I’ve been thinking about what it is that I find valuable in reading 700+ RSS feeds, mostly blogs. I think I’ve found the answer:
Humans! Humans! Humans!
(yes, that’s a spoof of the famous Steve Balmer developersx3! video
I like to read blogs (listen to podcasts, etc.) that convey a human voice. Written by a person, not a PR team. I’ve even categorized my RSS subscriptions into “Blogs by People” and “Group/Topical Blogs”. News/group blogs definitely have their place, but the ones I most enjoy reading are ones that let me feel like I’m listening directly to another human. There’s just something about that connection/relationship. Podcasting and video take that “emotional weight” (for lack of a better term) and amplify it even more.
That’s why I love to read blogs and listen to podcasts. I’m building relationships and getting to know other humans. Smart humans. Humans that make me think. Or teach me things. Or make me laugh.
Think about it – when you’re reading or listening to something, you can immediately gauge the “human-ness” of it. We all know when we hear marketspeak, or managerspeak, etc. Don’t you find that you just tune it out? There’s no emotional weight/value in listening to a machine, or a corporate entity. But when the communication is geniunely human (and that can’t be faked!), we tend to listen more, and give more weight to what’s being said. At least, I do.
It’s an easy trap to fall into when you’re writing on your own blog – imitating the tone of the newspaper, corporatespeak, etc. I know I fall into it time and time again, but I always try to catch myself doing it, and remind myself of the value of human voice, imperfections and all.
So, when you’re blogging, podcasting, writing email, or just plain talking to other people, don’t forget that you’re a human, and that talking like one is NOT a bad thing!