Noodling Towards Greatness

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This is not supposed to be Shakespeare.

I don’t toil and sweat over every character, every word, every sentence, the grammar or the flow. I am noodling around with an idea. Something that I am feeling. I am trying to bring that feeling out in words. I’m working through the idea through these words. I’m hoping that the completed piece of work clicks with you. That it solves a problem that you have been thinking about. That it inspires you to ask a better question. That it pushes you to appreciate the brand(s) that you are developing. This is not (nor ever will it be) a solution. I am noodling with an idea and trying to get that idea to go somewhere. To take you along for the ride. Musicians do this with their instruments. The best noodling becomes a song (something you might have heard). I do this with words. The best words become an article (for a major publication), a chapter in one of my business books, a segment in one of my presentations. Maybe, sometimes, a hit blog post. Most of the time, it just fills this space. That’s what this blog is about. Blogs have changed. Most people treat each post like it needs to be perfect. That’s fine too. We all have our own ways of working through our creative process.   

Silly rabbit, clicks are for kids.

Most days, I hate my stuff. It’s not click-worthy. It doesn’t spike on Medium. It doesn’t get a retweet from those with verified accounts or celebrity followers. It just sits here. It just sits there on Facebook, on Twitter and/or LinkedIn. It doesn’t move those social media needles that so many people are obsessed with. I have the blessing and curse of time on my side. The blessing, because I’ve been writing (multiple times a week) here, at Six Pixels of Separation, since 2003 and I’ve managed to build up a brand and audience over the course of the thirteen years. People know my writing style, and there’s not the expectation that every post is akin to an article. The curse, because many people who blog less, and have been doing it for far less time have lapped me. They have a bigger audience, and spend a significant amount of time sharing, repurposing and pushing their posts. They write post as if it’s an article for a business publication. It’s working for them. Good on them. If I have an extra five minutes in my life, I prefer to write and create something that’s itching me inside, over the self-promotion. That’s not a judgement for those who are better at self-promoting, it’s just how it is.

Great content. Great look at process. 

I spent many years working in the music industry. I’m also a bit of a musician. I studied the electric bass (informally and in a post secondary education format). I love the sound of the instrument (and those who have mastered it) more than I like playing it (hence, my other podcast, Groove – The No Treble Podcast, where I am slowly trying to build the largest oral history of electric bass players). With that, I follow a lot of YouTube channels that focus on the instrument. Unless you are a musician, you probably have not heard about Ernie Ball. Ernie Ball is one of the world’s top makers of electric and acoustic guitar strings, bass strings, and other guitar accessories. Some of history’s greatest musicians including Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Slash, The Rolling Stones, Angus Young, Eagles, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Metallica, and more use their strings. As a form of content marketing, Ernie Ball created a documentary series titled, The Pursuit of Tone. It’s done in partnership with AT&T and these documentaries (which look at how musicians create the way that do) play on Direct TV and AT&T U-VERSE channel. Clips can often be found on the Ernie Ball YouTube channel. Next month, The Pursuit of Tone features Tom DeLonge (lead vocalist and songwriter for the bands Blink-182, Box Car Racer and Angels & Airwaves). For over two decades and 25 million albums, Tom’s guitar tone and riff-driven style has become one of alternative and modern rock’s most identifiable sound, which plays an undeniable role in what became the sound of California punk and alternative rock during the nineties. The four minute clip below from this documentary really brings together so many interesting angles of the work that we do as content creators, marketers and brand ambassadors. One, the content within this clip really speaks to the idea and value of noodling with your ideas, putting them out there, experimenting and trying things (even simple ones) that could lead to big results. Two, Ernie Ball is really thinking about how to use content marketing (across multiple media) to build their brand. It’s long form content. It’s powerful. A TV show, but with lots of online content. It’s well-produced, smart and not something that is readily available in the marketplace. They are owning it. Three, if the TV show doesn’t gain traction, this type of content could have its own life within their own YouTube channel (or augmented with distribution and more). A very smart and savvy content marketing play. They have TV (so why not use it?), but this kind of content could just as easily live online only.

Watch this video. The content is inspiring. The format is inspiring: Ernie Ball – The Pursuit of Tone – Tom DeLonge.