Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Dec 8, 2010
Last week I was listening to an online review of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. There were 4 people talking about the movie. Three of the people absolutely loved it; one guy hated it. The guy who hated it owned up to the fact that he’d never read any of the books, nor had he seen the other movies. So, he was lost, looking for action, and hoping the movie would entertain him even if he didn’t know anything about the series.
I remember when the first X-Files movie came out there were a lot of people who were saying the same exact thing. No matter that the movie did have excitement (heck, it had explosions within the first 5 minutes) and even aliens (man, a movie with aliens that also makes sense is my kind of movie), but people were upset because they didn’t know the history behind the show or the characters, felt left out, and thus rated the movie lower than it deserved.
Sometimes I think people just don’t get it. Everything in the world isn’t for everyone; that’s just life. I remember a review of a John Denver concert years ago where the woman who did the review stated up front that she hated John Denver and left the concert feeling the same way. In my opinion, how could she even think of writing a fair review if she went in already knowing she didn’t like it? Was she expecting him to do something special so she’d say “wow, I was wrong all these years” if she hated it?
I’m bringing this up because of the subject of influence and being “liked”. In yesterday’s post on Twitter Chats, I talked about how some people didn’t like others using Twitter in that fashion and the resulting dustups that end up with some people losing followers and others gaining some. Just as the concept of Twitter chats isn’t for everyone, neither is every blog for every person.
Well, maybe that’s a bit much. I like to think this blog is for everyone, but I know that every post isn’t for everyone. If I write about sports and you don’t like sports, I don’t expect you to stick around long. I know I can write about cleavage (especially if I add an image) and Sire‘s going to be there, but if I write about string theory, chaos theory and the calculations of quantum physics that says they’re possible (ugly stuff to be sure, but kind of fun in a way) it might not grab his attention as much, but there might be someone out there intrigued enough to read it all.
I know there are times when I talk tech and some folks stay away in droves because they don’t get it. i also know I go to blogs that talk about cars or other things that my mind can’t always figure out either. I certainly don’t always understand “mom” blogs, being neither a mom or a parent.
When there are things that don’t appeal to my sensibilities, I don’t sit down and gripe about them at that moment; I leave. Whether or not I come back is irrelevant. It’s obvious at that moment that a particular thing wasn’t written for me or to me, and thus I don’t have to try to force it into what I want it to be. There are plenty of other outlets, plenty of other people who’d appreciate my time, and those people who are doing something I’m not interested in are going to appreciate that I didn’t stop by and rake them through the coals because they weren’t my cup of tea at that moment either.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re in a niche that not everyone can get behind. Those that do get behind it will be loyal to a fault, especially if you return that loyalty. And don’t beat yourself up if someone comes to your blog and leaves comments, yet you visit their blog and find yourself kind of lost. I think anyone who’s expecting me to stop by a punk rock blog just because they stopped by here and posted a comment is kidding themselves, just as I know I’d be kidding myself if I thought everyone should be watching and listening to every opera video I posted.
If you’re creating something, whether it’s a blog or website or book or music, create what you want, then find your particular audience, or they’ll find you. Don’t cater to someone who hasn’t invested time to learn what it is you have to offer. Sure, there are times when you might have to take a step back and give some background before moving forward. But like Harry Potter, X-Files and John Denver, if your stuff has been out there for awhile and a newcomer stops by and slams you for their ignorance, don’t bite; just go on with your bad selves. And if you’re wondering where that comes from, check out a clip from one of my favorites, the Muppets: