It’s one thing to talk about “best practices” when it comes to what works online – it is another to illustrate what works in the real world. So I will share two blogs that I read daily, and try to whittle down why it is they work so well.
- Fred Wilson’s A VC.
Let’s start with Fred Wilson, whose blog A VC, has turned this run-of-the-mill New York venture capitalist millionaire, into a thought leader on the web. Some attributes of his blog:
- He’s Smart. He didn’t make his money by luck alone. He digs into data, questions assumptions, and is not afraid to go with or against the grain.
- He experiments. His blog is filled with widgets – small applications on the left and right side of his site that – ideally – add valuable content. He will try anything once, measure its effectiveness, then make a decision on whether it should stay.
- He’s passionate. He is deeply involved in the industries he discusses. His entries look at topics from a business perspective, and looks for things that add authentic value.
- He shares of himself. He often writes about his favorite eateries, his family, his feelings, and his love of music. This adds an incredible depth and personality to the site.
- He’s a connector. Fred doesn’t just talk about topics, people, and companies – he gets involved, and he makes connections. He reaches out to others offline, and builds relationships – connecting people and ideas. He is not an armchair critic.
Overall, Fred has an amazing balance of professional and personal topics that not only give you good information – but shares an insider’s view of someone who is truly having fun every single day.
- Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch.
Now, we will head over to Michael Arrington’s blog, TechCrunch. Mike is the posterchild of Web 2.0, reporting on new companies, hot topics, and tech scandal. Sometimes he is opinionated & controversial, but you get the impression he challenges things because he cares. Some attributes of his blog:
- He constantly breaks news. In many instances, Mike gets information – or at least reports on it – before anyone.
- Smart analysis. When Mike breaks news, or reports on new events, he adds background and insight that most others miss. He isn’t interested in being another voice in the echo chamber. He filters issues down to the key components, and then brings us forward to determine what it means to business, and the tech industry as a whole.
- He’s passionate. His passion can sometimes be controversial, and he doesn’t really mind. He talks openly about the death threats he receives – as casually as I would discuss lunch. Lunch today, by the way, was an amazing pad thai.
- He’s a first-adopter. When a new company pops up, he digs right in, signing up for their service, reporting on it, and then following their progress. When he talks about a particular business – he often has first hand experience with ALL of their competitors, which is a great starting point of judging their prospects.
- He’s a connector. Mike is actively involved in the industry, when he talks about a company or an event, it is because he knows the key players or was there.
What I love most about these blogs is how much well they leverage their passion to connect others within their industries. It is a powerful platform – but it is the people behind the platform that make it successful.