
I managed to NOT get sucked down that particular rabbit hole, for which I was grateful. I was less grateful for the fact that I got such mixed results: For the top six organic search results, number of comments – which is a pretty darn good indicator of engagement – ranged from 1 to 92. Another interesting thing I noticed was that the most recent of those six top results was written nearly two years ago.
Basically, it turns out I have more questions now than when I started. Maybe you can provide some insight for me.
- Have you tried this blogging approach and, if so, would you do it again?
- Why or why not?
- Do you feel it’s a genuine way to build relationship with your readers, or is it more an excuse to exercise your ego?
- How often do you read such lists yourself?
- Does your interest depend on how much you know about the blogger already? In other words, are you more drawn to “know about” people you’ve just encountered online or those you’ve been following for a while?
And the last question: Are you going to read my list? I hope so; otherwise, it’s going to feel like a classic case of “I gave a party and nobody came”…
- I couldn’t decide on a major for college, so I double-majored in French and Biology.
- I was 30 years old before I felt I’d grown into my full name and was ready to discard my childhood nickname of “Kathy”.
- I love attending high-energy conferences, but I absolutely insist on a private hotel room so I can take a break from people at night.
- I have never watched an episode of any reality TV show. Ever.
- That’s been easy to do, since I got rid of my TV in approximately 2005.
- Fortunately, my sister lets me hang at her house to indulge my current guilty entertainment pleasure: the TV show Lucifer.
- I’m the director of my church choir, even though I have no formal training for it. (Exciting, yes, but not in a particularly good sense.)
- I’ve been camping twice in my life. I figure that’s enough for anybody.
- When I was in fifth grade, my mom allowed me to play hooky the day after we got a new puppy.
- I believe mushrooms should be outlawed. Anything that grows on rotting logs has no place in a kitchen.
- While I was on vacation in France, my car broke down and the owner/chef of the B&B we were staying at came out to fix it.
- When I was little, I once spent 45 minutes washing out one of my big sister’s nylons because I wanted to make sure it was really clean. (Since I was supposed to be in bed at the time, Mom was not happy with my sister for having conned me into doing her job. Big sister was not happy with me for being so slow.)
- Chocolate candy is easier for me to walk away from than chocolate cake.
- The most confusing etiquette situation I ever faced involved steamed asparagus served directly on a linen napkin, accompanied by a gravy tureen of Hollandaise sauce. I still have no idea what’s considered the proper way to eat something like that. (I ended up cutting the asparagus and dunking it. Awkward.)
- Two of my dogs flunked out of basic obedience training.
- When I was in college, I was not permitted to donate blood because I didn’t weigh enough. (Fortunately for the local blood supply, this is no longer an issue.)
- The only broken bone I’ve ever had was the result of being pulled off my feet when my two Goldens decided they really needed to go say “hi” to that squirrel.
- I love hand drums and other percussion instruments, and own a total of five.
- I can switch-hit between most soprano parts and alto. If I don’t think about it, I can hit an F above high C without sounding like someone’s squeezing my throat (or any other body part).
- I still don’t know how to pop a clutch, but I look forward to learning sometime.
- Back in fifth grade, I took part in a city-wide song-and-dance show. I got to perform the national dance of the Phillipines, the tinikling. (No ankles were crushed in the performance of this dance.)
- I’ve drunk coconut milk right from the coconut just minutes after watching someone harvest it. Really cool experience; icky flavor.
- I’d had my first car – a manual transmission – only a month or so when I got stuck at a red light at the top of a hill that felt like Mount Everest. Because I had such visions of rolling down backwards if I couldn’t get into first gear quickly enough, I set the parking break, put the car in first, then released the brake and gunned the engine when the light turned. Ungraceful but effective.
- When I was about 7 years old, I wasn’t paying attention while getting into my jammies, and I stuck both my legs in one pajama leg. I started to correct the mistake, then realized I could work a good con on my mother. I reinserted the second leg into the jammie, then pitifully called out to Mom for help. It worked on her, but not my big sister (yes, the same one who asked me to wash her nylons).
- Soon after moving to Iowa, I got pulled over by a cop for having outdated tags. (I just overlooked renewing them in the press of getting settled in a new town.) Apparently I and my older sisters looked like dangerous types, because a second patrol car pulled in behind the first. Seriously? You need back-up for three mid-life women, two of whom are laughing hysterically at the third?
Bonus “don’t know”: The most outrageous thing I’ve ever done in my life is something I haven’t shared with another person. (It was not illegal, by the way, just crazy.)
Since I really am curious about others’ opinions regarding this approach to blogging, I’d appreciate your input on some of the questions I asked earlier. And to thank you for satisfying my curiosity, I’ll send you a no-charge version of a handout I use in my How to be Powerful, Not Pushy workshop: a collection of wimpy language and its more powerful counterpart (what I call “victim and victor” language). If you’re curious about how much your language choices support you – or not – you’ll get some powerful insights from it.
(And if you’re curious where I found the picture of the ego banner, Rhonda Liberman posted it in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)This entry was posted in effectiveness and tagged authenticity. Bookmark the permalink.