I often think about my place in the blogosphere. I’ve been online for a very long time by now, close to a decade. I’ve got articles all over the place. I have 8 websites which includes 4 blogs. I’ve commented on hundreds of blogs and, for the most part, I have some name recognition, the other Mitch Mitchell notwithstanding.
And you know what? Locally it means absolutely nothing. I think I have maybe 4 or 5 people locally that might ever read any of my blogs, even when I write about things in the Syracuse NY area.
Almost all the retweets I get on Twitter come from people that live elsewhere; that’s kind of fascinating because I’m connected on Twitter to a lot of people from this area. I’ve written about local tweetups on this blog and on my Syracuse blog, and mentioned a lot of people’s names and linked to their Twitter accounts, sometimes to their businesses as well.
I’ve always wondered about this concept of “you’re never as big at home as you are elsewhere” often over the years. Truth be told, I really didn’t believe it until I got into business for myself.
I have spoken in 8 or 9 states professionally, and in New York I’ve only been paid once, and it was very low. People get this impression that, unless you’re an ultra millionaire, you just can’t be that good if you live where they are, and it’s so strange.
Yet when I went to Nebraska, they must have been thinking “hey, we got someone from New York to come here”. And it didn’t have to be New York, per se; just someone from another state (though they probably wouldn’t have been as happy if I’d come from Oklahoma if they were football fans lol).
Almost 18 months ago I asked this question on this blog: can you actually be considered successful if you can’t get your family and friends to subscribe or even stop by to read your blog, or subscribe to your newsletters, or, for that matter, actually try to figure out what you do? Only one person could say they had friends and/or family subscribing, that being Rummuser; how wild is that? Most even said they didn’t expect it and would be surprised if anyone they knew did visit or subscribe.
Not that I’m a total unknown in my area. I have given many presentations around town, and I have been featured in the local newspapers here and there. But for the most part I’m fairly easily ignored locally.
I have to admit that I thought I’d get more people I knew locally to retweet this post for me, as others locally have had gripes with someone and gotten a fairly nice local response from people in retweeting things; I got 2 people locally who did it for me, and I’m thinking that’s kind of shame. But I got a lot of folks who don’t live here, who had never even heard of the company (which was surprising) that retweeted it, and I thank all of you for that.
I put this thought out there to ask it this way; if you can’t be influential locally, can you really be influential anywhere else? I believe you can, but my mind still finds the concept, well, strange.