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Pure Blogging and the Experience We Give Our Readers

Recently, I read a blog post by Jack Steiner entitled Do People Really See You? It’s an insightful read about being there when it’s important to be, and what it means to follow through on your promised actions.

The post, like many others of Jack’s, really resonated with me, and I left a comment, which I’d like to share below.

Hey there Jack,

I remember when I was eight years old, and asking my schoolteacher a lot of questions. Like, a LOT. He said to me, “Boy, don’t you know children should be seen and not heard?”

I retorted, “Well, how will we learn?”

He answered, “By remaining quiet and not asking questions. Now, silence!”

He sent a note home with me to advise my parents I was trouble. My grandfather was looking after me for a few days, as my folks were on a small vacation (yes, kids weren’t allowed, fun…).

My grandfather was furious. But not at me.

Next day, he came to my school and collared the teacher in front of the whole class. He pointed at us kids, sat on our chairs, and told the teacher, very calmly,

“See these children? THEY are YOUR teacher. You are old, and set in your ways. They are the future, and full of wisdom we need to allow. Don’t dare tell any of these children to never ask questions again. I pay your wages. Earn them, or you will lose them.”

I’ve never forgotten that. I think he’d like your take on who really sees us and which ones we should care about.

Thanks for the thoughtful read, mate, and making me recall a major learning point in my life.

The reason I wanted to share the comment was to show you what content should do when it’s at its purest form – the kind of pure blogging I’ve been talking about for the last few weeks and months.

Think about it for a moment:

  • When was the last time you read a blog post that carried you to a distant but treasured memory?
  • When was the last time you wrote a blog post that inspired that action?

We talk a lot about social proof being a sign of a successful blog – shares that make our work seem popular, followers that make us feel popular, subscribers that make us feel popular.

And while they’re all metrics that can help deliver the goals we want to achieve, the real gold of this thing called blogging is the experience we give our readers.

At least, it should be.

Blogging – pure blogging – should be about opening up and inviting others in to share an experience.

So let’s make a promise to each other. Let’s concentrate on finding the content that moves us,and share/subscribe to that.

But it needs help to find the audience it deserves.

Let’s get to work.

This post originally appeared here, but seemed a good introduction to the Why and What of this blog. 

By Danny Brown

Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Purveyor of not settling for the status quo. Aspiring to be many things. Never says no to a good single malt.

Comments (14)
  1. Corinne Rodrigues August 14, 2015 at 11:37 am

    You’ve always been a trailblazer, Danny and I love this initiative of yours.

    We’re all getting a little tired of the must-haves and must-dos of blogging! Every once in a while there’s an app we must have to grow our audience. The most recent example is Periscope! Will it ever end? Not until we make the kind of choices that you are making and leading us to.

    Thank you!

    • Danny Brown August 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Hey there miss,

      Thank you! And I know what you mean – every time something happens in the world, or a new product comes out, you can almost hear the fingers typing away in order to be the first to publish, “5O Ways X Cab Teach You to Be a Better Y”. Or something. 😉

      Here’s to meaningful content and conversations – cheers!

  2. todd August 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    My favorite part of the blog?
    “This post originally appeared here.”

    • Danny Brown August 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Given my focus on pure blogging over the last few months, it seemed a good cross post to introduce this blog. Don’t worry, it’ll be the only “previously published” post on here.

  3. mark longbottom August 14, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Never really entered the blogging world mainly for those reasons that have created this to happen naturally, always told people my stories for nothing other than a shared experience is something we can learn from on both sides.

    Long day but good to see something happen naturally and be supported naturally too as there is no up sell or buy in just people being supportive

    • Danny Brown August 14, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      Agreed, mate, and it’s definitely something I’ve seen more of in the last few months. Both in the comments on my own blog, and in posts and comments elsewhere on blogs by the likes of Jack Steiner, Nancy Davis, Josh Wilner, and Mickey Gomez, to name a few.

