The following is an article I started in 2006. I’ve been cleaning out old files recently and came across this. I am leaving it as is but would like to share some thoughts at the end on how I feel that blogging as a business has turned the tables around.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Albert Einstein
From the book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen R. Covey suggests that our mindset of how we become successful has changed since WWI.
Before WWI we used the Character Ethic to become successful or as our view of success. Those traits included things such as integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty and the Golden Rule.
After WWI our idea of success or what we needed to become successful shifted to the Personality Ethic. Success became a function of personality, public image, attitudes, behaviors, skills, techniques and a positive mental attitude. Covey also suggests that those traits are deceptive and manipulative because it encourages people to use ‘techniques’ to get others to like them, like faking the interest of another person’s hobbies and interests to get what you want out of them.
It would seem that to be successful in this mindset one would have to pretend to be interested in other people instead of being genuinely interested in them. This does indicate that to be successful you should be deceptive in your motives.
I feel that this ‘shift’ not only affected the business world but our personal lives as well and how we raise our children.
This book was written in 1989. I wonder if some of us aren’t trying to do a shift back to the character ethic. I think the world would be a more caring place if more people did follow the character ethic instead of the personality ethic.
Those were my thoughts in 2006. I still have some of those thoughts as far as how traditional businesses are run–the state of the economy and recent bail-outs could be an indication of this, along with poor business habits. That is, if the economy really is in trouble and businesses really had to be bailed out–we’ll never know the truth behind that. But my point here is that what I see in blogging, especially as a business model, has returned to the character ethic model. This is a people business and it remains focused on the people. I’m not talking about those websites and blogs that have been thrown up to make a quick buck. Sites like BloggingTips.com, and others like Storyfix.com, MenWithPens.com, Copyblogger.com and Problogger.com; all of these sites not only cater to people but rely on them.
Now with social networking becoming more popular (Twitter and Facebook) it’s easy to see the people behind these websites as real people. Maybe they haven’t taken corporate America or any other corporate nation by storm, but as far as running a business-these guys have gotten back to the basics of what makes a good business great–catering to the people.
The second point I’d like to make is to new bloggers. If this is the business model you’ve chosen, take note of how well the blogs mentioned above cater to people.
And last, I’d like your opinion. What trends have you seen changing or the differences in traditional business versus online business?
Do you think blogging shows the human side of what a business should be?
Any other thoughts or comments? Feel free to share them.
Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/demonbaby/2087832545/