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Seven Blog Virtues (for a Global Microbrand)

I was on a panel at SXSWi based on Hugh MacLeod's Global Microbrand idea. My slides for that panel were very lightweight--nothing meaty, just an orientation that I believe is really important if you're trying to attract more readers. I've added a little text to the slides and made a PDF here:

Download SevenVirtues.pdf (4.7 MBs)

So, no secret tips and tricks, just a way of thinking about blogging for the purpose of building a Global Microbrand (whether the brand is you, your product, a cause, etc.).

These slides are under a CC non-commercial, with attribution license, so fee free to use them.

Posted by Kathy on March 16, 2007 | Permalink


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» 7 Virtues To Build A SuccessfulCareer from Erik Mazzone's Blog
Kathy Sierra recently posted on Creating Passionate Users a basic and really excellent primer on the 7 virtues required to build a global microbrand for a blog.  While she notes there are no earth-shaking surprises on her list, it is a great reminder... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 19, 2007 12:05:55 PM


Thank you so much for sharing this. I took so much inspiration from you and Presentation Zen when creating my site many moons ago, and it's great to see more roads to improvement and better readership!

You and your blog here are awesome!

Posted by: Robert Smelser | Mar 16, 2007 8:38:50 PM

Great points, much thanks!

Posted by: Bill Olen | Mar 16, 2007 9:12:21 PM

I read Rohit Bhargava's review of this session and found it quite interesting. Great stuff. I had different takes on two items that came up and wrote an extensive blog post about this: How Strategic Rule Breaking Can Leverage Huge Benefits. Enjoy.

Posted by: Thomas M. Schmitz | Mar 16, 2007 9:27:16 PM

Thomas, thanks for the link and the thoughtful post. I'm going to have to disagree back about one big thing ; )

You said: "To become supremely successful as an online presence or personality you must accomplish both. “Focus on your content” sounds very sound, wise and obvious. The problem with this is that it is advice from a pre-World Wide Web era and does not address building credibility with search engines."

Not everyone NEEDS to build credibility with search engines in order to have all the search hits they could want. Sometimes it really DOES just happen as a natural consequence. I have never -- not once -- given one thought about how I might appear to search engines, but this blog gets thousands of views a day coming just from Google searches. There are plenty of us who are proof that one need not be concerned with linkbaiting and SEO in order to have a successful blog. Now, that doesn't mean it isn't a really good idea (and some people might want their Google hits to be more tuned and targeted), but honestly -- I truly believe that the better path is by focusing on creating things people find useful and let the rest fall out naturally.

Posted by: Kathy Sierra | Mar 16, 2007 10:00:47 PM

Hi Kathy,
thanks for the free slides, a useful summary. I might even come back and read your next post. ;-)

Posted by: Steven Lilley | Mar 17, 2007 12:29:21 AM

While not directly mappable, it's pretty close: Rudyard Kipling's poem "If": http://www.swarthmore.edu/~apreset1/docs/if.html

Posted by: Edward Ocampo-Gooding | Mar 17, 2007 2:18:41 AM

"I have never -- not once -- given one thought about how I might appear to search engines"

I beg to differ - you consistently exploit the fact that risque refernces and lingerie images are far more alluring than scintillating titles like "How Strategic Rule Breaking Can Leverage Huge Benefits."

Posted by: John Dodds | Mar 17, 2007 4:00:50 AM

Don't blog the hors^H^H^H^cat ;)

Great graphics, great virtues

Posted by: ken | Mar 17, 2007 5:10:56 AM

I think I adore you for slide 23! I really hope to see you speak in person some time, both to share the reaction to a slide like #23 with a group, and to re-capture those elusive things you talked about in your keynote at SXSW.

Posted by: Amie | Mar 17, 2007 7:33:50 AM

Good stuff here. Thanks for the slides and the resulting conversation. I have been struggling with direction in my blog, whether or not to broaden the focus to include more than just my field. This will give me some food for thought and has already helped me begin to crystallize a new philosophy.

