12 Years

Mitch JoelPosted by

September 29th, 2003. That’s when I wrote my first blog post.

5000 posts later… and here we are. Deaths. Births. Ups. Downs. Health. Sickness. You name it. The highest of the highs, and the lowest of the lows have all come together in the past twelve years. My life. Your life. These words. While it’s hard to love every minute, it’s easy to look back on these twelve years of blogging with a sincere sense of happiness, fulfillment and hope for the future.

You’re gone and off to do other things.

Why blog? I get asked this. Often. More than a few times a month. Why not just post on Medium at this point? Even Facebook’s Notes seems to make more sense than holding down the fort that is Six Pixels of Separation. Maybe I’m old. Maybe I’m just a stubborn mule. This place feels like home. I like home. I like spending my days reading, following and sharing all of the amazing things that I see out in the world. I love the way something percolates in my mind and wants to become words on this blog. It has a need to come out. For me, it was always about the words. I was writing (lots and lots of words) long before you could ever simply hit a “publish” button, and have it “out there,” in the wild… and naked for the world to see… and, sometimes, people like to tear apart. That’s not a bad thing. That’s what makes this kind of publishing so engaging, organic and three-dimentional. Still, I feel like this home needs to stay. I’m not ready to put these words solely on someone else’s platform. Call me selfish.

Blessings for the publish button.

This year has been, particularly, challenging for me, as a writer. There has been lots of dramatic changes in both my professional and personal life. There has also been an overwhelming amount of content, from so many different channels and platforms. I’ll often have an opinion to write about, only to see a bunch of other people with similar stances. These people are not just blogging their thoughts, but then promoting them across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and beyond. It’s not that I don’t want to write. I always do, but I am trying to be respectful of the publishing button… and your feed… in a world where everybody is publishing anything. The challenge with that strategy is obvious: If I’m not writing and sharing with you, because I don’t want to overwhelm your feed, that isn’t stopping anybody else from doing it. The result? It’s easy to forget about me, because there’s so much content there for you to play with. Still, I want the content that I publish to be worth your time. I want the content that I publish to help you be better at the work that you do. Yes, I bless the publish button – almost on a daily basis – with my deepest respect, so that the quality of the thinking (and the words) matter.

Writing for me. Writing for you.

The goal of this blog has always been two-fold:

  • Writing for me. I write to think something through. To put a new idea out into the world, and see if it stands up, falls down, gets accepted, gets ridiculed. I don’t have a thick skin, but I do know that putting my thoughts out there has been one of the best ways for my ideas to clarify themselves… in my own mind. That matters. It’s critical to my personal development. It has also allowed me to travel the world, meet many of you in your “protein forms” and development life-long and tangible friendships that I cherish beyond the words.
  • Writing for you. Work is hard, complicated and ever-changing. In the early days of blogging, a lot of the stuff that was being put out there was self-promotional. I always had a very clear lighthouse for these words: I wanted them to make you better at the work that you are doing. I wanted the words to provoke newer – and better thinking – about making your marketing do more. We now see a ton of articles that explain the merits of brands that actually help consumers. No, I didn’t start that train of thought, but I have been a loyal advocate of marketing over advertising… provide value, utility and tools.

Let’s keep this going.

I don’t struggle with finding topics to write about. There’s always something new and exciting happening in our industry. Yes, I’m fine with sharing what I’m writing about in the usual social media channels. Yes, I’m thrilled to contribute to other publications (both digital and physical) as a way to build a stronger platform and have my content get into as many different hands as possible. That will keep going. Twelve years in… and I still have many more words to share. I hope that you can make the time to read them and – more importantly – that they have true value for you.

12 years… and, to quote Jeff Bezos, it still feels like “day one.”

BTW, if my work has resonated with you at all over the years, please read this (and help out)Change Someone’s Life Today (Maybe Your Own).