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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2007 at 1:42 pm

We’re All Still Learning About Blogs…

By Jeffrey Eisenberg
July 11th, 2007

Martian? Perhaps. Alien? Nah...It’s pretty amazing. GrokDotCom — which was newsletter-only since 2001 — has become much more popular since we relaunched it as a proper blog. Although our newer readers may not realize, as our longtime readers may recall, people thought we were crazy when we decided last January to drop our email list of 40,000+ subscribers.

The idea was that, while reintroducing Grok, we wanted our readers to be engaged in the conversation. So, we explained ourselves and kindly asked folks to resubscribe to the newsletter or RSS feed [define]. A few baffled fan emails and comments later, we were off and running. And today, less than six months later, Technorati considers us to be one of the top 5k blogs. (GrokDotCom ranked around 42,000 six months ago.) Of course, we didn’t end the newsletter; we’ve just decided to open it up, so you can get fresh content daily, weekly, or monthly (your choice) in the form of featured articles, blog posts, and podcasts.

So, when we saw this reflective post from Marc Andreessen, who just recently started blogging, it made us stop and reflect for a moment. It’s also an inspiring read for anyone who might start their own blog.

I should have started doing this years and years ago. Anyone who says blogs are not widely read is incorrect. I have been absolutely amazed at the range and diversity of the people who have been reading this blog, and so quickly.

It is crystal clear to me now that at least in industries where lots of people are online, blogging is the single best way to communicate and interact.

…writing a blog is way easier than writing a magazine article, a published paper, or a book — but provides many of the same benefits.[...] Arguably blogging is better because the distribution of a blog can be even broader than a magazine article, a published paper, or a book, at least in cases where the article/paper/book is restricted by a publisher to a limited readership base.

Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape and whose social networking startup Ning just took on a hefty round of venture capital, isn’t exactly a novice to the Web. He was hesitant to start blogging but, like with Grok, it’s already been rewarding — and fun!

So, in the spirit of adding value and having fun, we like to do posts of all sizes. Fans of our longer articles might think we’re posting too much, or that we’re not diving as deep, but that’s fine. Don’t worry. We’re still publishing feature-length content multiple times a week. But we like to mix it up. If something bubbles up on Blog Buzz, we’ll share our take on it.

If experts like Jakob Nielsen think we’re nuts for blogging, so be it. When we find any future-predicting gurus out there, we’ll let you know. Until then, we’ll do our best to predict the present. ;)

Our consultancy is built on the premise that everyone buys differently, and that people read differently as well. That’s why Grok hosts a variety of authors, from Bryan & me, to our consultants, partners, and even the occasional guest blogger. Like you, our authors have diverse backgrounds in marketing, entrepreneurship, business development, music, psychology, engineering, web production, analytics, and aerospace (well, maybe our CTO, John Quarto is a bit eccentric in that way, but we’ve kept him too busy to blog… for now). We’re not interested in merely broadcasting our ideas. That’s what old media’s for. Our perspective comes from listening to our clients, learning from them, and giving them the blueprint to give their customers what they want.

Likewise, we want to learn from you — not just now, but anytime. We know we can’t please everyone, nor have we, but we do hope you’ll have as much fun as we do and challenge us along the way. It’s been an adventure so far, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

What do you think of the new GrokDotCom? Any suggestions on topics, things to improve, or stuff you’d like to see more of?

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Comments (3)

  1. Terrific post, Jeffrey. I couldn’t be more proud of Future Now and the stunning work you all are doing on Grokdotcom. What I like is the wide variety of personalities, writing styles, and hair-raising knowledge you all share with us. And I agree with Marc… while my blog is not a high-ranking must-read, I am constantly surprised by the readers I encounter through email, phone calls and presentations. I figure it’s about 10 readers for everyone I know as a subscriber. That in itself shows how people think differently and act differently… many are under the radar, but they workin’ it!

  2. Great story you got here. It would be great to read more concerning that matter.

  3. By the way, buy Wifi blocker to block all secret instruments in your room or at work.

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. You can friend him on Facebook.

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