Yesterday my blog turned one.
On November 21, 2003 I blogged a suggestion to Google’s founders that they should launch a desktop search engine before Microsoft could incorporate their planned desktop and web search engine in Longhorn. (I’m very happy to say they have done this, and would have, with or without my blog!)
I’ve had a lot of fun over the last year blogging about technology and business. In fact, writing is now the funnest thing I do. It forces me to concentrate on one topic and at least try to say something that will be intelligible and meaningful to others. It leads me to pay far more attention when I’m reading. I’m continually looking for new information and for opinions that I either agree with and want to endorse or disagree with and explain why. I think it has helped me think and communicate more clearly.
In October, my blog had more than 25,000 visits. Several times a week I receive comments or emails from people who have read my blog and appreciate my efforts. That is gratifying.
As I think back on the past year of blogging and the new people I have met as a result, I think back to America’s original blogger, Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin is one of my heroes. His success in life began as an printer and then author, daily churning out his thoughts and ideas, sometimes under his own name, and sometimes in disguise.
Franklin spent the first 40 years of his life in printing and business. He made a great deal of money. Then, he spent the last 40+ years of his life in public service.
He was postmaster general, member of the Continential Congress, and ambassador/minister to France. But all his life (according to a recent biography I listened to from Audible.com on my iPod) he signed his name
B. Franklin, Printer.
I think I know why.
Words are powerful. According to scripture, they are more powerful than the sword.
Through the power of the press, Benjamin Franklin helped rally a nation to fight for independence from the British crown. He had helped Thomas Paine emigrate from England in October 1774. With some assistance from Franklin, Thomas Paine went on to publish the pamphlet Common Sense, which more than any other tract rallied Americans (including George Washington) to fight for independence. It is reported that more than 500,000 copies of Common Sense were printed in a nation of just a few million people.
A great nation was formed by the power of words and the freedom of the press which gave expression to those words.
Now I know what you are thinking…”I knew Benjamin Franklin, and you are no Benjamin Franklin.”
But like Benjamin Franklin, I have begun to taste the benefits of writing and printing, albeit my printing is electronic and global, not paper-based and local.
Because of my blog, I have been asked to write a column for Connect Magazine, circulation 9,500. This monthly magazine reaches many of Utah’s high tech business leaders. I have a feeling, too, that I will be writing books soon.
Because of blogging, I have gotten acquainted with dozens of talented business people, internet marketers, and even angel and venture investors. Recently I got an email from an EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) from a very prestigious Silicon Valley venture firm. He said he had read nearly all of my posts and wanted to meet next time I’m in the Bay Area.
How valuable are these new connections? They are priceless. In some ways, because it helps me form connections with like-minded people all over the world, blogging may be the most important thing I do.
But like some other good habits I have developed over the years which are hard to teach and harder yet to convince others to do (like taking notes at every meeting you attend, and storing all your personal knowledge in a searchable database), I have a very hard time convincing anyone to start their own blog. Most think it would be a waste of time.
But for me, as I said before, in many ways, this is the most important thing I do. That is why I will sign off, respectfully yours,
P. Allen, Blogger