Lots of people love the beach.
Tall people. Short people. Fat people. Skinny people. Bronzed beyond George Hamilton people. Deathly pale people.
There’s just something about stripping down to the bare necessities and letting it all hang out. The interesting thing about the beach is that no one seems self-conscious. It’s rarely flattering and in some cases downright disturbing. Watching a flabby guy in a bright green thong parade across the hot sand just doesn’t do it for me. You?
What is it about the beach that allows many of us to discard our outer shell of clothing, and with reckless abandon allow our least attractive parts to bounce about willy nilly? What, indeed…
Expose Yourself on the Beach
I recently spent a day at the beautiful Parc Jean Drapeau – 5 minutes from the heart of Montreal.
It’s an amazing location: beautiful water, sand, BBQ and great play areas for young kids. It’s amazing how few Montrealers know about it, because it’s the closest thing to a tropical vacation spot that we’ve got. And it’s the closest thing to a vacation I’m going to get in the next couple years…
While at the beach you can’t help but notice the flesh. Lots and lots of flesh. But no one cares. People are exposing themselves in a very, very personal way…and no one is covering up. It’s not all Baywatch models either; every shape, size, culture and creed hangs at the beach.
It makes me think about blogging. (Say what now?!?!)
Expose Yourself on Your Blog
Whether you like it or not, blogs are personal. They wouldn’t work otherwise. Of course they have a business purpose; just like social networks, blogs can be used in a hundred different ways for professional reasons. But business is personal, and blogs have their roots in an open, conversational, relationship-building style.
So if a blog is personal and professional, where do we draw the line?
How much of your personality goes into your blog? How much do you expose?
It might depend on the topic. News-focused blogs won’t have as much room for personality. But most of us write blogs as a means of establishing our personal brand, building meaningful relationships and growing our businesses. There’s lots of personal “stuff” in there.
Chris Brogan exposes himself a great deal on his blog (and through Twitter, Facebook, etc.) He talks about his work and his personal life. Following Chris is more than just a learning experience; it’s a personal experience.
Don’t Show Me Everything, But Keep It Real
Exposing yourself doesn’t mean revealing every detail of your personal life. It does mean you need to approach blogging with an authentic voice. Overly crafting your message can siphon off too much personality if done incorrectly. The information you’re providing might be valuable but the delivery becomes staid and distant.
Your blog should drip with your personality. You should feel free to include personal stories as a means of truly connecting with your audience. The more you expose, the more your audience will as well; and that’s how community is built.
So feel free to be a beach. (Or at least enjoy it!)
photo by pocketshoot.