Posted by: Patrick | Mar 17, 2007 7:56:48 AM

Thanks for these slides. Very good! I linked this and the previous post.

Posted by: catepol | Mar 17, 2007 10:49:22 AM

Thanxs for the stuff given by you.

Posted by: ksreddy | Mar 18, 2007 4:13:14 AM

"It's not about YOU."

You are spot on and thanks for the slides.
But I am also a person who likes youre stories about Icelandic Horses or youre snow problems. Meaning to say that if I like someones blog I become interested in that person in a positive way. So occasionally seeing posts about real life also makes a connection for me to a blog.


Posted by: Peter | Mar 18, 2007 8:28:53 AM

Thanks! That was really nicely put.

We have a collective blog, with various writers from around our company sharing their thoughts about our industry.

I think the point you make about cat-blogging is extra relevant in a collaborative corporate blog sense - We also have to be careful not to end up talking more to each other than to our intended audience.

Don't blog the corporate cat... :)

Posted by: Gordon | Mar 18, 2007 12:22:40 PM

Hilarious AND useful. I love that you plug the spirit of generosity, which made me excited about Blogville when I first discovered it all.

Page 23 — ROFL! And a very key concept for many, many to learn... :)

Posted by: KG | Mar 18, 2007 7:28:14 PM

A presentation I wish I could attend with two of my gurus!

Could you send me the original PPT file so I can translate it into French and we can make it available to French speaking people ?

Posted by: tk | Mar 19, 2007 4:39:13 AM


Thanks for this insightful,useful and timely piece. How generous!

Posted by: AZ | Mar 19, 2007 7:55:23 AM

Um, why isn't this in plain text or real HTML – you know, the sort of thing found on blogs – rather than a PDF of slides?

Unclear on the very concept you attempt to lecture us on?

I'm not downloading a PDF just to read seven sentences, and you shouldn't expect anyone to do so.

Posted by: Joe Clark | Mar 20, 2007 11:42:14 AM

Ken: My horses are insulted that you'd compare them to mere cats! Actually, since I don't have ads, the *price* of reading this blog is suffering through an occasional horse post (and more rarely, the dog). But I follow my own advice to the letter and have never once blogged the cat.

I'm impressed with my ability to mangle, contrive, and shoehorn a potentially relevant point into a horse story. Of course I'm the only one who sees the connection... but it keeps me smiling to try.

Amie: cheers : )

Joe: "Unclear on the very concept you attempt to lecture us on?"
No, I just have a different interpretation of what would be useful in this case. I might have been wrong about that, though, but I'll explain what I was thinking:

1) The pictures were a part of the presentation, not just decoration... so stripping them out takes an important part of it away. While many people don't realize the way in which I'm using the pictures, those who've been to my earlier talks or read some of the brain-related posts here (or the intro to one of my books) may appreciate why they're more important than they look. Reading the 7 virtues is not the point... it's getting the orientation... and that requires an emotional connection the picture help provide. In other words, the pictures are essential.

2) To put all this with the graphics somehow in a post would make for one helluva bandwidth hit, without giving you a choice. I figured that would be a much less friendly thing to do.

3) I wanted people to be able to use the slides (although I could, as you suggested, have retooled it ... and still made the slides available).

4) I did make it clear (or I'd hoped to) as a disclaimer that these were all very lightweight, nothing meaty... just a way of thinking. I didn't want to mislead anyone into thinking they were getting some big document.

5). You're wrong about the 7 sentences... there are actually 30 ; )

I appreciate that you posted this, and when I have a chance to do it right, I'll rework this and post it. But again, the 7 sentences of the virtues is not what's really important... too much would have been left out if it were just text.

Posted by: Kathy Sierra | Mar 20, 2007 12:53:12 PM

I disagree with Joe -- I think you have something really worth saying, and I did make a copy of the pdf.

I think that you should have included your name in it somewhere, Kathy. Am I going to remember where I got it from in six months time, and be able to credit it properly if I use ideas from it...?

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