      Personally I can’t wait to see the results of this push back, not just here on Pure Blogging, but also beyond, as more bloggers take up the pure blogging “call”.

  4. Rick Jantz August 14, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Hi, Danny. As usual, a great post. I love this idea. I’m working on another novel but want to have a website that does what you are describing here.

    I might use my current site but it’s my writers site and hasn’t inspired me for a while. What are your thoughts on a website using our name vs. a named site giving the reader some idea of what the site is about…like Pure Blogging.

    I have a few ideas and want to focus on something like this.

    • Danny Brown August 15, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Hi mate,

      Great question. For me, I’m not too locked into a name having to be the focus as much as what the content is meant to do. So, can your novel site take the perspective of one of the secondary characters, that’s observing the main story as it happens?

      If so, can this offer a look into the novel, while not being the novel itself? Because I know that kind of approach would pull me in as a reader, wanting to know more about the things the site couldn’t tell me.

  5. Mark-John Clifford August 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Danny,

    I know you already know my feelings about this topic and I am raring to go. After my little fling with Medium for the past four weeks I have sworn off cheating on what really needs to happen.

    What I found on Medium is the sell out of the century. I thought their platform was different and taking on the pure blogging experience even for publications. I was fooled.

    They are just doing what every other business blog is doing. They are letting blogger go on their platform and selling their services to everyone on Medium. Amazing!

    So let’s get this revolution going and make the world rock with pure blogging.

    Thanks for firing the first shot!

    • Danny Brown August 15, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Hi mate, I hear you – I was on Medium in the early days, and my last two blog designs have taken inspiration from many of Medium’s features. But the changes they’ve made recently has made it feel more like a content mill than a publishing platform.

      There are still some really good authors on there, and some great collections, but it’s getting harder to find them. Hopefully Pure Blogging can fill a little bit of a gap in that area.

  6. Krithika Rangaraan August 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Hey Danny

    I wish I could have met your granddad – I would give him the cushiest hug on the planet! 😉

    My 13 year old nephew teaches me more about life, love and fairness than any textbook, any teacher and any blog post!

    I remember one particular incident that made me proud to call HIM my son – yes, he is more than my nephew; he is my heartbeat (along with his sister, my niece – aka my daughter!)

    I watched him participate in a basketball game couple of years ago – when he was 10 or 11. He had the ball. The opposing team was guarding him closely. Every forward movement by him was intercepted by another young kid from the other side.

    He COULD have dunked the ball in the basket with some slick maneuvers. But he chose to pass the ball to a team-mate who was better positioned to score.

    After the game, I asked him why he didn’t try to make the basket himself. He could have been the leading scorer of that match.

    He looked at me and said, very calmly, “Increasing my individual score is not as important as helping my team win. ”

    Stunned, I could not do anything but salute his selfless nature.

    That little genius teaches his jealous aunt to look for the good in every single creature on this planet!

    EXTREMELY excited about this project, Danny

    • Danny Brown August 17, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Hey there miss,

      I absolutely LOVE this example. And this quote sums it up perfectly:

      “Increasing my individual score is not as important as helping my team win.

      So much wisdom in just 13 words. And they say the young don’t have anything worthwhile to teach us – just goes to show how stupid that mindset is, and always has been.

      Sounds like your nephew’s parents have done a grand job with that kid.
      Here’s to more like him.

  7. ikechi August 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Danny

    Reading this post, you remind me of what blogging should truly be? Strange that these days, it seems that Bloggers keep spinning the same article and there is no room for an awesome experience for the reader.

    Thanks for sharing. I am in support of this movement.

    • Danny Brown August 17, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Hi there Ikechi,

      Thank you! It’s been interesting watching this topic grow legs in the last few months especially. Seeing a lot of bloggers – and readers – harking to read and consume “real life” as opposed to a perfectly filtered version of it. Here’s to seeing where it goes.

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